Pennsylvania is home to some of the most technologically diverse and scientifically sophisticated companies in the world. With these avenues for employment existing in our communities, it is important that students develop an understanding of STEM concepts and gain STEM competencies. The Governor’s PA STEM Competition is an annual themed academic contest for students in grades 9-12 that is focused on exposing students to STEM concepts, skills, and occupations. This year’s theme is “Improving Pennsylvania through STEM.” The purpose of the competition is to increase STEM-related educational opportunities for students at the regional and state levels. Furthermore, the PA STEM Competition intends to raise awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.
Teams of high school students from across the Commonwealth are challenged to select a real-world problem, conduct research, design, build and present a device that is capable of making the quality of life better for citizens of Pennsylvania.
Throughout the challenge, students engage with their local community to learn about STEM careers and the skills necessary to be employable and successful in STEM-related Pennsylvania industries. Developing solutions to problems rooted in the community will build the skills necessary for students to be successful in postsecondary STEM opportunities. To culminate the experience, students present their device and findings to a panel of judges. The challenge tests the teams’ communication, problem-solving, critical thinking skills and creativity, while providing a unique opportunity to share their creativity with students from across the state.
2021-22 Competition Details
State Competition Only
There will be no Regional Competition held by the Intermediate Units for the 2021-22 school year. Instead, teams will compete in the State Competition only, which will take place virtually in April 2022.
The competition will consist of two divisions:
- Division 1: Those who competed in the STATE COMPETITION in the last 5 years
- Division 2: Those who have not competed in the STATE COMPETITION in the last 5 years
Each registered team will be provided with a $600 stipend to fabricate a prototype of their device. Registered teams that do not produce a submission and compete in the state competition will be required to return the full stipend amount as noted on the webpage. Learn more about the stipend or how to remit those funds.
November 19, 2021
Deadline for teacher advisor to register via the competition website, make commitment for school's participation, and submit information on students/team members for the competition.
Now through April 18, 2022
Teams will be working on both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the competition. These phases include the written proposal and device/prototype presentation. If you are unsure of the options offered to your team, please see the virtual presentation options sent out to advisors in December. If there are questions for the STEM team, please email email@example.com. Phase 1 and 2 components will be due no later than Friday, April 18 at 9:00 pm.
April 8, 2022 - April 25, 2022
Judges will start reviewing and scoring team projects, which are due to be submitted by 9:00 pm on April 18th. The judges will be placed in regional groups by division and will be given a random group of projects to view and score. The top project from each group of judges will be selected based on the scoring rubric.
April 25, 2022
The top teams (one team from each set of judges) will be notified that their project will advance to the final round of judging, starting on April 25. The remaining teams that did not place in the top four teams will be notified accordingly.
Note: Three special awards have been developed to honor contributions made to the Commonwealth that will impact the medical, sustainability, and survivability needs of all citizens of Pennsylvania. Each project has been placed into one of three categories (medical, sustainability, survivability) based on their project description submitted to the STEM team. The three teams will be notified that their project has been awarded one of these category awards.
April 25, 2022 - May 6, 2022
The top projects in each region per division that are advancing to final judging will be viewed and scored by all state competition judges. These projects will be given the title of Grand Champion (1st place), First Runner Up (2nd place), Second Runner Up (3rd place), and Third Runner Up (4th place).
Who is eligible to participate?
The competition is open to students in grades 9 through 12 who attend a public, charter, or private school, a career and technical education center, or a student being homeschooled in Pennsylvania.
Does the Governor's STEM Competition cost anything to enter?
No. Registered teams will receive a one-time $600 to cover the costs of materials for their project/prototype. Any team that drops out prior to the competition will be required to return the stipend in its entirety. For more information, please visit the funding page.
How many students can enter on one team?
A team consists of up to five (5) students in grades 9-12.
Can my home-schooled student(s) be on a team?
Yes. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Do team members have to be from the same school?
How do I know when submissions/deadlines are due and approaching?
Please view the "Important Dates to Remember" section of this page.
For more FAQs, please visit the About section of the Governor's STEM website and scroll to the FAQ section.