Disney has a great, free, contest for students in grades 4-6 in the United States. Disney's Planet Challenge is a project based environmental competition that helps students learn about science, conservation and teamwork.
The friendly competition has ready made curriculum and lesson resources and the site is very easy to use and navigate. Everything you need to know is on the site. Curriculum and contest resources are also available for download in PDF form.
The curriculum and resources were designed by scientists and educators. You can tell that teachers had a hand in the development because of the way things are written and set up. It is very easy to implement.
There are some really great prizes (grants!! $$$) and the grand prize is grant money, NSTA membership and conference attendance, prize packs for the students, and an all expense paid trip to the Disneyland Resort for the teacher, principal, students, and chaperone's. Not bad for a free contest.
Eligibility is 4th, 5th, or 6th graders, or a combination, in a class or club in the USA. 40 students maximum in the class or club.'
While the contest is only open to grades 4-6, teachers of other grades could use the materials as a guide for their own projects.
Deadline to enroll is Friday, December 18th 2009 at 1200am PST. (I'd make sure I have the enrollment done a few days before that).
All project portfolio's are due by February 26th, 2010. Winners will be announced in April 2010.
Check it out and Good Luck!!