2024 STEM Competition Open Now for Teens 13-16

Phillipe Cousteau Jr.'s nonprofit EarthEco International is inviting submissions from United States teens aged 13-16 to compete in the 2024 OurEcho STEM Challenge. The challenge goal is for proposals to identify local ecological threats to biodiversity and propose solutions to protect or repair them.

Applications from U.S. individuals or teams of up to three will be open through March 1, 2024. Teams can enter directly without an adult teacher or mentor this year. Although entries can be supported with free resources from the OurEcho Challenge, such resources are not required to enter. There is no cost to submit an entry.

EarthEcho will select 10 finalist teams in April 2024 to compete for project grants to bring their proposals to reality. Three individuals or teams will be awarded grant awards of $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000 to develop their projects.

The challenge references United Nations sources indicating that "animal and plant species are declining at an alarming rate," and lists wildlife and bird extinctions, human alteration of land and sea environments, pollinator loss, endangerment and loss of insect populations as some of the major threat outcomes.

This will be the fourth year of this challenge. Applicants are encouraged to read and watch videos about winning projects on this page from 2020, 2021, and 2023.

See the FAQ or more detailed information about the challenge rules.

"The innovation, creativity and passion displayed by OurEcho Challenge teams over the past three years is truly inspiring," said Stacey Rafalowski, EarthEco chief program officer. "We are confident that this year's applicants will build on this legacy of hope and ingenuity with projects that will move communities to protect the stunning diversity of species in their own backyards."

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.