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.

Infernal Contraption Icon Infernal Contraptions

An Infernal Contraption  is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a simple task in a very complex fashion, usually in a chain reaction. The category is fashioned after the American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883-1970).

Intelligence & Behavior Icon Intelligence & Behavior

The Intelligence & Behavior Category covers the study of the mind and its processes. This includes psychology, philosophy, linguistics, anthropology and neuroscience. Scientists in these fields study how human systems represent, process, and transform information.

Living Things Logo Living Things

The Living Things category includes anything to do with living organisms. This includes microorganisms, plants, animals, and human beings as well as bioethics, medicine, molecular biology and biotechnology, etc. 

The Physical Universe The Physical Universe

The Physical Universe category covers the broad fields of chemistry, physics, earth science and space science.

Reverse Engineering & Invention Logo Reverse Engineering & Invention

The Reverse Engineering & Invention  category involves the understanding of how things work together in either a creative or evaluative manner. Reverse engineering is to take something apart and analyze its workings, while invention involves creating something new. Both aspects focus on a product that solves a specific problem or need.

Robotics & Computation Icon Robotics & Computation

The Robotics & Computation category includes robotics, computer science and mathematical analysis or ideas. This includes such applied sciences as engineering, programming, and mechanical design and such formal sciences as mathematics, logic, and statistics.

Science Fiction Logo Science Fiction

Science Fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary, but more-or-less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic technology, space travel, aliens, etc.

Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas".

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.