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NIH K–12 Lessons About Bioscience Challenge: 2011–12
(Details of the 2012–13 challenge to come by July 1, 2012.)

About the Challenge

The NIH K–12 LAB Challenge is a call to the nation to help us bring engaging hands-on science into the classroom — so everyone can enjoy doing science! We're asking people to send us their best experiments for kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms. We'll collect these written procedures and make them available to everyone for free. Your experiment can be original or modified from another source. (If modified, we'll need to know the source.)

Your experiments should

  • be geared toward grades K–12
  • use safe, easily available, inexpensive materials
  • take 90 minutes (or less) of in-class time
  • have at least one clear learning objective
  • be related to the mission of NIH*

Submit one or more ideas that work well in a classroom to help us get the collection started!


Anyone can participate in this challenge, as long as they live in the United States, a U.S. Territory, or a U.S. Dept. of Defense facility overseas. To submit a procedure for an experiment, though, you need to be at least 13 years old. People under 18 will need parental or guardian consent.

Use the entry form, including the signed parental consent page (if applicable), to send us your detailed procedure(s) for conducting the experiment(s). You can enter by email, fax, or regular mail. For detailed instructions and the entry form, see How to Enter.

The entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. CST, December 15, 2011.

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A panel of classroom teachers, students, scientists, and NIH science education personnel will use a rubric to score the entries and select winners.

NIH will conduct an independent safety review of the candidate winning experiments before the final selection and announcement of the winners. Experiments that use hazardous materials or bodily fluids will not be accepted.

[Insert rubric here if not too much space or have as another page with link above]


The winning procedures will be announced March 1, 2012.

Winners will earn recognition and an official, exclusive, electronic NIH Challenge badge to display online.

Winning submissions will be included in our NIH collection of the best experiment procedures, which people all over the world can access. It will be available for free in print, online, and on mobile devices from the NIH Office of Science Education Web site.

Getting Help

Please review our frequently asked questions (FAQs). Your question may already have been answered. If it hasn't, contact the NIH Office of Science Education at or call 301-402-2469.

For updates about the challenge and other education activities at NIH, follow us on Twitter: @NIHSciEd.

*The NIH mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health lengthen life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. (For information about NIH, go to

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