What Academic Competitions Take Place at the K-12 Grade Levels?

Debate Science
Mathematics Social Studies

There are many types of academic competitions that take place at the K-12 grade levels. There are competitions for every subject taught in K-12 grade levels. But more important than knowing what academic competitions take place at the K-12 grade levels, is knowing what each competition brings in terms of difficulty and relevancy to the students' education. Below is a list of some of the competitions held for students in K-12 grade levels.

American Mathematics Contest - this is the most prestigious among math competitions in the country. This contest determines the members of the national team that competes in the International Math Olympiad.

American Model United Nations International - this is a non-profit organization that hosts a series of annual simulations of the United Nations to give students an experience of what the real-world United Nations is like.

National Geography Bee - this is a geography contest sponsored by the National Geographic Society. The competition starts at the school level before moving on to the state and national levels. The winner of the national level goes on to compete in the National Geography World Championship.

National History Day - this is a national academic competition for students grades six to twelve, with the contest's emphasis on history. Contest participants enter the contest either individually or in groups in five categories.

Academic Decathlon - this contest is a more stringent form of academic competition involving many disciplines and subjects. High school students compete in this contest annually, with winners of state and regional levels all advancing to compete in the nationals.

High Five Challenge - this is a TV game show wherein high school teams from Oregon and Washington compete to earn the right to enter the playoffs. Subjects covered include Science, History, and Geography.

National Forensic Association - this is a competition for debates and individual events such as dramatic and literature interpretation, public speaking, and limited preparation.

Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee - this is the most prestigious and most well-known spelling bee in the United States, with the contest being aired and televised by ESPN since 1994. The contest has also been opened to other students coming from other countries.

International Science Olympiad - this is a group of competitions covering various fields of sciences. Four to six of the best students in each field of science is selected by each participating country and sent to compete in the international competitions. To date, there are 12 categories in this Olympiad: Math, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, Biology, Philosophy, Environmental Science, Astronomy, Geography, Linguistics, Junior Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Earth Science.

INTEL Science Talent Search - this is the oldest and most prestigious science competition in the United States, with 57 years of competition history behind it with prizes reaching millions of dollars. Entries are required to be original research conducted by students either solely or with the help of private and research institutions. The selection process is very competitive, and many of the winners od this competition have gone on to become Nobel laureates and fellows of distinguished bodies.

There are many more academic competitions geared for the K-12 grade levels. Some of them are just targeted for local schools while some of them go on to national levels. There are contests with little to no prize except the recognition and fame that comes along with being a winner, while there are competitions like the INTEL science talent search that awards millions of dollars to winners. These contests are important in talent discovery. It provides students an avenue to discover their potential to excel and to do more.

More Information On K-12 Academic Competitions

  1. American Mock Trial Association - A Great way to see if you have a court room in your future.