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The PAIU is sponsoring the Message of Kindness Student Poster Contest! Students in grades K through 12 can submit entries to their IU for local judging. Winning entries will be shared statewide as a way to continue our "Message of Kindness" throughout the upcoming year. Click here for more information.

The world is full of interesting and weird plants, from plants that eat insects to plants that hitchhike. This year, Longwood Gardens is hosting a STEM design challenge in which you and a team of your peers have the opportunity to create a weird plant! Click here for more details - deadline is December 9.

The Pennsylvania Invention Convention is a student invention competition designed to showcase and celebrate student problem-solving, innovation, creativity, and ingenuity.  This competition is open to all students in grades 5 through 12. This competition has 3 levels:
1. Virtual Online Competition (online submissions) - all participants [Deadline: Dec 31] 2. Statewide Finalists Competition (takes place at PETE&C in Pittsburgh)
3. Invention Convention - US Nationals (The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation)

To learn more about this competition, please visit: This competition is generously funded by The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C).

Pennsylvania has over 36,000 homeless children. Help us create awareness of this issue!  Contest details: Students must submit original artwork that addresses the topic of youth homelessness. Click here for more details. Deadline for entries: November 4, 2019!

The invasive insect Spotted Lanternfly was discovered in Berks County in September 2014 and has since spread to 13 other Pennsylvania counties. It is native to China, India, Vietnam, and was introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest. This destructive insect threatens $18 billion worth of Pennsylvania products including apples, grapes, peaches and hardwoods.

To continue to raise awareness of the danger of Spotted Lanternfly, the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Education today announced a 2020 youth calendar contest for students across the state in grades 1 through 8. The purpose of this contest is to educate students and their families about what they can do to help stop the insect’s spread.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) encourages all Pennsylvania students in eligible grades to participate in this year’s contest, which will run through October 31, 2019. Entries will be judged in four divisions: first and second grade; third and fourth grade; fifth and sixth grade; and seventh and eighth grade. Artwork must be original, include one fact about Spotted Lanternfly and be designed on an 11” x 17” poster.

Students are encouraged to use a combination of media such as crayons, paint, acrylic, watercolor, markers, etc. Digitally produced images and collages are not permitted. A completed contest submission form must be taped to the back or emailed with the poster. The grand prize winner will be recognized during the 2020 Farm Show.

Contestants can enter by sending their completed artwork to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Communications Office, Room 210, 2301 N. Cameron Street, Harrisburg, Pa 17110 or emailing it to All submissions must be postmarked by October 31, 2019. For additional details regarding Spotted Lanternfly, please visit

Last year’s calendar contest was a huge success. PDA received 800 entries from 72 schools in Pennsylvania. Teachers were able to include the contest in their curriculum to excellent effect. We would love your support and participation again this year.