NC International Science

Promoting Science Education Throughout North Carolina

North Carolina International Science Challenge

Project Overview

North Carolina International Science Challenge

The North Carolina International Science Challenge (NCISC) is a yearly North Carolina science competition offered
jointly by the Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, the North Carolina Science, Mathematics and
Technology Education Center and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.   Participants must be United
States citizens presently enrolled in high school. Several excellent inquiry-based science projects are chosen and
their student creators display those projects at the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition (BYSCC), held
during the third week of March in Beijing, China.  The students chosen through the NCISC process are the sole
representatives of the United States of America.  The BYSCC features students from many countries: therefore it is
an unparalleled opportunity for students to interact with future scientists from around the globe.
The BYSCC is an exciting experience along with the breathtaking cultural events such as visiting the Great Wall of
China.  The Beijing Association of Science and Technology (BAST) is host to the delegation that consists of
students and North Carolina science leaders.  BAST generously funds many of the expenses.  The North Carolina
Science, Mathematics and Technology Center (SMT) adds very significant financial support such that the United
States (NC) students incure few travel expenses except for their passports.
A major purpose of the NCISC is to encourage excellent science projects in schools.  The project components are
consistent with graduation project requirements and students should consider combining these two programs.
“Science project” is defined broadly and can be an investigation in any of the STEM areas: Science (physical or
life), Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.  It may be empirical (controlled experiment) or might incorporate
another design: for example, analytical or construction-based.

Timeline

May-September:  Students identify a question/problem and seek a mentor.
September-January: Project development perhaps leading to conclusion.
November 1: Application deadline.  Applications are submitted to the GSMC (fran.nolan@ncdenr.gov) for review,
critiquing and response.
January 5:  Full reports are electronically submitted for judging.  Finalists are chosen to present their work in person.
January 15-26:  Students present their work to the judging panel(s).  Students are chosen to represent the United
States in Beijing.
February-March:  Projects are refined and graphics are fabricated.  Travel arrangements are secured.  A
preliminary orientation session is held.
March (week three):  Travel to and from Beijing, China.  The delegation attends the Beijing Youth Science Creation
Competition and associated events.
After the NCISC:  Students attend a few NC science functions and display their projects.  An example is the yearly
NC-SMT statewide science celebration.