Student Activities

International Christian STEM Competition

Association of Christian Schools International / ACSI / Academic Support Programs / Student Leadership & Learning Events / International Christian STEM Competition

STEM (447 × 447 px)ACSI Student Leadership & Learning is partnering with Grand Canyon University to provide an International Christian STEM Competition (ICSC) for students in grades 7-12. This event is designed to showcase the incredible potential of students from Christian schools in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). With a unique blend of academic rigor and faith-based values, this competition aims to foster creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration while reinforcing the integration of faith and scientific exploration.

Participants will choose from 5 different challenges and will think innovatively, engage in problem-solving, and develop solutions and creations that align with biblical values and ethics. The International Christian STEM Competition consists of a combination of individual and team-based challenges. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively, leveraging each other's strengths and talents while embracing the values of respect, empathy, and teamwork. 

An established set of Challenge Criteria and Checkpoints will be in place to ensure students are ready to advance to this level of competition.


Participation & Selection Process

ICSC Date: March 2, 2024
ICSC Location: Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ

ACSI and GCU believe every student has the potential to excel in the areas of STEM. We also know that in order to excel, we have to provide opportunities for students to try, succeed, sometimes fail, collaborate and try again. This critical thinking and collaboration process is critical to student success. This is why we have restructured the qualification process. 

Qualification Process
  • Register your school for the competition.
  • Look through each STEM Challenge and decide which one(s) you'd like to implement in your classroom.
  • Provide opportunities for experimentation, collaboration, and implementation.
  • Ensure students are progressing through the Ideation, Development, and Refinement phases and meeting established deadlines.
  • Establish teams for each challenge in which your school desires to compete. Depending on the challenge, teams typically include 2-5 students.
  • Decide which teams you believe are ready to compete at the International Christian STEM Competition and pay the participation fees for each student. Schools may send as many teams as desired.
  • Meet our team at GCU and get ready to compete!


STEM Challenges

The STEM Challenges for the 2023-24 school year are below. Please read through the description for each challenge thoroughly. Schools may participate in as many challenges as desired.

2023-24 STEM Challenges*:

Innovation in Service: Assistive Technology Challenge - Ready to make a difference in your community through the innovative use of technology to assist individuals with disabilities or special needs? In this challenge, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with community members through interviews, uncovering ways in which technology can enhance someone’s quality of life. You will then bring your vision to life by crafting your assistive technology solution in the form of a physical prototype, a CAD design, a process, or a labeled diagram.

Onsite Design Challenge - Want to gear up for a challenge you can’t predict? Your team’s problem-solving skills will take center stage as you use the engineering design process to unlock a mystery challenge. Team building and communication are key to this challenge as your team designs, builds, and tests a given object/device within a specific time frame. Ready to tackle the unknown and see how your team rises to the challenge? 

Ethical Artificial Intelligence Game - Here’s your chance to design, plan, build and test an interactive game utilizing Artificial Intelligence. But here’s the catch, your game must include the integration of a webcam system that integrates the use of gestures to control the game instead of keyboards or game controllers. It is an exciting opportunity to explore the world of AI-driven gaming and create a unique immersive experience for players. 

Aerospace Design - Ready to take on the ultimate aircraft engineering showdown? You and your team will design, build, and launch an aircraft from a specified height with the goal of keeping it aloft for as long as possible and landing on a target below. But here’s the twist! You cannot use your body to launch it, instead, you must craft a launching device that propels your aircraft to the target. Prepare to defy gravity and test your engineering genius in the high-flyer challenge! 

Robot Search and Rescue - Think you can build and program a robot that aids rescuers in clearing debris, securing safe passageways, and saving lives after a disaster? Well, this is the challenge for you! Using a purchased kit, you will be designing, building, coding, and driving a robot to complete various outlined tasks within an obstacle course. This is your chance to design a real-life robot superhero! Please note, that this challenge requires the purchase of a robot from Roboquest - see estimated costs below.

Within this challenge, there will be two levels of competition to choose from:

  • Beginner- RQ100 (estimated robot cost $250)
  • Intermediate to Advanced- RQ300 (estimated robot cost $450)

*Complete details of each STEM Challenge, checkpoint dates, and other information are made available to schools once they are registered to participate. Registration opened on September 1, 2023.


Adjudication & Awards

Awards will be given to the top three places in each STEM challenge.


Registration & Fees

School Registration

  • ACSI Member School Registration Fee: $85 by October 13, 2023. After October 13, 2023, the fee increases to $105. School registration ends November 15, 2023.
  • Non-Member School Registration Fee: $130 by October 13, 2023. After October 13, 2023, the fee increases to $150. School registration ends November 15, 2023  

Student Participation

  • Pay ACSI Member ICSC Participation Fee: Opens October 20, 2023; $45 per student/ $25 per adult, by December 8, 2023. After December 8, 2023, the fee increases to $50 per student/ $30 per adult. Deadline January 8, 2024.
  • Pay Non-Member ICSC Participation Fee: Opens October 20, 2023; $70 per student/ $50 per adult, by December 8, 2023. After December 8, 2023, the fee increases to $75 per student/ $55 per adult. Deadline January 8, 2024. 




For additional information, please contact a Student Leadership & Learning team member.