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Top 5 AI Competitions for High School Students

Top 5 AI Competitions for high school students 2024

The Importance of AI Competitions for High School Students

AI competitions for high school students are essential for their academic and professional growth. These competitions provide a platform to develop critical technical and soft skills, such as programming, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication. By tackling real-world challenges, students gain practical experience and foster innovation and creativity. Participation in AI competitions also enhances college applications, offering scholarships, awards, and valuable networking opportunities with industry professionals. Moreover, these competitions promote STEM education, encourage diversity, and help students understand the ethical implications of AI. Overall, AI competitions prepare students for future careers and inspire them to pursue advanced studies in technology and related fields.

  • 1. World Artificial Intelligence Competition for Youth (WAICY):

    This international competition is open to students from all over the world and challenges them to showcase their AI projects. There are three tracks: AI Showcase, AI Generated Art, and AI Large Language Model.

    • Pros: It’s a great opportunity to compete against students from all over the world and get feedback from experts in the field of AI.
    • Cons: The competition is very competitive, so it’s important to start working on your project early. There is no monetary prize.
    • Strengths: Encourages creativity, problem-solving skills, and collaboration.
    • Why Participate: Gain recognition for your AI project and network with other AI enthusiasts.
    • Dates: December (tentative)
    • Cost: Free
    • Prizes: Awards but no monetary prize
    • Link: WAICY
  • 2. VEX AI Robotics Competition:

    VEX GPS, VEX LINK, and AI Vision System, and the resulting Sensor Fusion create an opportunity for students to take their autonomous robots a level up! The VEX AI Robotics Competition pushes the boundaries of robotics competitions. The game is separate from the V5RC and VURC competitions. This robotics competition challenges students to build robots that can function autonomously using AI. Students will need to be familiar with areas like motor planning, computer vision, and haptic feedback integration.

Here’s How it Works

    • Two Robots per Team – Each team brings two robots that they design and build to work as a team.
    • Parts – Teams can 3D print and machine parts. Teams can use custom electronics, and there are no motor quantity limits.
    • Grade-level – This game will be open to High School students and College students alike.
    • Registration – Season registration is $200 for the first team and $150 for each additional team within the same organization.
    • Hardware – The hardware kit needed to run VEX GPS, VEX LINK, an AI Vision System, and Sensor Fusion Map is available for purchase from VEX, SKU 276-8983.
    • Pros: A great way to learn about robotics and AI. Students will gain experience in problem-solving, teamwork, and engineering.
    • Cons: Requires a team and may require applying through your school or another organization.
    • Strengths: Hands-on learning experience that combines robotics and AI.
    • Why Participate: Develop practical engineering and AI skills.
    • Dates: Varies
    • Cost: Varies (may require purchasing a robot kit)
    • Prizes: Varied prizes
    • Link: VEX AI Robotics Competition
  • 3. Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning for Iterative Reasoning by SIGMA Lab hosted on AIcrowd:

    In this competition, you are challenged to design an algorithm that performs well in:

    • eliminating obviously bad actions in self-play, competing well against itself (multi-agent environment) 
    • minimizing regret and chasing reward on its own (single-agent/adversarial environment) 

    The challenge is posed to the research community as well as anybody interested in reinforcement learning. Top performing algoritms would both further academic work in learning and game theory, as well as indicate potential improvements to current applied strategies in recommendation, planning, and trading.

    Starting soon. Still time to participate.

AIcrowd is a platform that hosts a variety of AI challenges, including some that are specifically designed for high school students. Challenges may focus on tasks such as image recognition or object detection.

    • Pros: There are a variety of challenges to choose from, so you can find one that matches your interests and skill level.
    • Cons: The level of difficulty can vary depending on the challenge.
    • Strengths: Opportunity to work on real-world AI problems.
    • Why Participate: Gain experience with different AI techniques and tools.
    • Dates: Varies
    • Cost: Free or varies depending on the challenge
    • Prizes: Varied prizes
    • Link: SIGMA Lab on AIcrowd
  • 4. Numerai Signals Challenge:

    A platform that uses AI to predict the performance of hedge funds. The Numerai Signals Challenge is a competition where students can develop machine learning models to predict the success of hedge funds.

    • Pros: A unique opportunity to learn about machine learning and finance.
    • Cons: The competition is quite challenging and requires a strong understanding of machine learning.
    • Strengths: Teaches practical applications of AI in the financial sector.
    • Why Participate: Develop advanced machine learning skills and potentially earn real money.
    • Dates: Ongoing
    • Cost: Free
    • Prizes: Cash prizes up to $100,000
    • Link: Numer.AI
  • 5. Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior 2024: AI for Good

    Imagine Cup Junior is a global competition designed to introduce students aged 5-18 to technology and AI. It encourages them to develop creative solutions to real-world challenges using Microsoft Azure technologies. The program offers separate categories for different age groups, with a new category for students aged 13-18 focusing on “AI for Good.”

    • Pros:

      • Early exposure to AI and technology: Students learn about AI, machine learning, and other key technologies in a fun and engaging way.
      • Develops problem-solving and creative thinking skills: The challenge encourages students to think critically and develop innovative solutions to real-world problems.
      • Introduces students to potential career paths: Imagine Cup Junior can spark an interest in STEM fields and inspire students to pursue careers in technology.
      • Global competition platform: Students can compete against teams from around the world, fostering a sense of global citizenship.
      • Free to participate: There is no cost to register for the competition.
      • Multiple categories: A new category for students aged 5-12 allows younger students to participate in a beginner-friendly format.
      • Learning resources available: Microsoft provides a resource pack with tutorials and activities to help students prepare for the challenge.


      • Limited age range: The competition is only open to students aged 13-18,excluding older high school students.
      • Requires adult supervision: Participation involves a team leader (parent,teacher, etc.) over 18 to register and guide the team.
      • Focus on Microsoft technologies: Although not strictly required, projects are likely to benefit from utilizing Microsoft’s Azure platform.
      • No cash prizes (as of 2024): While winners receive recognition, mentorship, and travel opportunities, there are no cash prizes awarded.


      • Encourages teamwork and collaboration.
      • Promotes diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in technology solutions.
      • Focuses on real-world problem-solving through technology.

      Why Participate:

      • Gain valuable skills and experience in AI and technology.
      • Compete on a global stage and network with other young innovators.
      • Earn recognition and potential mentorship opportunities from Microsoft.
      • Spark an interest in STEM fields and potential career paths.


      Specific competition dates haven’t been announced yet, but previous editions have been held in December. Keep an eye on the Imagine Cup Junior website (https://imaginecup.microsoft.com/junior) for updates.


      Free to participate.


      • Winners receive recognition, mentorship opportunities, and potentially travel to regional or world championship events (depending on the competition stage).
      • No cash prizes awarded (as of 2024).
    • Link: AI for Good
  • 6. Watch out for a Big Announcement in this space by STEAM in AI coming very soon

Want to learn AI and have the opportunity to participate and win in these awesome AI Competitions?

Apply to Join the STEAM in AI Intensive Summer  Cohort 2024 today!