Student STEM Competitions

The MOST organizes four design, build, and compete outreach programs and a regional science fair for students in the center of New York State from Canada to the Pennsylvania border. Students who live in the following counties are welcome to register for all the events: Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Jefferson, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga, and Tompkins.

Central New York Bridges Build ’Em & Bust ’Em

The Central New York Bridges: Build ’Em and Bust ’Em bridge building competition provides 4th – 12th grade students a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activity. This event gives students an opportunity to test their ability in engineering, teamwork, and design.

Each team builds a balsa wood bridge to test the strength and durability of their design. Awards are presented to the four top teams in these categories:

  • Category I – Grades 4-6
  • Category II – Grades 7-8
  • Category III – Grades 9-12

LEARN MORE

Central New York Regional VEX IQ Robotics Challenge

The VEX IQ challenge uses a robotics kit of the same name that was designed to be simple and easy for students as young as 8 to use. Structural pieces snap together and come apart without tools, allowing for quick build times and easy modifications. A variety of gears, wheels and other accessories allows for customization of robots.

Each year’s team challenge is different and the team must accomplish a task with its robot they built and programmed. The event is open to elementary and middle school teams. Families of participants and the general public are invited to watch the competition.

The next VEX IQ Robotics Challenge is slated for Jan. 21, 2017.

Central New York Rocket Team Challenge

Middle and high school students build rockets from kits, paint them, and bring them to Syracuse University’s Skytop field the first Saturday in June for launching. Teams are judged on the quality of their construction, knowledge of the subject, how well they estimated their trajectory, and whether or not their “eggstronaut” survived its ride into the sky.

Awards are given in two categories: junior for grades 4 through 8 and senior for grades 9 through 12. The launches are fun to watch and the general public is invited to attend this free event.

The next rockets event is set for June 3, 2017.

Central New York Science & Engineering Fair

The MOST hosts its annual Central New York Science & Engineering Fair every March at SRC Arena on the Onondaga Community College campus. Students get the lifelong benefit of understanding science in a unique, hands-on way by actually performing an experiment of their own design or engineering a device or process.

There are two categories:

  • Junior, for fourth- through eighth-graders
  • Senior, ninth- through 12th graders

All students complete for awards that can include cash prizes. Senior-level students also compete for substantial college scholarships and an all-expenses paid trip to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.

The next science fair is scheduled for March 26, 2017. Click here for more details, advice on conducting a science fair experiment, and more.

Central New York Steamboat Challenge

Students in middle and high school build a boat out of recycled materials that runs on steam created by the heat of a tea candle. They race against each other in two-team heats in side-by-side, water-filled lanes, and the top finishers race in the finals. Awards are given in two categories, Junior and Senior.

The 2016 CNY Steamboat Challenge was held Oct. 15, 2016. See the complete results.

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