(Even though it is April 2020, due to the covid-19 pandemic, I have decided to begin making student-guided improvements to the 2020-21 6th/8th Science Talent Class)
Welcome to Science Talent 2020-21! 
** This site contains all the information you will need this year!
Science Talent Program and Requirements

Over the past six years,  the 6th/8th Grade Science Talent program has offered our Bay Academy students the opportunity to compete in science and science-related academic contests and competitions to better prepare them for the rigors of high school as well as real-life challenges and problem-solving scenarios. It is a Research & Development class that is unlike any science program in the NY City School system. Participation in these contests and competitions have placed The Bay Academy at the top both nationally and internationally, and brought our students thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, new team laptops, a personal 3-D printer for one lucky student and much more. In other words give it your all this year and you could be a big winner, too!

Science Talent students are required to participate in a number of competitions in each marking period to meet the class requirements that total “at least” 100 points. (You may do more to gain additional experience, but 100 is the highest grade you may earn). 

This year, we will be using the “3-M” rule of competing in academic and science contests and competitions: Major, Minor & Mandatory
  • Major – must complete one per trimester (worth at least 50 points)
  • Minor – no minimum to be completed (but will vary from 10 to 25 points)
  • Mandatory – 4 that are mandatory (and are worth 10 to 25 points)

All contests and competitions are listed in our 6th Grade Science Welcome Brochure which provides a brief introduction to activity. It is up to each student to do more “in-depth” research on their own time. Go to the websites, find our rules and dates (since your grade will depend on this documentation as well as your progress in each event). Timelines will be distributed to each student at the start of each marking period will be available at the start of the year when research may be done. Students choose the contests 

Students are responsible for choosing their competitions and doing the research, and that includes knowing the registration deadlines, contest rules, submission deadlines as well as when prizes will be awarded. So start now and choose events you think you will do best in.

** VIP (Very Important Point) – Once you choose an event and your parent signs off on it, you must complete that contests or competition. This is non-negotiable. If you don’t like it – or don’t understand it – then do not choose it. **
 In addition, ALL Science Talent students will be required to enter THREE MANDATORY COMPETITIONS: 
  • Future Engineers
  • Engineer Girls
  • Scranton Earth Day Essay Contest

Mandatory Competitions:

#1 – Future Engineers (A student favorite!)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) & Construction
  • Future Engineers is an education platform that hosts and develops design challenges for young innovators. Their site also offers you the opportunity to review lots of interesting resources from past competitions including a series of 3D Space Challenges developed in conjunction with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation and NASA.
  • The 2018 challenge was to create a digital 3-D model of an object that serves TWO functions on the International Space Station. Your design must be intended to be 3-D printed and used in two different ways.
  • Do you want to see who won themselves a brand new 3-D printer? Go to the website and check out Benjamin Nirenstein’s device! Yes, he was a BIG winner (and you can be, too!) I believe Ben is going for the win again this year, so give him a little competition 😉 
  • Registration Closes November 1, 2019
#2 – Engineer Girl (but not just for girls!) Mandatory Challenge
  • Writing, Academics (all areas of science), Design, Inventing
  • A contest dealing with engineering and its impact on our world.  Participants will create and submit an original essay that responds to a prompt on any number of topics: Safety, Health, Well-being, Environmental Sustainability, etc… of 600-1100 words.
  • Registration starts in the fall of each school year and submission of the essay is due on or about February 1st.
  • First-place winners will be awarded $500; Second-place entries will be awarded $250; Third-place entries will be awarded $100.
  • Click on his name here and scroll down to Middle School 6-8 and see our big winner, Nicholas Venezia
  • Registration Information will be posted on, or about, September 15, 2019
    #3 – University of Scranton Earth Day Essay

 This year’s contests and competitions!!

Newly Added Challenges:

The Paradigm Challenge (Major)
  • The Paradigm Challenge is an ongoing competition that invites students aged 4 to 18 around the world to use kindness, creativity, and collaboration to help solve real-life problems and make a difference.
Lexus Eco Challenge (Major)
  • Featuring three separate challenges, the Lexus Eco Challenge gets students involved in project-based learning, teamwork, and skill building as they work to develop a solution to an environmental issue that affects their community.
  • Calendar of Deadlines – But you must read the website… LOTS of information!
  • Let me know if you are interested… soon!!
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow (Major)
  • This nationwide contest is designed to boost interest and proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and challenges public school teachers and students in grades 6-12 to show how STEM can be applied to help improve their local community. National winners receive $100,000 in Samsung technology and classroom resources
Career Safe Video Contest
  • The contest challenges students from across the country to create a short video demonstrating safety in the workplace. 


Major Competitions:

New York Science Olympiad 
  • History – The Bay Academy is currently placed #1 in NYC and #3 in NY State.
  • Teams are tested in June of the current school year for the following year. Incoming 6th grade will be offered qualifying tests in September to be accepted on the team.
  • Building, Academics (all areas of science), Design, Inventing, etc…
  • Here is a parent-produced video of the 2019-20 season to give you an idea of what we do and the fun we have!
  • Prizes – Teams excelling at the invitational and regional competitions advance to the state, and then (our ultimate goal) to the National level. Winners later receive several levels of awards from medals to trophies and plaques.
Future City
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) & audiovisual
  • Future City is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. The 2019-2020 theme is Clean Water: Tap Into Tomorrow. Teams will choose a threat to their city’s water supply and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean drinking water. In January, students will present their cities before a panel of judges at Regional Competitions throughout the United States, Canada, China, and Egypt. Registration is open now!
  • ** We are only permitted 10 teams, and we may already have those, so understand… you CANNOT register on your own (so don’t try)! If you are interested, you must e-mail me ( ASAP with a list of the 3-4 students in your group (maximum 4 and please give correct spelling – I can’t change it once I submit the name).
Exploravision (One of my very favorite contests!)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
  • Students, working in groups of 2 – 4, pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles. Past winners have envisioned technologies ranging from a hand-held food allergen detector to a new device to help people who have lost limbs regain movement in real time.
  • Savings Bonds #10,000 to $5,000; An expense-paid trip to Washington, DC in June for ExploraVision Awards Weekend for each national winning student and his/her parent/guardian
Carton2Garden (come on, let’s win this one!!)
  • Uses students’ creativity by re-purposing milk and juice cartons from your school cafeteria to either build or enhance your school garden.
  • Sign up for updates using online newsletter registration
  • Fifteen (15) schools with the most unique carton creations will be selected on Monday, April 22, 2019 to win award packages. One school will win the grand prize, valued at $5,000. Four (4) schools will win Specialty prizes (Carton Art in the Garden, Environmental Stewardship, Health & Nutrition, and STEM), valued at $2,000. Ten (10) schools – five (5) elementary and five (5) middle/high – will win prizes valued at $1,000.
  • *** A new Carton to Garden contest has been added this year! Click HERE to find out all about it!
e-Cybermission (very popular with students!)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) & audiovisual
  • A web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams. Your team will propose a solution to a real problem in your community and compete for State, Regional and National Awards.
  • Cash prizes from $500 to $5,000
  • Registration for this competition is a little different. You MUST sign up online from the website. Then you e-mail me ( the list of 4 students who will be on your team – along with your team name – and I will then assign them to your team. But each student MUST register on the site on their own first.
Games for Change Student Challenge (New!)
  • To be considered for the competition, games must be about one of the four (2020) Challenge themes: (1) A Clean & Happy Earth, (2) Inclusive Play: Designing Games for All, (3) Get the Party Started, and (4) The Human-Animal Bond.  
Fluor Challenge (starts late, so don’t just wait for this to open – begin another major competition as well!)
  • The Fluor Challenge is open to students in grades K-12.  All scores are validated by Science Buddies staff based on submission photos, the Challenge rules, and follow-up with teams, as necessary. This was a great competition for Bay Academy last year. Look at the graph to see how we placed GLOBALLY (yes, that means around the world)!! Bay Academy took 1st, 2nd & 8th Place for our age group worldwide!! Pretty impressive!
  • 2020 Update (I just received this message from them!) Hi Dr. Cubbin – It is great to hear that your students are excited about the Fluor Challenge! I think I may have received email from one of your students as well. We will be announcing the 2020 challenge theme and rules in December of 2019.  As a teacher, if you are signed up at Science Buddies and receive our weekly newsletter, that is the best way to be notified when the Challenge launches. (If you need to sign up, visit and create a free account using the “Join for Free” option in the top right corner of the website. When asked, makes sure to reply “yes” to receiving the Science Buddies newsletter. If you already have an account, simply log in and verify in your account settings that you are signed up for the newsletter and check to make sure that it is not getting stuck in your spam folder.) Now you can fill out the Fluor Challenge contest sign-up date as 12/19. So you see, hitting the contact button and asking questions, can certainly get you a response!
My Mini Factory Design Challenges! (yes… ANOTHER GREAT CONTEST!)
  • Dozens of 3-D challenges that will keep you busy throughout the year! Mr. Lilly, my grandson and our resident 3-D printing expert, will also help to make any design you create a reality. If you are reading this over the summer, there are even contests going on right now!
  • Don’t miss out on this one – and remember, much of what is new in Science Olympiad has to do with 3-D printing components for our building events!
You be the Chemist Challenge
  • We did not participate in 2018, but would like to see some adventurous budding chemists try out this year (and remember, Dr. Cubbin taught high school chemistry for many years and a few of our Science Olympiad events are chemistry-based!) So let me know if you are interested!
Technovation (another “girls only” event!)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
  • Become a technology entrepreneur and develop a mobile app prototype that solves a real problem in your local community. Teams of up to 5 girls work together to research, design, and build a mobile app prototype, working with a female mentor in technology or engineering. Then they pitch their apps to prospective investors and receive feedback and ideas from technology industry professionals.
  • Go to link and sign up for a registration information newsletter!
Project Mars
  • Doing this competition right is a major undertaking, but well worth the effort!
  • Winning entries will be screened at an Opening Event at NASA visitor centers, NASA museum consortium members, micro cinemas, and other interested venues in Fall 2020. The top film will win $10,000, and the top poster will win $1500. Entries are due August 31, 2018 (this year’s information is not yet out).
  • For full details click here!
3M Young Scientists Challenge (A GREAT contest!!)
  • Academics (all areas of science); This is an individual only competition – no pairs or groups.
  • Students, grades 5-8, are invited to create a 1-2 minute video describing a new, innovative solution that could solve an everyday problem. Ten finalists will be chosen for their passion for science, spirit of innovation and ingenuity, and effective communication skills. Thousands of students nationwide have participated in the competition and winners have gone on to do some amazing things; including speak in front of members of Congress, work with the nation’s top scientists, and pursue academic careers in the sciences.
  • Registration – ASAP – Students should submit a video as a YouTube link by April 20 (last year)
  • Winners have gone on to do some amazing things; including speak in front of members of Congress, work with the nation’s top scientists, and pursue academic careers in the sciences.
Broadcom MASTERS
  • a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future.
  • This competition opens late, but looks very interesting!
Change the Game
  • This is new to us, and it seems to be a “girls only” challenge for creating a video game. Let’s see who is interested!
ProjectCSGirls (Yes, also for girls only!)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
  • Registration: It seems that registration has not yet opened.
  • A competition designed to challenge girls to actively use computer science and technology to develop a solution to an imminent social problem. To be eligible to participate, you must be a girl attending middle school (6th – 8th grade) in the 2015-2016 school year and must reside in the United States
The TECH Challenge (?)
  • Team Guide
  • We have never done this contest before, so it may be your chance to shine! I do not know much about it, but if you would like to participate, do your research and bring all the information to me so we can discuss it! I am always open to new ideas!!
  • This would require a parent advisor and the entry fee is $50.00


Minor Competitions:

To be considered only after selection of Major Competitions

So many Coding Contests…. (Some of these links are not correct, so if you find a GREAT coding contest, please let me know and I will update this list. Thank you!!)
Bridge Designer and Contest
  • Discontinued, but if you find another contest to insert here, let Dr. C know!
Poetic Power
  • Certainly not a “major” competition, but it allows our students to write on a variety of science and environmentally-themed subjects when they have a little down time from their other contests! And we have lots of winners as well 🙂
  • There are three cycles to submit: spring, summer & fall!
Writers of the Future! (yes, another favorite!!!)
  • An opportunity for new writers of science fiction and fantasy to have their work judged by some of the masters in the field and discovered by a wide audience.
  • Prizes of $1000, $750 and $500 are awarded every three months. From the four quarterly 1st Place winners each year, a panel of judges select one story as the grand prize winner. The writer of the grand-prize-winning story receives the L. Ron Hubbard Golden Pen Award and an additional $5000 cash prize.
  • Use this site to help you improve your writing!
Write the World
  • LOTS of upcoming writing competitions – log onto the site and see!!
…click here for more Science Contests & Competitions!
So whether you are Science Talent or not, we are looking for bright young minds who love science and like a good challenge (and want to create a portfolio that any high school would gladly want to see come across their desks)!
Stop by and speak with Dr. Cubbin Room 232, or any of our science teachers on the 2nd floor to see where your talents might be  best developed!
Bay Academy Science Talent where ”Failure is not an Option.”
Also, if you happen to stumble on a contest or competition you think would fit into our program, please let me know and I will add it to our website and our brochure!!