Shell Science Lab Challenge now open, offering a lab makeover

By Laura Devaney
September 23rd, 2015

Chance to Win Up to $93,000 in prizes, including a $20,000 science lab makeover

science-grantRegistration has opened for the 2015-2016 Shell Science Lab Challenge. The Challenge, which is sponsored by Shell Oil Company and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, encourages science teachers (grades 6-12) in the U.S. and Canada, who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences utilizing limited school and laboratory resources, to apply for a chance to win up to $93,000 in prizes, including a grand prize school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000. The deadline for submission is December 16, 2015.

“What these teachers accomplish with limited resources is absolutely extraordinary,” said Dr. Frazier Wilson, Manager of Social Investment, Shell Oil Company. “We believe that learning and innovation go hand in hand. By providing further resources, this challenge helps to support innovation as well as foster student excitement about science at an early age.”

“Quality science lab experiences at the middle and high school level are critical, yet far too many schools have little or no lab equipment, materials or training for their teachers,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director. “The Shell Science Lab Challenge not only provides teachers and their schools with the equipment they need to properly facilitate their student’s learning, but also provides teachers with the professional development needed to support high-quality science teaching in the classroom.”

Judges will evaluate entries based on various criteria, including demonstrated science inquiry and innovation in the middle or high school classroom with limited laboratory equipment, materials, and resources; demonstrated impact and engagement with students and the school community; and demonstrated need for support to improve science laboratory experiences.

Up to 54 regional finalists will be chosen and asked to make a 3-5 minute video displaying their current science lab facilities and provide an explanation of how winning equipment and resources would make a difference in the science teaching and in the learning experiences for their students. The judging panel will pick 18 regional winners from these finalists, and then 5 national finalists will be chosen. From there, a grand prize winner will be selected.

All winners will receive science lab equipment, Shell cash grants, membership to the NSTA, and support to attend NSTA Conferences on Science Education. The grand prize winner and four national finalists will be honored at a special banquet and ceremony at NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education in Nashville, March 31-April 3, 2016.

For more information about the Shell Science Lab Challenge or to apply, visit

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura