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2022 STEM, AI and Entrepreneurship Competitions for High Schoolers - The Definitive Guide

Updated: Apr 10, 2022

How to join STEM Artificial Intelligence AI Entrepreneurship competitions for high school students

Here is our annual list of STEM, AI, and Entrepreneurship Competitions for High School Students! These competitions help high schoolers develop research quality ideas, learn how to construct a set of experiments and prove a hypothesis, try entrepreneurship in a for-profit or non-profit context, learn how to pitch, and win honors that they can showcase in college applications and more.

What is a STEM competition for High School?

In STEM competitions, students use any combination of science, coding, AI, software and hardware to solve important problems. STEM competitions can include science fairs. Some are team competitions and others have individual entries. In high school, competitions expect students to use real world data and prove their hypothesis with prototypes, experiments and possibly user studies.

What is an AI Competition for High School?

AI can be its own competition or can be an element of any other competition. AI is usually a great way to create innovation or add unique value to any project-based STEM, social good, or innovation competition. Some competitions focus heavily on the AI part, while others consider it a distinguishing feature that they will give extra marks for in judging. While these aspects are the same for middle school and high school AI competitions, the primary difference is the quality of the dataset used. High school projects focus on credible large datasets that are respected by the research community. As such, frequently more advanced coding and AI techniques are needed to process and derive insights from these datasets.

What is an Innovation or Entrepreneurship Competition for High School?

These are usually project-based competitions where students are challenged to find unique solutions to important problems in either their community or the world at large. Example goals can be helping the environment, mitigating climate change, helping improve human health, equality etc.

Students should also think about the impact of their solutions and how they can bring the solutions to market. High school students should also consider the business aspects of their innovation and be prepared to present a business proposal of how they will make their innovation successful.

What are the benefits of these High School competitions?

They are a great way to learn problem-solving, learn how to do research, learn how businesses work, apply STEM, coding, and AI concepts in real-world situations, demonstrate accomplishments for college applications, and of course win prizes!

For high school students these competitions help you do two things

  • You can demonstrate research skills prior to college. This will help you get the attention of college faculty for undergraduate research.

  • You can build a business or a non-profit organization to give you a unique differentiator in college applications. These days, great grades are not enough - you have to show unique impact.

Is high school competition different from high school research?

It depends on the competition. Many competitions benefit from research work, particularly when an AI solution is built. Some competitions, like science fairs, benefit from structured research where the research investigation is structured with experiments and reports of results. These projects can also be leveraged later for publication opportunities. If the student builds an app, that can then in turn be submitted to innovation or entrepreneurship competitions.

The high school students that work with AIClub usually leverage a single project into multiple competition submissions using the ideas above and guidance from our team of expert mentors who help the student discover and benefit multiple opportunities for their work.

How to get started?

Check out the list of competitions below. Pick one that works for you. If you would like assistance coming up with a solution or a mentor to work with, please contact us at Many high school students work with us to create publish papers and create unique entrepreneurial ventures prior to college.

The List

Your Local Science Fair

What is it? For US high school students, your local science fair is a great place to showcase unique solutions to problems. This is the first step towards qualifying for nationwide events. Check with your school for the deadlines for your local fair. Submissions usually start in November 2021 and the actual fair is between January and April 2022.

International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)

ISEF is the culmination of competition for high school students (grades 9-12) who have qualified through their local regional science fairs.

Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS)

A premier science and mathematics competition for high school students. Students submit original research to solve critical societal problems.

BioGenius Challenge

This international competition is a venue for high school students to submit unique innovations in three areas: healthcare biotechnology, sustainable agriculture biotechnology, and industrial/environmental biotechnology.


US Congressional App Challenge

What is it? A competition where students can submit apps solving important problems

Who qualifies: K-12 students who are US citizens or permanent residents. You will compete with those in your congressional district. Individuals or teams can apply.

Deadline - Around November


Conrad Challenge

What is it? A Hackathon where kids of teams 2-5 learn about entrepreneurship and create solutions in a space of 2 days. Targets both middle school and high school students. High schoolers- this is appropriate for you in 9th grade.

Who qualifies: Ages 10-14

Deadline - registration and event September


What is it? A STEM competition for students to explore science topics or solve engineering problems. Targets both Middle School and High School students. High schoolers- this is appropriate for you in 9th grade.

Who qualifies: teams of 3-4 students and one mentor. Students in grades 6-9.

Deadline: Registration is now open! Register by Nov 23, 2021to get your STEM kit!

Technovation Girls

What is it? A social good and innovation competition for girls worldwide. Teams of girls can build an app or website to solve an important problem in their communities. Focuses on app development, AI, social good and entrepreneurship.

Who qualifies: teams of girls (one to four per team) in middle school or high school.

Deadline: Registration and submission deadlines March-May 2022.


What is it? A worldwide competition for middle school and high school students to develop socially impactful applications using Artificial Intelligence. Students can build mobile applications or websites that use AI.

Who qualifies: teams of one to four students aged 10-18

Deadline - registration July 2022, event August 2022.


Girls Programming League Challenge

What is it? A coding competition for girls in middle school and high school

Who qualifies: Girls in teams of one to three

Deadlines: Usually September

Want some tips on how to deliver a winning pitch? Check out our blog here.

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