Academic Competitions and Events

Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition

Each year, the Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition encourages scientific understanding of real-world issues and the integration of environmentally responsible energy sources.

·         The 2018 Challenge: “Solving Climate Change” asks students to develop a clean technology solution to the problems associate with climate change.

·         Teams consist of 1-3 students, are assisted by a Team Leader (i.e. parent, teacher, or mentor), to develop a written proposal.

·         No limit to the number of teams per school!

·         There is no entry fee.

·         Online registration begins November 20th!

·         First Round Paper Submissions are due April 20, 2018.

·         10 Finalist Teams are selected, given a $200 (USD) stipend and matched with a Mentor to help them prepare a Prototype and presentation for the Finalist Event.

·         Finalists compete for the $10,000 (USD) grand prize and ‘Continued Mentorship’

·         Final event to happen at Stony Brook University, NY, USA July 13, 2018!

For more information, visit the website at

Biogen SPARK Video Contest

If you are interested in the science of genetic mutations and enjoy making videos, you might consider getting involved in Biogen's SPARK video contest.  The contest is open to high school and middle school students in Massachusetts and North Carolina (where Biogen operates) and each school can submit two student videos into the contest.  The videos must be between 30 seconds and 3 minutes - there are a set of rules to be followed but they are not too complicated - pretty much just make a video about genetic mutations.  Prizes of up to $10,000 will be awarded to the schools of the winning videos!

For complete information and short video about the contest, visit the website link at 

Since each school is only allowed to submit two videos, any participating Andover High student will need to let Dr. Sanborn know if they are participating so that we can figure out which ones to submit if there are more than 2 videos submitted.  All students with videos seeking submission from Andover High should submit their video to Dr. Sanborn by Halloween Day (October 31).  Selected videos will be submitted to the contest in early November.  Please read the rules of the contest carefully if you intend to participate - judging criteria are included there.  

Women of Science Competition - December 9, 2017

The 2017 Women of Science Competition will be held on Saturday, December 9 at Bedford High School.  The competition involves about forty teams of junior and senior high school women competing in four science and engineering events.  All events involve knowledge based in the areas of biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, math, and physics.  Teams compete as a group in each of the four events.  Andover High has competed in each of the past two years. 

Andover High can register up to two teams for the competition - if you are interested fielding a team, please contact Dr. Sanborn, Science Program Coordinator, as soon as possible as the registration fills up fast.  For more information about the event, visit the website at

Project Green Challenge - Register now - PGC begins begins October 1

Beginning on October 1, 2017, Project Green Challenge (PGC) engages high school and college students globally. This powerful and diverse call to action features 30 days of environmentally-themed challenges, providing students with mentorship, advocacy, and leadership skills.  PGC aims to touch lives, shift mindsets, and equip students with knowledge, resources and mentorship to lead change that causes a powerful ripple effect on campuses and communities worldwide.

Through conscious living, informed consumption, and individual and collective action, PGC participants are challenged to contribute to a healthy, just, and thriving planet.  

Since launching in 2011, this initiative has engaged over 30,000 students directly and tens of millions indirectly, on more than 2,000 campuses in all 50 states and 45 countries.

For more information, visit

The Future of Technology 2017 Essay Competition - submit by Oct 20, 2017


Context: As a student and teenager, you use technology every day. Technology has probably changed a lot over the course of your experience and lifetime.
The Writing Prompt: Reflect on how technology touches your life and how rapid advancements might change the way we live, learn, work or connect with others in the future.  (600 words or less)

The winning US students, and one parent for each, will be flown to Washington DC for the Future of Technology Summit conference day, November 2, and will be provided two nights accommodation in DC.

  To enter, go to the competition website at and select the Submit Essay button. The entry code for AHS is vqrwcg .

For more information, visit the contest website at

The 2017 Lexus Eco Challenge

The contest is broken into three main parts:

  • The Land & Water Challenge: 8/14/17–10/16/17
  • The Air & Climate Challenge: 10/18/17–12/11/17
  • The Final Challenge (invitation only, open to winners of the previous two challenges): 1/22/18–3/5/18

The Lexus Eco Challenge gets students involved in project-based learning, teamwork, and skill building as they identify an environmental issue that affects their community, use their critical-thinking and research skills to come up with a solution, and report on the results by way of an Action Plan. Teams of five to ten students look to the Challenge Planner for time-management guidance, and are led by one or two Teacher Advisors—who are full-time teachers employed at the school (not volunteers or parents) — to help their community while getting a chance to compete for scholarships and grants.  

For more information, visit the contest website at

2017 Harvard Science Research Conference (HSRC) held at Harvard University from Saturday, October 7 through Sunday, October 8.

HSRC is a two-day conference for high school students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) who are passionate in the sciences, hosted on Harvard’s campus and led by Harvard students and staff. The conference will entail a series of keynote speeches, workshops, and mentoring sessions designed to encourage and promote interest in the natural sciences as well as research. Conference participants will attend presentations by renowned Harvard professors and participate in workshops on important skills such as public speaking or resume writing. Students will also interact closely with extraordinary current Harvard students in the sciences, many of whom have won top accolades from competitions such as the Intel Science Talent Search and the Siemens Competition.

Although there is a competitive application for the conference, we wish to encourage all students to apply, and we emphasize that no prior research experience is necessary. HSRC is simply intended for students who have demonstrated interests in the sciences to learn more, and our short application should not be seen as a barrier for any students.

We are pleased to announce that our three confirmed 2017 HSRC keynote speakers include Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology Dr. Florian Engert, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology Dr. Christina Woo, and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology Dr. Venkatesh Murthy. Previous HSRC keynote speakers include Dr. Matthew Shair, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, and Dr. Andrew Berry, Lecturer in Integrative Biology at Harvard University.

Deadline for registration is Monday, September 25 - for more information and to register, visit .

Future of Technology (FOT) Essay Competition

Essay topic:  The Future of Technology

Context:  As a student and teenager, you use technology every day.  Technology has probably changed a lot over the course of your experience and lifetime.

The Writing Prompt: Reflect on how technology touches your life and how rapid advancements might change the way we live, learn, connect, or work with others in the future.

You might want to consider:

  • How might technology of the future differ from technology today?
  • How might people or the environment benefit from these technological advancements?
  • Are advancements in technology always good?  How might they create new social challenges or problems?

You should base your answers around today’s fields of technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, etc., or use your imagination to describe completely new technologies you see impacting the future.

Word Limit: Essays must be kept to 600 words or less.  Essays above this word count will not be eligible.

Deadline to submit essay – Friday, October 20, 2017.  See Dr. Sanborn for Andover High Schools entry code.

For more information, visit the contest website at and let Dr. Sanborn know of your interest – the contest organizers occasionally send out support information and guidance via emails that I can forward to you if I know you are interested.

Women in Engineering and Computing Career Day for High School Girls*
Monday, October 23rd, 2017
Lincoln Campus Center, UMass Amherst
8:30 am to 1:30 pm (optional tours 1:30 - 2:45 pm)

Hands-on breakout activities are still being finalized an will be announced soon. Registrants will have the opportunity to select their top choices if they provide an email to do so during registration.

* While the event is geared towards high school girls, boys are welcome to attend

***You will also receive an invite directly from Eventbrite ***

Students are $20. A limited number of student scholarships are available: Please contact Paula Rees with scholarship inquiries ( Chaperones (teachers/counselors) and industry exhibitors are free.

Registration Process:

1. ALL - Follow this link to Register: Take the Survey or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:

 Register Early! Spaces fill fast. Last day to register: October 15th, 2017 or until space fills

2. Students/Schools Only - Make arrangement to pay.

Highlights of the Day:

This event is designed specifically for high school girls interested in engineering and computing. It is most appropriate for sophomores and juniors, but freshman and seniors may also find it valuable. Up to 10 students may attend per school. While the day is targeted for high school women, all are welcome. Highlights of the day include:

  • Hands-on engineering and computing activities
  • Industry panel and exhibit tables/demonstrations of state-of-the-art technology
  • Information about career opportunities in engineering and computing
  • Talk by alumna Dr. Gillian Gregory, GEI Consulting Engineers and Scientists
  • Lunch with college students, professors, engineers, and computer scientists
  • Optional tours of engineering & computer science labs
  • Opportunity to meet H.S. women like you from across the Commonwealth

A draft agenda is attached. Updates will be available on the web at: