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"I really enjoyed the team design challenge. It was a great level of difficulty and required us to really have to work together. It was also a great way to meet other students from different areas that were a variety of ages." - TAME Senior, State STEM Competition
Every year, TAME brings together students to compete and celebrate achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). During a STEM Competition, formerly known as Math and Science Competitions, students participate in both a math and a science test, and then team up to solve real-world engineering problems in a timed Engineering Design Challenge.
TAME Chapters across the state host Divisional STEM Competitions in winter. Out of those participants, 300 high achieving students from Divisionals are eligible to receive an invitation to the State STEM Competition in spring.
What happens at a STEM Competition? IDEAS START FLYING.
2015 State Competition Highlights
2014 State Competition
CHANGES TO STEM COMPETITIONS STARTING IN 2018
Last year TAME asked for feedback on programs like the STEM Competitions. As the competitions grow, how do we make sure that the events are intellectually challenging, but physically safe and welcoming? We received 76 impassioned responses to the end of year survey, and the message is clear: TAME programs are working, but we need to make some refinements.
As we approach the next year in this spirit of process improvement, we thank you for your thoughtful input. We address these questions and more in our recent blog post, No Easy Answers--But 3 New Big Experiments! Read on for details on how we are refining TAME programs based on your feedback.
Who can compete at the Divisional Competitions?
TAME students in grades 6 - 12 who are active members of a registered TAME Club can compete in a Divisional Competition. Students must participate and qualify in a Divisional Competition to receive an invitation to the State Competition. For information about Divisional Competitions in your area, check your local Chapter.
Participants take a timed math and science test administered by grade level that will combine math and science, including questions from both subject areas. Students also compete in an Engineering Design Challenge at the event. In addition to testing student knowledge of math and science concepts, the competition promotes teamwork, leadership, and academic achievement.
What happens at the Divisional Competitions?
To participate in TAME activities like Divisional Competitions, you need to be a member of a TAME Club. Our clubs are free and require only eight students, an Adult Sponsor, and regular meetings about STEM in person.
How can I sign up?
Students who do not register by the deadline are still welcome to register and participate in the activities hosted by their TAME Club. Graduating seniors must complete Student Registrations to apply for 2018 TAME Scholarships in the spring semester when they become available.
Students who want to train to compete can take practice tests.
How can I get ready to compete?
For our Engineering Design Challenge, TAME’s Blog features Engineering Adventures. You can also visit TAME's Engineering Activity board on Pinterest for over 200 design challenge ideas that you can try with friends in the classroom or with your family in your own living room.
I want to know about competition strategy. Is it okay to guess on test questions? What about tie-breakers?
As you take your practice tests to train for Divisional or State competitions, you might wonder whether we have any special rules. You will be glad to know that we do not penalize students for wrong answers, so we strongly encourage you to complete the whole test and not leave any blank answers. Think like a scientist or an engineer--it's better to make your best guess and see what happens, than to hold back because you don't know for sure. In the STEM world, the only failure is in not trying.Tie-breakers at a STEM Competition will be settled by comparing the tests to find the first incorrect answer or skipped question.
What are the tests like? Can I use a calculator on my test? What about a Periodic Table?
TAME appreciates the value of hard work and practice in success. To help our students better prepare for our annual STEM Competitions, TAME provides practice tests, past Engineering Design Challenges, Engineering Adventure activities, and advice on competing like a scientist.
At the Divisional and State STEM Competitions, all participants will take a math test and a science test:
- Students in middle school (grades 6, 7, 8) will take the Middle School Math Test and the Middle School Science Test.
- Students in high school (grades 9, 10, 11, 12) will take the High School Math Test and the High School Science Test.
Students will have 45 minutes to answer 60 questions on each test. Middle school tests are based on middle school TEKS but focus on critical thinking and analytical skills. They are designed to not require a calculator.
High school tests are also 45 minutes long and have 60 questions. They are based on TEKS for typical high-school classes in Algebra, Geometry, Pre-calculus and Statistics (for math) and Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology and Forensic Science (for science). These tests are designed to use calculators and periodic tables.
Read more about the 2017-18 changes here: No easy answers – but 3 big new experiments!
How does scoring work?
While all middle school students take the same tests, the top scorers in each grade level will be recognized at the awards ceremony. High school students will all take the same math test and the same science test irrespective of grade and the electives they are enrolled in. Again, the top scorer in each grade level will be recognized at the awards ceremony.
Student scores from the math and science tests will be added to calculate the final score in the competition. The student with the highest combined score in each grade will be invited to attend the State STEM Competition. Other students may be invited to advance to State based on performance in the Engineering Design Challenge or other criteria.
How much does it cost?
There is no fee to register or compete in these events. We ask that TAME Clubs provide their own transportation to Divisional STEM Competitions, but TAME provides funding for transportation to the State STEM Competition.
What happens at the State Competition?
300 high-achieving students qualify to compete in the State STEM Competition. Just like the Divisional competitions, State participants take a timed math test and a timed science test covering the topics taught in classes they are enrolled in. A favorite of many students is the State Engineering Design Challenge, in which we bring together students from diverse backgrounds to engineer a solution to a real-world problem in a timed competitive setting. See past State Design Challenges here.
At the State STEM Competition, TAME sponsors cover all costs, including transportation, food and lodging, and great giveaways and prizes. The Competition celebrates TAME students' achievement in STEM and is a chance to meet like-minded peers and mentors from across Texas.
I have other plans the day of the event. Can I attend part of the STEM Competition?
Due to time constraints, safety considerations and fairness to all students, it is TAME policy that all participants must take part in all the scheduled events of the STEM Competition.
We understand there may be schedule conflicts and ask that students make a choice between other plans and the STEM Competition, rather than trying to do both. Students may not take tests early or late, and may not arrive late only to take part in the Engineering Design Challenge. This is to ensure a level playing field and consistent experience for all our students.If students leave early, it is difficult for the event coordinator to keep track and account for participants. Supplies and food are wasted, which makes it difficult to continue to offer this event at no cost to students. In cases of emergency, we ask that the Competition Coordinator be notified so that organizers do not spend time trying to locate a missing student.
Students who ignore this policy may be disqualified from the STEM Competition or future TAME events or scholarship opportunities.
What is the T-Shirt Design Contest?
Each year in February, TAME Club Members from across the state are invited to submit their design for the annual T-Shirt Design Contest. The winning design is featured on the t-shirts, event programs and other materials that will be distributed to hundreds of participants at the State STEM Competition. See past winners here.
The winner is awarded a cash prize of $100. If the winning student is in grades 6-12, he or she also receives a special invitation to the State STEM Competition.
When and where is this year's State Competition?Check our Competition Schedules & Results page for updates on the State STEM Competition.
Results will be posted to the TAME website as soon as possible after each event. Please see our Competition Schedules & Results page for updates.
When and where will results be posted?
Don't miss out on the fun!
Statistics & more information
Download statistics and demographics on our recent competitions:
2015-2016 Divisional and State Competitions
2014-2015 Divisional and State Competitions
2013-2014 Divisional and State Competitions
For more information about our past or future STEM Competitions, or to learn more about how you can help make sure the competitions stay free for all participants, please contact our TAME State Office.