#BrightSchools Competition Your Middle Schooler Could Win a $5,000 STEM Award!

2015 October 5

This post is brought to you by VolunteerSpot & The Bright Schools Competition.

There is a new Middle School STEM competition coming your way.  It’s called the Bright Schools Competition.

Think about that name for a second. Bright? Well of course, because my new middle schooler is a bright kid, right? (I’m sure yours is too.) Plus he’s all things STEM so I’m intrigued about this new competition.

But there’s also a second play on the word bright here, because the competition specifically asks kids to learn and test how light affects student’s sleep and vice versa. Especially as sleep and light affect their daily school performance and overall health.

Think about it like a science fair competition specifically on one topic:

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have joined together to inspire student achievement in science through the new Bright Schools Competition; a STEM competition targeted to students in grades 6-8. The competition is a new learning experience created to help students, parents and teachers explore the link between light and sleep and how it influences student health and performance.

#BrightSchools Competition with VolunteerSpot and NTSA NSF how light affects sleep STEM

Raising a Science Nerd, Takes One to Know One!

My little boy (okay he’s a not-so-little 11 year old 6th grader) but back when he found out his older sisters in Middle and High School had WHOLE classes devoted just to science and separate teachers and projects he was excited –and jealous! As early as Kindergarten he began to express interest in science topics.

He knew I worked in a research lab back in my former life before kids. And that was enough for him to begin dreaming about one day becoming a scientist himself. Lately his favorite subject is physics; be careful what you ask him about buoyancy BTW—he won’t let you walk away until he has shown you exactly what he means. Soaking my whole kitchen in the process!

#BrightSchools Competition middle schoolers STEM Contest with VolunteerSpot and NTSA NSF

 

When he was barely able to read he would only bring home what he called “Project Books” from the library. He literally checked out every single book of science experiment projects on our small-town library shelves.

Fast forward a few years. My older teenagers’ busy lives have taken over. No one gets enough sleep… well maybe the dog? Between cross country practice and meets, marching band insanity (don’t get me started), Little League and oh yeah… that funny thing called homework… I’m watching my Freshman turn off her bedroom light way more often than I would like after midnight. She stresses about grades (bless her) and wants to fit in social time as well as varsity Cross Country as one of the youngest girls on her team.

Overdoing it all a bit, ya think??
Try telling my kids that. GOOD LUCK.

I would be interested to see where the link between LACK of sleep paired with lack of sunlight fits into the health of my active tween and teen? And who better to create a science project out of that question than 6th, 7th and 8th grade middle schoolers?

 #BrightSchools Competition with VolunteerSpot and NTSA NSF 2

The Bright Schools Competition is designed for students in grades 6-8. Registration is now open and the submission deadline is January 29, 2016. For more information on the competition, including eligibility requirements, visit www.BrightSchoolsCompetition.org.

A Few more Points about the #BrightSchools Competition

  • Lack of exposure to natural light and other forms of short-wavelength light during the day has been shown to shorten sleep time for school-aged children. Without the recommended 9-11 hours of sleep, students are more likely to experience behavior problems, from rule breaking to depression and anxiety. Students who are well-rested experience are more creative, have more self-control and perform better in school.
  • Sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation, in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, the Bright Schools Competition will also give students the opportunity to receive a positive and enduring Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) experience.
  • The Bright Schools Competition is designed for students in grades 6-8. Registration is now open and the submission deadline is January 29, 2016. For more information on the competition, including eligibility requirements, visit www.BrightSchoolsCompetition.org.

BrightSchoolsCompetition.org—Click to Learn more about the Competition, timing and goals. Then go tell your middle school science teachers!

 

#BrightSchools Competition with VolunteerSpot and NTSA NSF

Prizes? Well yes!

The Bright Schools Competition is pleased to share that the following awards are given to students of the winning teams.

All students receive an entry certificate to acknowledge their hard work in the competition.

  • First Place: each student on the winning team receives a cash prize of $5,000
  • Second Place: each student on the winning team receives a cash prize of $2,500
  • Third Place: each student on the winning team receives a cash prize of $1,500

 

Disclosure: Thoughts, opinions and sleep-deprived kids are all my own.

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