League Challenge FAQ
What is the League Challenge?
STEM Playground’s League Challenge is a cumulative contest that spans the length of a normal school year in the United States. The contest consists of a preset battery of 12 activities and your class’s average rank for all League Challenge activities determines your standings.
So is there only one winner?
No. The League Challenge is active for any geographic region/demographic subset that has at least 10 participating classes. For example, if there are 30 participating 4th-grade classes in New York state and 10 of them are in Buffalo while 8 of them are in Albany, then Buffalo would have a city-specific League Challenge winner, but Albany would not.
Where we meet that 10 class minimum, we will award a winner and 2nd through 6th place awards.
Are there awards for classes with majority at-risk students? Or majority ESL (English as a second language)?
Yes. While classes with those demographic characteristics are eligible to win non-categorized League Challenge awards, we will have a subset of awards specifically for classes in majority at-risk or ESL schools.
My class completed 11 of 12 activities. Are we still eligible for awards?
Technically, yes. But for our calculations, non-completion or expiration for an activity earns last place for that activity. So a class with above average performance in all 12 events is at a great advantage to a class that only completes 10 League Challenge activities.
How long is the League Challenge season?
The League Challenge approximately aligns with a normal school year in the United States and runs from September 1 until May 15 of the following year, at which point results are calculated and awards are distributed.
What can we win?
Because performance results are based on the honor system, we don’t want to incentivize cheating by offering rewards with monetary value. But your class can win recognition within your school district, city, county, state/province, or country. When awards are calculated, we will ask winners to supply us with contact information for school administrators and local media. We will also send you printable awards certificates for classroom display and for sending home with your children.
How do I know which activities are included in the League Challenge?
On your Activity Board, you will see tiles which include information about the activities. The activities included in the League Challenge are denoted with red text. See the image to the right.
How are League Challenge results calculated?
For each activity, we find your class’s average team rank among all teams worldwide who completed that activity. Once we have this average team rank for each activity, we then average those average ranks and then rank the classes within each grade for each geographic and demographic segment.
If this is confusing, just think of it this way. We average the team ranks for your class, then we rank your class by its average rank to find an “apple-to-apples” comparison amongst all classes in your grade.