STEM Competitions

FIRST Lego League Challenge & FIRST Tech Challenge Events

The FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge provide competitions for youth, integrating robotics with solving real-world challenges. WYSE works with individuals, RSOs, and community organizations to host scrimmages, qualifying events, and an annual state competition that takes place on campus.

Volunteer at one of these local events to see what the excitement is all about! We need judges, referees, hosts to welcome and help teams get to their various events, table resetters to keep the robotics competition rounds running on time, and lots of hands to help with set-up before and clean-up after the event.

Sign up to volunteer at by creating an account and going to “Volunteer Registration” and “”Event Volunteering.”

RSO’s interested in providing a STEM-focused activity/demo table at a FIRST event should contact us directly at

Annual events at UIUC include:

  • FIRST Tech Challenge Scrimmage in October or November
  • FIRST Lego League Qualifier in December
  • FIRST Lego League Tesla State Championship in January

Want to help coach or mentor a local team? Contact us at for more information

Science Olympiad State Championship

The Illinois Science Olympiad State Championship is held on the University of Illinois campus each year in April. WYSE helps facilitate various events and helps visitors find where they are going. A volunteer sign up form will be available in February or March


Academic Challenge

The Academic Challenge is a competitive series of tests created by a Test Production Team of academic experts and previously administered by the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering. Academic Challenge began in 1975 at John A. Logan College, offering challenging annual exams to high school students in Illinois and Missouri for local, regional, and statewide competition.

In summer 2018, the Academic Challenge moved to its new home at Eastern Illinois University. Find out more about the upcoming plans for Academic Challenge by visiting the program’s new website, or contact the program directly (