Greetings Students and Families

STEM College Admissions Planning- Competitions, Extracurriculars & STEM Engagement

TO DO NOW: 8th to 11th Grade families

What’s your STEM strategic educational and college admissions plan. This spring students will submit their course requests for the 2022-23 academic year. This is an opportunity to stretch outside your comfort zone yet to avoid overextending.
As noted in several of my previous blogs, your transcript/curriculum is the most important factor in preparing for your success both as a student and during the college admissions process.
  • Are you taking too many AP classes or are you avoiding a challenge? STEM students should at minimum complete 1-2 AP/IB science classes and Pre-Calculus/AP Calculus. In my AP Newsletter I suggest how AP CS, AP Stats, AP Psych and/or AP Economics might also be relevant given specific academic interests.

  • I often speak with students who step-off their mathematics track and don’t recognize that all STEM majors will require Calculus as undergraduates.
If you’re pre-med — you will need one year of calculus to apply to nearly all medical schools.
If you’re a business-school student- most majors require at least a year of calculus and statistics.
Aspiring engineers should plan on three semesters of calculus, linear aleg., statistics, differential equations, etc.
GAME DESIGNER_- guess what??– the concepts in your high school geometry classes will continue into some of your advanced math classes on topology .
  • POINT!! MATH MATH MATH–This is one foundation not to avoid during high school as the foundation is essential to required undergraduate curriculum ahead!!
STEM applicants are expected to show evidence of their interest in their major- acquired thru not only coursework but competitions in science, math, programming and more.
Independent research can be sparked by a number of outstanding summer collegiate research programs. These programs are highly selective and the chances of gaining a spot are enhanced by success in less selective entry-point programs in summers following 9th/10th grades as well as participation in Robotics, Math Team, HOSA, Hackathons and other locally based high school teams.
Here are some of my favorites- and I can help you target the right competitions and understand the research protocols for student submission.

STEM Competitions

 for High School Students- -STEM College Admissions

Regeneron Science Talent Search: One of the prestigious math and science competition.
Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology: individual or team projects, fostering intensive research. Scholarship prizes range from $1,000 to $100,000.
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair: this is the world’s largest international, pre-college science competition
eCYBERMISSION: this is a web-based STEAM competition for sixth- through ninth-grade students. Students work in teams.
ExploraVision: this is a science competition for teams grades K-12 to describe what technology might look like in the future,
Junior Science & Humanities Symposia: this contest connects high school students with mentors from the Army, Navy, and Air Force to promote original research
Imagine Cup: win up to $100,000 in Microsoft’s premier international competition  in coding, software, and design.
FIRST Tech Challenge: An offshoot of FIRST Robotics with monetary prizes
The Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge: this STEM competition as well as entrepreneurship to develop extraordinary and viable solutions to benefit our world –wide range of applications.
Google Science Fair: This is not one to do solo- you need a great science mentor.
Science Olympiad: covers genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering, and technology.
Imagine the Future Youth Video Challenge: this contest where students envision a better world by 2042. Submit a short video to describe your solution, focusing on science, technology, art, or design.
National STEM Video Game Challenge: this competition asks students to submit original video games and game design concepts in platforms like GameMaker, Gamestar Mechanic, Scratch, and Unity.
  • AEOP – The Army Education Outreach Program on Army-sponsored STEM programs
  • Google Science Fair – This is a science and technology competition for anyone, team or individual, around the world ages 13-18. Participants are rewarded for being creative, inspiring, and designing projects that will make an impact on local or global communities.
  • Stockholm Junior Water Prize – The Water Environment Federation has created a competition for students in grades 9-12 who have conducted a water-science research project.
  • FIRST Lego League –
  • Technology Student Association – typically a high school sponsored club
  • Verizon App Challenge – In this competition,
  • create a mobile app that solves a problem in their community
  • FIRST Robotics – team based competition sponsored by high schools or private clubs within communities- complete list of available clubs at the link
  • Caribou Mathematics Competition – There are six online competitions held throughout the year offered for students in grades 3-12.
  • CleanTech – R&D a product that will deal with an environmentally related issue.
NASA Contests  SOME FOR ARTISTS others STEM – Essay , inputs etc….
Is “Dual Enrollment” actually the right “fit” for you based on your educational plans and potential undergraduate major?
Please don’t take classes simply for the purpose of raising your GPA. Selected electives should offer authentic learning opportunities that push you to discover something new that you CANNOT accomplish at your high school.
  • STEM undergraduate majors are among the most challenging and a firm academic grounding acquired throughout high school will prepare you for success as an undergraduate. Many of the STEM dual enrollment classes – especially those offered online or at a 2-year institution are recognized as less challenging and should NEVER be used as a substitute for taking the equivalent class if available at your high school.
  • College admissions will FROWN upon a college application that shows you opted out of AP Chem for senior priv – and took your math or science online or in the local campus when AP Calculus or AP Chemistry were offered at your high school.


A Different Question from COLLEGE CHOICE

College Admissions Planning: HOW TO SELECT A COLLEGE and A MAJOR That "FITs" YOU!


It’s Unique, Multi-disciplinary and Highly Selective!

Financial Aid, FAFSA & Scholarships-- College Application Help- What to Know!
STEM is changing our world and it’s quite more expansive than a traditional path into engineering, medical school or the science lab.
WHAT STEM major “fits” you- it may be an interdisciplinary program that leverages your personal interests and academic strengths.
STEM pre-college academic advising should prepare students for academic success as an undergraduate while guiding you to appropriate ways to set yourself apart from others during the STEM college admissions process.
The complete list of STEM majors and careers contains dozens of selections and extends far beyond the courses you’ve explored in your high school AP, AICE or IB classes.
Given your interests and strengths, or perhaps there is an area you have yet to uncover, let me guide you to the discovery of unique and cutting-edge STEM majors.
You’ll be surprised to know that there are STEM majors for students who enjoy the “Liberal Arts” and for students with overlapping interests in business, social sciences and even the fine arts.
A variety of fields have been influenced by the analytical approaches and scientific techniques taught in STEM programs. Collaboration taking place within multi-disciplinary teams is the direction of future innovation in all fields.


Does your student have an Educational & College Admissions Plan? On Target?
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Personalized Educational & College Admissions Services
South Florida 561.509.0021
Boulder/Denver 720.737.9944
Nationwide Online 833.MY.ESSAY
Experience the Difference!
 Expert Knowledge & Caring Support
STEM, Business, Humanities, Creative Arts
Joyful? Motivated?
Build your personalized Educational & College Admissions Plan!

College Consultant Bonnie Rabin with STEM student and College Admissions Acceptance Letters

Congrats!!! A SAMPLE of our recent College Acceptances Include:
UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, UPenn, Princeton, Cornell, U. Michigan, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Barnard, Columbia, Smith, Stanford, University of North Carolina, Vassar, Brown, Bowdoin, Wellesley, USC, Emory, U.Illinois, Notre Dame, NYU, Rice, University of Chicago, Washington University (WUSTL), Drexel, Tulane, London School of Economics, Purdue, Swarthmore, SCAD, Ohio, Georgetown, Hamilton, Reed, Miami, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida, University of Arizona, Penn State, Villanova, Northeastern, SUNY-ESF, St. Johns, Embry-Riddle, Colgate, Fordham, Columbia, Barnard, Syracuse, Swarthmore, Pittsburgh, Dickinson, Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, Duke, Case Western, Rochester Institute of Technology, Parsons, Virginia Tech, Boston U., Hobart & William Smith, Claremont Mckenna, Davidson, Westpoint, Gettysburg, Amherst, Temple, Denison, Howard, UT Austin, SUNY-Binghamton, Hamilton, George Washington, American, Indiana, SMU, James Madison, and many more!…