Part 21st Century Learning Tool

Built to engage Northern New Mexico middle and high school students in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and to encourage innovation in our schools, the Los Alamos STEM Challenge invites students to...

» DESIGN an original STEM solution for the future.
the feasibility of their proposal.
their idea through one of the media formats:

  • Poster
  • Video
  • App
  • Essay

Student teams of 4-6 will collaborate to answer questions like...

  • What changes can you imagine for yourself and your community?
  • What social or ecological problems need to be solved?
  • What new technology or STEM innovations would you like to see in the next 10 years?
  • What would it look like if you could design the future of travel, commerce, communication, or just the everyday house?
  • What could careers and vacations be like if space exploration continues?

There is lots more inspiration over at Explore Ideas.

Part 21st Century Learning Tool

Six School awards of $300 will be awarded for each category for their Science/Math class;
poster, video, app, and essay, in two groupings, middle school and high school.

The “Best of Show” for each group will win a Kindle Fire or IPad Mini for each of their team members (up to six students per team).

Awards will be presented to the team by the school’s Superintendent and Principal.<7p>

Encourage your students to enter the Challenge to have fun, win prizes, and develop valuable 21st century STEM skills.

21st Century Innovators

21st century students need to be both critical thinkers and creative producers.

In addition to having a strong grasp of the STEM concepts radically transforming their everyday lives and future careers, young learners need to be able to apply their knowledge and literacy skills to media and technology messages: visual, auditory, and linguistic.

These skills are essential in the new economy and emerging global marketplace.

The 2nd Annual Los Alamos STEM Challenge offers your students the tools and the opportunity to think, innovate, and create media products to effectively communicate their ideas.

How it works

The concept is simple.

Organized around LANL projects and 21st century skills, the STEM Challenge engages students in a real world project.

Students start by learning as much as possible about the Laboratory and the work performed here as a springboard for their own ideas and creations.

The end result is a polished model of their idea presented as a poster, video, app, or essay.


Student Workspace provides step-by-step tools and resources to guide studnets through the process of creating and submitting their project.

Teacher Workspace offers lesson plans, handouts, and tons of resources to make the projects fun and easy to implement.

Scientist Portals highlights three LANL scientists and the projects that they are working on. Students can read about real-world innovations.

STEM Design Tool guides students through the entire project, from brainstorming and research to troubleshooting and getting feedback, to the final design submission process. 

Choose Media outlines the four media categories that students choose from to enter the Challenge. A rubric and checklist for each category is provided so that students know how their entries will be evaluated and use it as a guideline throughout the design process.

Guidelines and Tools collects all the guidelines and tools for participating in the Challenge in one place. Here you can quickly access and download all the available PDF files and links.

Los Alamos STEM Challenge Pinterest board is a new way to share resources with you and your students. In this years' Challenge we are requiring that students submit a Pinterest board documenting their research and design process. We will be repinning the highlights from their entries on this board at the completion of the Challenge.