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STEM Challenge

Spring 2024 STEM Challenge: April 13, 2024

Join us on campus at the annual STEM Challenge, a team-based competition with two tracks that is full of fun and awards many scholarships and prizes. You'll be challenged on a series of topics in logic, engineering, and programming or science. The challenge is free and open to high school and undergraduate students.

During this challenge, you'll:

  • Choose from two tracks: Programming Track or Science Track.
  • Work in teams to use critical thinking and showcase problem solving strategies.
  • Network with faculty and students at UHCL, have the option to get a tour of UHCL after the event, and network with industry experts.
  • Have the opportunity to win:
    • Scholarships to UHCL (up to $3,000 per winner)
    • Summer Internships at area companies
    • Summer Internships at UHCL
    • Prizes

Spring 2024 STEM Challenge Information

The Spring 2024 STEM Challenge is on April 13, 2024. Registration is now closed!

  • Each team may have a maximum of four team members.
  • There is a maximum of two teams from each institution for each track (Programming Track or Science Track)
  • Organized teams will need a faculty sponsor from their school.
  • No team? No worries. We will find you one!

For questions, contact Krishani Abeysekera by email at or by phone at 281-283-3831.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the STEM Challenge?

The STEM Challenge is open to all students attending high school, a  community college, or an undergraduate university. All we ask is that you register for the STEM Challenge only if you plan on participating. Also, each team must have a faculty sponsor from their school or university.

What is involved?

Participants will go through a series of fun challenges designed to demonstrate their STEM skills, including programming, problem solving, and more!

How do I choose my track?

This year's STEM Challenge will have two tracks: programming and science. You get to choose which track you want to participate in. Only those who have programming knowledge in C++, Java or Python should join the Programming Track. Those who don't have any programming knowledge should join the science track.

What is a "faculty sponsor"?

A faculty sponsor is someone who can vouch for the students and can confirm a student's name and grade.

Does the faculty sponsor have to attend the event?

The faculty sponsor does not have to be in attendance on event day. However, if he/she does attend, we would like the sponsor to also participate as a judge at the event.

I don't know any programming languages or I'm not good at math. Can I still participate?

Absolutely! It is not necessary for participants to have expertise in any STEM field. While the challenges are taken from and inspired by STEM subjects, they are designed in a way that will allow anyone to participate and succeed!

If you do not know any programming, you should choose the Science Track.

Do I need to bring anything?

Nope! Everything your team needs will be provided on the day of the challenge.

What is provided at the Challenge?

We will provide you with everything you need to participate in the challenges, along with t-shirts, breakfast snacks during morning registration and also lunch.

How much does the Challenge cost?

Absolutely nothing! You just need to show up ready to have some fun and get the opportunity to win possible scholarships, internships and prizes.

Can I just show up on the day of the challenge to participate?

No. You need to register for the challenge. Registration opens at the beginning of March. You need to register as a team. We encourage you to be in a team of four, because that will give you the best opportunity to win. However, if you have less than 4 members, that is still OK.

If you don’t have a team at all, just contact Prof. Abeysekera at and she will put a team together for you.

Can my family members watch me participate?

Family members are welcome to attend. However, they will not be able to watch you participate during the event.

If family members do want to attend, they are encouraged to come at about 11:30pm, to watch the engineering challenge and attend the awards ceremony. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide family members with lunch.

Are there prizes?

Yes. Prizes include many scholarships to UHCL, interviews for internship opportunities with NASA contractors, summer internships at UHCL and other prizes such as Kindles, scientific computers, restaurant gift certificates, and many more.

Could we get a tour of the university?

Absolutely. We invite you to join our Hawk Guides for a campus tour starting in the Welcome Center (SSCB 1.102) at 2pm. The campus tour takes approximately 1.5 hours and offers an overview of university resources, academic programs and life on campus as well as addresses questions regarding admissions, housing and financial aid.

Special Accommodations

Any person needing an accommodation for a disability in order to participate should contact UHCL Pathways to STEM Careers at 281-283-3831 or at least one week prior to the event to arrange for the accommodation.


  • Pathways to STEM Careers

    Phone: 281-283-3642

    Bayou Building 1321
    2700 Bay Area Blvd.
    Houston, TX 77058-1002