Elementary School Division

The 2024 K12 Innovation Challenge is all about safeguarding fish and wildlife—within your local community or on a global scale. Encourage your child to explore these project ideas across six themes, then have them choose a theme and unleash their creativity!

Habitat Restoration

Ocean Vitality

Future Farm

Endangered Species

Animal Welfare & Rescue

Community Engagement

Does your child need a spark of inspiration?

Students can explore ways to restore local habitats, raise ecosystem awareness, or address invasive species.


Students can explore ways to improve water ecosystems, mammal and fish health, people and animal interactions, or overfishing.


  • Create storm drain stencils that warn locals of the dangers of dumping their waste in the drain.
  • Set up a small water garden or aquarium to observe the interactions between aquatic plants and animals.
  • Create posters or presentations on the importance of water conservation and how it helps ecosystems.

Students can explore eco-friendly practices for new generations of farming and agriculture, farm waste management, and sustainable livestock feed.


  • Set up a small vegetable garden or a mini farm within the school premises, where students can learn about organic farming practices and sustainable agriculture techniques.
  • Organize a composting program at home or within the school, where students can collect and compost organic waste from the cafeteria or classroom while learning about the importance of recycling and reducing waste.
  • Create awareness campaigns within the school and local community about the benefits of eco-friendly farming practices, waste reduction, and sustainable farming techniques through posters, presentations, or workshops.

Students can explore strategies to protect and revive endangered species, including habitat restoration, anti-poaching initiatives, and captive breeding programs.


  • Create mini habitats for local endangered species using recycled materials to mimic their natural environment.
  • Design and distribute posters to raise awareness about the importance of protecting endangered species and their habitats.
  • Form a wildlife conservation club within the school.
  • Organize or participate in activities such as nature walks, birdwatching, and clean-up drives to foster a sense of responsibility toward protecting local ecosystems and endangered species.

Students can investigate innovative approaches to improve animal welfare and facilitate rescue efforts, including technology-driven tracking systems for lost pets, animal adoption platforms, and designing animal-friendly shelters.


  • Organize a drive to collect and assemble care packages for local animal shelters, including essential items such as food, toys, and blankets, to support animal welfare and comfort.
  • Create informative posters and organize a presentation or a mini event to raise awareness about the benefits of pet adoption and responsible pet ownership.
  • Visit a nearby animal shelter or rescue center to learn about their needs and possibly participate in volunteer activities such as feeding, grooming, or playing with the animals.

Students can plan projects that involve the local community in animal habitat rehabilitation efforts, such as clean-up events, tree-planting initiatives, or wildlife monitoring programs.


  • Organize local clean-up drives to remove litter and debris from natural habitats.
  • Participate in tree planting events, focusing on planting native trees and vegetation that provide food and shelter for local wildlife.
  • Attend nature walks in nearby parks or natural areas to observe and learn about local flora and fauna and their significance in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
  • Create wildlife habitats, such as setting up bird feeders or creating butterfly gardens, then observe and record local wildlife species to understand their habitat needs and behaviors.

Registration deadline is 11:59 PM (ET) on January 16, 2024.

Please note, parents or guardians must register on behalf of students who are age 13 or under. Students must submit a short pitch—6 or 7 sentences—when they register. They’ll have an opportunity to expand their idea and submit a full proposal or project by January 31, 2024.

When reviewing each proposal, the judges will consider the following criteria:

  • Environmental Impact and Alignment. Did the project align with the chosen theme issue? Is it kind to animals and nature? (25%)
  • Creativity and Presentation. Is the idea or project creative? Is the presentation easy to understand? If entering as a team, did the students work well together? Are they excited about their idea? (25%)
  • Practicality and Feasibility. Can the idea be done in real life? Is it a sensible plan? (25%)
  • Community Engagement and Impact. Did the student or students engage friends, family, or the community in this project? (25%)

There will be three rounds of judging.

  • Round 1: Judges will review proposals and select the top 5 proposals in each theme to advance to Round 2 (30 proposals).
  • Round 2, the Semi-Finals: Judges will review the top proposals and select 2 proposals per theme to advance to Round 3 (12 proposals).
  • Round 3, the Final Round: A panel of judges will review the semi-finalists’ proposals and determine a 1st- and 2nd-place winner. One team will also be declared the K–5 People’s Choice Innovation Challenge winner based on public voting.
  • Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2024.

Winners and Prizes

Each member of the 1st-place winning team will receive a choice between three (3) prize packages valued at $260: a year's membership to a zoo or aquarium; registration for Camp Invention Connect; or an Amazon e-gift card. Each member of the 2nd-place team will receive a $100 Amazon e-gift card.

The People's Choice Award will be determined by public voting. Members of the winning team will each receive a $50 Amazon e-gift card.

2024 Competition Schedule

Jan. 16

Registration & Pitch Ideas Submission Deadline

Jan. 31

Proposal Submission Deadline

Feb. 5-16

Round 1 Judging

Feb 19-April 1

Round 2 Judging

Earth Day, April 22

Elementary Division Winners Announced