All entries in all categories share the same set of basic rules which can be reviewed or downloaded in the General Requirements article

Each individual category has an additional set of recommendations and guidelines, and a category specific rubric which are available by category below.

Additionally, all category descriptions and recommendations, and all rubrics can be downloaded as PDF documents at the Judging Information article.

Environmental and Agricultural Innovation Logo Environmental or Agricultural Innovation

The Environmental/Agricultural Innovation category is intended to provide a means of sharing environmentally and/or agriculturally innovative ideas.

These ideas may be new products, procedures, inventions, promotional projects, community events, etc.

Invention Icon Invention

The Invention Category is intended to provide a general area for an innovative solution to a problem, or a new single item invention.

The category description covers the illustrative design detail, the understanding of the invention's use and benefits, and design prototype construction.

Reverse Engineering Logo Reverse Engineering

The Reverse Engineering Category is intended to provide a means of discovery of engineering concepts and methods

The participant must take something apart and learn how it works, then explain it!

Robotics and Computer Science Icon Robotics & Computer Science

A robot is a mechanical agent that can perform tasks automatically. Similarly computer science is the design of software that can perform tasks. Computer software and robots can both be operated automatically, semi-autonomous, or remotely controlled. 

Robotics and Computer Science development teach practical engineering, technology, and math concepts.

Rube Goldberg Icon Rube Goldberg

The Rube Goldberg Category is intended to provide a means of discovery of physics and engineering concepts and methods.

The category description covers the device construction, the use of simple machines, and the written sequence requirements

Science Fiction Logo Science Fiction

The Science Fiction category is intended to provide a means of sharing fictional science. Good science fiction defines or declares alternative physical rules or thought processes for the environment, and then is consistent to those rules throughout the story.

Additionally, good science fiction has a good story!

The category includes not only written Science Fiction stories, but videos, plays, radio shows, graphic novels, etc.

Scientific Inquiry Logo Scientific Inquiry

Scientific Inquiry is the basic experimentation category.

The items pertaining to this category cover Scientific Methodology, Research, Hypothesis, Experiment Design, Data Collection and Analysis.

Special Categories

STEM Expo may offer awards in special or extra areas (categories) for entries that show a focus on these particular aspects in their project.