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15 Online Competitions for High School Students

Competing as a high school student not only strengthens your extracurricular profile but also boosts your chances for college scholarships and opens doors to research careers. In this blog, we’ve curated 15 remote competitions for ambitious high school students.


Our list spans a range of subjects from chemistry to poetry, so there’s something here for everyone!


If you’re looking to find competitions for just one field, here are some top-notch opportunities for high schoolers in the fields of engineering, biology, art and design, entrepreneurship, writing, and more.


What to look for in a remote competition?

  1. Credibility: Opt for remote competitions with a proven track record and established reputation. We have detailed the organizing entity, past winners, and the competition’s standing within the relevant industry or academic community.

  2. Cost: Consider the finances including registration fees or any other costs associated with participation. This list includes remote competitions that offer fair pricing or are free to enter.

  3. Judging Criteria: Well-defined judging criteria clarify how submissions will be assessed. We have detailed this information to help you tailor your entries to meet the specific expectations of the judges.

  4. Networking Opportunities: Yes, remote competitions can offer participants networking avenues. Most of the opportunities in this list help you to connect with professionals, peers, and experts in the field through virtual events, forums, or mentorship programs.

  5. Recognition: Recognition not only validates your efforts but can also open doors to further opportunities, such as internships, scholarships, or career advancement. This can include awards, certificates, or mentions in industry publications.

With that said, take a look at our list of 15 standout remote high school competitions that can strengthen your academic profile before diving into college applications.


15 Online Competitions for High School Students


The Davidson Institute annually organizes its Fellows program, dedicated to identifying and supporting young minds in engineering. Successful teams in this competition can receive prizes reaching up to $50,000, providing crucial support for future research or academic endeavors. Participants must form teams of no more than 2 students and present work that matches or closely approaches a college graduate level in terms of depth, subject understanding, and presentation quality. An ideal entry, for instance, involved the groundbreaking creation of the world’s inaugural ultra-low-cost, mind-controlled prosthetic arm, which is over 1500 times more cost-effective. Learn more about this program in our guide.

Note: The program invites applications across various subjects, you can check out guidelines for Engineering submissions here.

Eligibility: All high school students under the age of 18, who reside in the US can apply

Application Deadline: February 14, 2024

Competition Dates:

Cost: No cost.

Prizes: Scholarships worth $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000, and the title of a ‘Davidson Fellow’

Location: Virtual


For Biology enthusiasts, the USA Biolympiad offers a compelling challenge, attracting over 10,000 participants annually. Engaging in activities and quizzes across diverse topics, participants progress through two timed online exam rounds. The top 20 finalists undergo advanced training at Marymount University, with four finalists representing the USA at the International Biology Olympiad in Kazakhstan. We’ve broken down how to prepare for USABO here.


Eligibility: Open to all US high school students.

Application Deadline: November 10, 2022 (school registration).

Competition Dates: February 1- Online Open Exam (OE), April 4- Semifinal Exam, May 24- National Finals Begin, July 7 to 14- International Biology Olympiad (Astana, Kazakhstan).

Other important dates are available here.

Cost: No cost for students if the school registers for USABO 2024. National exam transportation is the student’s responsibility. Students must pay country visa costs for the country that the IBO will be held in. Room and board are available for both in-person exams. Financial aid is available.

Prizes: Medals, awards.

Location: Virtual for open exams and semi-finals. National finals are in person at a host university. The International Biology Olympiad is in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 7–14, 2024.

Doodle for Google is an art contest where you have the chance to design a Google logo based on an annual theme. Using any art material, submit your doodle and a write-up explaining its significance. The theme for 2023 was “Express Your Gratitude Through Imagination. Entries are judged on creativity, originality, and theme communication at the State and National levels. This competition is competitive, as thousands of applicants send entries each year. US states and territories will vote for their favorite entries to determine 5 national finalists. A Panel of employees from Google will select 1 national winner out of the 5 finalists. Learn more about this art content in our guide here.

Eligibility: Open to all high school students worldwide. Visit the Doodle for Google website for submission details.

Application Deadline: To be announced in 2024.

Competition Dates:

Prizes: Win a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology package for your school, Google hardware, and a 24-hour feature of your artwork on Google’s homepage.

Cost: No cost

Location: Online

Annually, teams of 1–4 high school students globally can participate in the Harvard Pre-Collegiate Economics Challenge (HPEC). This prestigious competition includes individual and team rounds on AP Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, economic news, history, research, and applications in fields like education and the environment. Besides aiding AP Economics exam preparation, participants can network, attend presentations, and interact with professors and economists. More details about the challenge can be found here and tips on how to boost your chances of winning are covered here.


Eligibility: All high school students.

Application Deadline: To be announced for 2024.

Competition Dates:

Prizes: Awards, prizes

Cost: Team registration fee of $125.

Location: Virtual


As one of the most significant virtual pitch competitions for high school students exploring entrepreneurship, the Blue Ocean Competition has attracted more than 2293 participants from 135 countries. Upon registration, participants engage with mentors and peers globally, benefiting from feedback, mentorship, and support through Q&A and brainstorming sessions. The culmination involves presenting a 5-minute pitch individually or as a team. Take a look at the recommended resources before joining the challenge! We’ve also covered this competition in more depth in our review here.

Eligibility: High school students aged between 14 to 18 years at the time or at registration, including international students.

Application Deadline: 18 February 2024

Competition Dates:

Prizes: Cash prizes of $1000, $750, and $500 respectively for the top three winners, and an additional $750 for a people’s choice award winner. Certificates for participants, and awards for participating schools.

Cost: No cost

Location: Virtual

This contest welcomes entries in diverse genres, from critical essays to short stories, advancing from regional to national levels. Local organizations host regional competitions, and winners progress to the national stage. Students in grades 7 through 12 in the U.S. can participate. Judging criteria include assessing skill, originality, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision to determine whether an entry receives an Award. Learn more about why you should apply to this competition in our deep-dive here.


Eligibility: Student in grades 7–12, age 13 years or older as of the date of entry, and residing in the United States, U.S. territories or military bases, or Canada.

Application Deadline: Deadlines vary by region and can be as early as December 1, 2023, until January 2024.

Competition Dates:

Prizes: Honorable Mentions, Silver or Gold Keys, or American Visions and Voices Medals at the regional level. National award winners attend the ceremony at Carnegie Hall, with sponsored monetary rewards and scholarship opportunities varying by genre and sponsor.

Cost: Entry fees of $10 per individual entry or $30 for a portfolio, with waivers available for eligible applicants.

Location: Virtual


In this unique challenge, teams conduct a global science experiment using a soil simulant to explore crop growth in lunar or Martian conditions. Along with the 5kg bag of soil simulant, teams receive a pH meter, ten KN95 masks, ten pots, and access to the PTMC guide. Teams can consist of up to 10 students, emphasizing the scientific method and design process. Following a 10-week period, teams submit project reports, contributing to research on sustainable food sources for space missions. All participants are invited to a virtual symposium with NASA scientists.


Eligibility: High school students from all over the world can participate.

Application Deadline: December 19, 2023 (international registration closes), January 14, 2024 (normal registration closes)

Competition Dates:

Prizes: Best in Show Awards

Cost: Team registration fee of $405 covering up to 10 students and one kit. The cost of any supplemental materials used by teams is not covered.

Location: Virtual


ACSL, in its 46th continuous year, organizes computer programming and science contests for K-12 institutions globally. In the last season, around 8,000 students from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia engaged in regular competitions. The season comprises four online contests, evaluating fundamental computer science concepts. Topics range from Number Systems to Digital Electronics, with upper divisions featuring programming challenges in Python, C++, or Java. Learn more about this competition in our guide here.


Eligibility: Elementary, middle, or high school students can apply. Please ensure your school has registered for the competition.

Application Deadline: December 31, 2023

Competition Dates:

  • Contest 1: November 1, 2023 to January 14, 2024

  • Contest 2: January 2, 2024 to March 3, 2024

  • Contest 3: February 5, 2024 to April 7, 2024

  • Contest 4: March 11, 2024 to May 12, 2024

Prizes: Prizes (undisclosed) and certificates

Cost: Registration cost for the first team in a Division is $150 ($100 for the Elementary Division), while additional teams in a Division are $75 each ($50 each for the Elementary Division). Each team is allowed a maximum of 12 students.

Location: Virtual


The UN World Wildlife Day Art Contest is a prestigious global competition for high school students who have a passion for wildlife conservation. Participants are encouraged to focus on a species that has thrived due to collaborative efforts. Artwork may explore the contributions of local leaders, scientists, governments, or communities dedicated to conserving biodiversity. Submissions, created with markers, crayons, colored pencils, and/or paint, are welcomed.


Eligibility: High school students from all over the world

Submission Deadline: To be announced for 2024

Prizes: The winning entry will be presented at the World Wildlife Day Event on March 3rd, 2023

Cost: No cost

Location: Virtual


EngineerGirl’s annual contest focuses on engineering’s impact. The 2024 Writing Contest prompts students to explore the lifecycle of an object used daily. Entries, up to 1,200 words, can adopt first or third-person perspectives, emphasizing at least three engineering disciplines. Winners will be announced in the summer. Judging criteria will consider the presentation of engineering, perspectives considered, and the quality of writing. Read more about this competition in this PDF.


Eligibility: Elementary, middle school, and high school students can register.

Submission Deadline: February 1, 2024

Prizes: For each age group, first-place winners will be awarded $1,000, second-place entries will be awarded $750, and third-place entries will be awarded $500

Cost: No cost

Location: Virtual


The AAN Neuroscience Research Prize encourages high school students to explore neuroscience through research, recognizing scientific talent and potential contributions to the field. Entries undergo two rounds of review by a panel of neuroscience professionals. The application includes an abstract (300 words max), research report, bibliography, and confirmation from a parent/guardian, teacher, and mentor. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about this research prize.


Eligibility: Students must be enrolled in secondary school (grades 9–12) in the United States, regardless of age.

Submission Deadline: To be announced for 2024

Prizes: Winners will receive a $1,000 prize, a certificate of recognition, and the opportunity to present their work during a scientific poster session at AAN’s 76th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Cost: Each winner and their parent or mentor will receive coach airfare, two nights hotel, $100 per diem for expenses (up to two days), and complimentary meeting registration.

Location: Virtual.


ChemiCo is an international Olympiad-style Chemistry competition. Covering subjects like stoichiometry calculations, reactions, the periodic table, atomic structure, chemical bonding, and experimental chemistry, the competition spans languages such as English, Russian, French, Portuguese, and Romanian. With over 5,000 entries from 40+ countries, ChemiCo offers global participation. Check out sample questions to help you prepare for the competition as well as school tests!

Eligibility: Students from 7–12 grade, regardless of age.

Registration Deadline: To be announced for 2024

Competition Dates: Not disclosed. 5 competitions run virtually throughout the year in Spring and Fall.

Prizes: Cash prizes, certificates, awards

Location: Virtual

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize by The Kenyon Review is a prestigious competition for high school sophomores and juniors worldwide. Named after former editor Patricia Grodd, it provides a platform for emerging poets to showcase their talent and gain recognition from a renowned literary magazine. The contest offers valuable support and serves as a launching pad for young writers to pursue their creative aspirations in literature.


Eligibility: Must be high school sophomores and juniors.

Submission Deadline: November 30, 2023.

Prizes: Winning and runners-up poems will be published in The Kenyon Review, and the winner will receive a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop.

Cost: No cost

Location: Virtual


The World Historian Student Essay Competition is open internationally to students in grades K–12 from public, private, and parochial schools, as well as those in home-study programs. Each participant must submit a 1000-word essay on one of the provided topics, delving into its personal significance and its connection to world history. Papers will be judged on a clear thesis, well-supported with specific examples, critical thinking, effective organization, and the student’s ability to convey a personal connection and transformative experience with the study of world history. Learn more about this essay competition in our dedicated blog.


Eligibility: Students from kindergarten to grade 12 can participate.

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2024

Prizes: $500 prize to winners in addition to a one-year membership in the WHA.

Cost: No cost

Location: Virtual. Submissions can be via email or post.


AMC stands as one of the largest and most prestigious math competitions globally, attracting over 300,000 students each year. The AMC 10 and AMC 12 are 25-question, 75-minute multiple-choice exams in high school mathematics, aimed at fostering problem-solving skills. The AMC 10 is for students in 10th grade and below, covering the high school curriculum up to the 10th grade. The AMC 12 includes the entire high school curriculum, excluding calculus. We’ve covered more on how the AMC 10/12 is structured and scored, as well as how to study for it in our guide here.


Eligibility: Students in grade 10 or below and under 17.5 years old on the contest day can participate in AMC 10. students in grade 12 or below, under 19.5 years old can participate in AMC 12.

Application Deadline: To be announced for 2024

Competition Dates: To be announced for 2024

Prizes: Certificates and award pins

Cost: $128 registration fee for schools

Location: Virtual


Additionally, you can also work on independent research in AI, through Veritas AI's Fellowship Program!


Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. 


These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 


The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here

Location: Virtual

Cost

  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 



If you are interested in doing university-level research to pair with your competitive experience, consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1–1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: MAA AMC logo


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