NICERC hosts a variety of competitions that engage students in STEM and 21st century skills through authentic applications in technology and liberal arts. These competitions highlight the students’ STEM skills and demonstrate the application of those skills in various fields. Competitions are another means of empowering teachers to engage students; and, as such, NICERC encourages professional development programs which leverage these competitions.
Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) is a series of four competitions for students in grades 4-12. The competitions build upon one another and allow students to showcase their STEM skills by competing against other students in their division (elementary school, middle school, and high school) in a series of STEM and liberal arts challenges. The hands-on challenges serve a dual purpose: introduce STEM concepts and its many applications and reinforce STEM fundamentals learned in the classroom. Learn more.
The Shell Eco-marathon is a competition that highlights students' accomplishments in developing their STEM skills, challenging them to develop more fuel efficient vehicles from scratch. NICERC has sponsored northwest Louisiana high schools and university teams in previous years. Learn more.
The Mini-Urban Challenge is a national competition sponsored by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory that challenges high school students to design and operate a robotic car to autonomously navigate a model city. The cars are developed using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education kits that are provided to high school teams free of charge. Learn more.
Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of team events, which students prepare for during the year. These challenging and motivational events are well balanced between the various science disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics and technology. There is also a balance between events requiring knowledge of science concepts, process skills and science applications. In addition, during the day there are open house activities that consist of science and mathematics demonstrations, activities and career counseling sessions conducted by professors and scientists at the host institution occurring concurrently with the events.Learn more.