Des Plaines Valley Region
DVR Education for Employment
2000 Fifth Avenue, Suite M103
River Grove, IL 60171

Student Organization/ Competitions

There are many opportunities to develop student growth through competitions.  Various student organizations offer competitions that may take place annually at local, regional and national levels.  Each organization has a special talent or career area, so students can find a topic that interests them.  Student teams face challenges based on real-world standards.  Preparing for competitions gives students confidence and helps them to build skills that are used in the professional world. 

Competitions usually involve teams of mentors (corporate employees, teachers, or college students) and high school students who collaborate on projects within the definition published by the specific student organization.  Teams often solicit individuals, sponsors, and businesses for support in the form of donations of time, money, or skills. 

Click on any of the logos below to see information on that organization and find out how to become involved in their competitions.  Have fun!


Nine West Leyden and Six East Leyden top-ten awards at the FBLA Northern Area Leadership Conference on January 23 rd at Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Illinois.

January 23, 2016: The West and East Leyden High School chapters of Future Business Leaders of America today announced results from the FBLA Northern Area Leadership Conference held at Warren Township High School on Saturday January 23 rd .

Over 700 members from 15 FBLA chapters from northern Illinois were in attendance. The conference included activities in personal development, business and leadership training, election of 2016-2017 area officers, and competitive events.


2016-01-23 15.39.29

Destination ImagiNation (DI) Inc. is an extraordinary non-profit organization that provides educational programs for students to learn and experience creativity, teamwork and problem solving. Every year, they reach 100,000 students in more than 30 countries. Student teams solve open-ended Challenges and present their solutions at tournaments.  

VEX Robotics

The VEX Robotics Design System offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities spanning science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These are just a few of the many fields students can explore by creating with VEX Robotics technology. Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups. It also allows educators to easily customize projects to meet the level of students’ abilities.


Illinois Innovation Talent 2011-2102 School Application

The goal of the ILIT program is to demonstrate how industry-sponsored problems can exemplify the Race to the Top STEM Learning Exchange functions at the middle and high school level where interdisciplinary teams of students collaborate on real-world problem-based learning (PBL) challenges designed to improve student achievement and increase college and career readiness.

Recognizing the need for students to become globally competitive, a public-private partnership formed in 2008 to design an initiative to promote innovation-centered education and increase student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  This initiative connected schools with industry, government and community partners to critically examine and solve complex real-world problems as part of a work-based learning experience involving teams of students.  ILIT demonstrates one of the work-based learning functions of the STEM Learning Exchanges as described in the State of Illinois’ Race to the Top proposal.


Association  of Architecture Organizations

The Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) is a member-based network that supports organizations that are dedicated to interpreting architecture and the built environment to the general public. The Architecture + Design Education Network (A+DEN) is a subsidiary of AAO dedicated specifically to design education. The above competition is open to members and non-members alike.  International Awards Competition for K-12 Architecture Education


Construction Challenge

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers and presenting sponsor

Volvo Construction Equipment are working with Destination ImagiNation,  Inc. to provide students a hands-on, real-world experience that will inspire them to explore and pursue careers in the construction industry.

  construction challenge

Engineering Design Challenges

The Engineering Design Challenges Program connects students in their classrooms with the challenges faced by NASA engineers as they design the next generation of space vehicles, habitats and technology. Middle and High School students work on design challenges with their teachers. These design challenges help students achieve national goals in science, mathematics, and thinking skills.

The Design Challenges Program is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Academic Affairs Office in Huntsville, Alabama. The web site and design challenges were created in collaboration withTERC.

  nasa design challenge

FIRST Robotics

Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

  first robotics

Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS)

Students will learn how they can apply math and science concepts in ways that make a tangible difference in the world; increase their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) literacy and practice this knowledge in a fun extra-curricular program; understand how engineering makes everyday life possible by solving pressing social and community problems.



The MATHCOUNTS Competition Program provides the extra incentive and the perfect atmosphere for students to push themselves to achieve more in mathematics.  Consisting of fun and creative problems that promote critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, the MATHCOUNTS competitions have written and oral rounds, as well as individual and team components.  Though challenging and non-routine, the competition problems focus on the 6th through 8th grade standards of the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics.

  math counts
Real World Design Challenge

The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual high school competition run by a public-private partnership with the goal of sustainably increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. The partners are focused on working within the context of the American educational system to transform STEM education in the United States by providing professional science and engineering and learning resources to students and teachers.

The RWDC began in 2008 through a partnership between industry, government, academia, and non-profit. The partners were committed to bringing a program to schools that brought professional engineering resources into the classroom, was free to participate in, and could scale to every school in the United States. The partners brought together $263 million in resources and began working with governors to build an infrastructure of states to scale across the United States. The first year, ten states participated. And we have added states every year.

Every teacher that participates in the RWDC gets $1 million in professional engineering software along with training, curriculum materials, and access to mentors. Teams of 3-7 high school students use these resources to solve an engineering challenge that is currently faced by industry.

  real world

Science Olympiad Middle & High School 

For the past  27 years, Science Olympiad has led a revolution in science education. What began as a grassroots assembly of science teachers is now one of the premiere science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges to nearly  6,000 teams in 50 states.

  science olympiad