Now being held online!

Project Submission Closed.

Final Interview at 9:30am, September 24th, 2023

Zoom ID: (K-3) 88990442053 | (4-6) 84091655641 | (7-8) 82940918438 | (9-12) 82276242671

Grade K-3 Grade 4-6 Grade 7-8 Grade 9-12

The IgniteCS Programming Expo is an event that allows students from K-12 to show off their programming skills with creativity. From robotics, to mobile and web development, to cyber security, any project that involves coding can participate. The event will now be held online, and the deadline for applications is September 10, 2023. More details of the online competition will be sent out later.

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Project Submission




Semi-Final Interviews

9:30 - 11:30AM



Final Interviews

9:30 - 11:30AM

Award Announcement





You have to be a student. Each applicant must be a student in an educational institution and enrolled in grades K-12 at the time of qualification. Students participate in different divisions based on their grade level: Grade K-3, Grade 4-6, Grade 7-8, Grade 9-12 Senior Division. The division for team projects with students in different grades is determined by the highest grade represented.

Limited To One Entry

Each student is limited to one entry per year. Teams may consist of up to five participants. Team projects will be competing with individual projects in the same categories. Keep in mind that for team projects, the judging panel will have a higher expectations commensurate with the number of students on the team.

Projects must be produced by the participants and the participants only. If a project submitted under an individual’s name is discovered to have been prepared by a team of more than one student, the participant will be disqualified.

New Project

Students are allowed to enter the igniteCS Programming Expo using projects submitted to any other science fairs or competitions.

However, any project reentered from a past igniteCS Programming Expo must show substantial new development and extension to be eligible for an award. Final determination shall be made by the category judges.


Students not accompanied by their own parent(s) must be under authorized supervision by an adult escort, teacher, or administrator. The igniteCS Programming Expo is not responsible for the supervision of any participant.

Application Acceptance Criteria

Submission of an Application to the igniteCS Programming Expo does not guarantee acceptance to the Fair. The Expo can reject applications on the basis of inappropriate content or for violations of Expo regulations.

Students, parents, and advisors should be aware that these acceptance criteria are not intended to limit the number of participants but rather, by requiring higher standards for project abstracts, to improve the quality of the Fair and to ensure that all participants are able to effectively communicate their projects to the judges.

The following is the official list of acceptance criteria

Applications without a Project Summary will be rejected without recourse to appeal. Each student on a team project must complete his/her own personal Application, but the Project Summary need only be supplied by one member of the team. As long as the Summary is provided by at least one member, other members of the team may choose to provide or omit the Summary without penalty.


Projects could be based on existing ideas and examples, but students must have the new and students’ own extension and improvement. Projects which are merely following existing tutorials, code, lessons are generally not acceptable.


The project must be related with Computer Science and be implemented using programming techniques. You are required to show a live demo of the project on the Expo site, and be able to explain the implementation details to the judges.


Acceptance to present a project at the the igniteCS Programming Expo requires the approval of an Application submitted by the student(s) or their parent(s)/guardian(s).


Application Fees are not refundable. The only exception is for multiple payments for the same application.


Applications may be rejected for failing to satisfy the rules of the Fair.


Project Summaries must communicate ideas effectively and use standard English.

Qualified Projects

Basically any kind of projects involved with coding could participate. Below we listed the typical project categories and examples.

Game and Animation
  • 2D/3D Games
  • Mobile Games
  • Web Games
  • Graphic Animation and Movies
  • Sample Programming and Tools
  • Scratch, Unity3D, Alice, Unreal, Blocky, etc.
  1. Robotics Innovations
  2. Program Robots to Address Problems

  • Sample Programming and Tools
  • Lego, Vex, SPRK (Sphero), Ozobot, etc.
Hardware and Electronics
  • Hardware Applications
  • Smart Devices
  • Embedded Electronic Systems

  • Sample Programming and Tools
  • Raspberry PI, Arduino, Sparkfun, etc.
Mobile and Web
  • Android/iOS Apps
  • Mobile Application Dev Techniques
  • Website
  • Web Services and Applications

  • Sample Programming and Tools
  • Android, iOS, React Native, MIT App Inventor, Swift, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS, ReactJS, etc.
  1. Programming Algorithms
  2. Programming Language Innovation
  3. Data Science
  4. Data Analysis
  5. Machine Learning
  6. Deep Learning
  7. Artificial Intelligence
  • Sample Programming and Tools
  • Java, Python, C/C++, R, Matlab, etc.
Cyber Security
  • Information Security
  • Data Privacy
  • Cyber Attack and Defense
  • Cryptology
  • Mobile and Web Security

  • Sample Programming and Tools
  • Java, Python, C/C++, Android, iOS, JavaScript, etc.
Software Applications and Systems
  • Valid if it does not belong to the categories above.
  • Sample Programming and Tools
  • It could be the languages or tools from any categories above.
Project Criteria
  • 1. Run a live working demo. You must be able to provide and run a live demo of your project for the judges on site. Please note that this is a live demo, rather than a video. However, it is highly recommended that each participate prepares a video demo as a backup just in case the live demo cannot conducted successfully. Prepare and bring all the devices, programs, and tools you need for the demo, and make sure it works!
  • 2. Know the technical details. The judge would be interested to learn how you have built the project step by step. Thus, make sure that you understand the technical details and be able to explain how your program/code works.
  • 3. Make something useful. You can make your project with any ideas. One question the judge would ask you is: what can do we do with this project? Make sure that you think about all the meaningful and interesting use cases for your project.
  • 4. Use your imagination and creativity to do whatever you can to make the judges say “Wow, that's cool!”.


Category Awards

The igniteCS Programming Expo awards the top five projects within each subject category and each age division as First Place, Second Place, Third Place, Fourth Place, and Fifth Place. In addition, innovative project award, best teamwork award, distinguished ideas award will also be given in each category and age group.

People Choice Award

Each participant votes for 3 other projects.

Project of the Year

Every first place winning project in each subject category in order to select the best project in each age division.





Google IgniteCS






Northrop Grumman





This year, we are glad to announce that NSA GenCyber Program is sponsoring the event, so the registration fee is waived.
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This competition will now be held online

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