Celebrating High School Innovators (CHSI)
Submission Deadline09/01/2017


To identify, foster, and celebrate high school innovators in the state of Illinois whose contributions are exceptional or inspirational and to innovate educational techniques through the use of pioneering interdisciplinary curriculum designed to empower students, to collaborate with a spectrum of students and professionals in multiple contexts, and to foster student initiative.


  • May 1, 2017 - Competition Application Opens, Online
  • June 15, 2017 - Commitment to Summer Camp Deadline, Online
  • June 24, 2017 - Summer Mentoring Camp for Registered Applicant/Teams to Develop Materials for Round I, Pontiac Township High School Pontiac, Illinois
  • August 28, 2017 - Competition Application Closes, Online
  • September 1, 2017 - Round I Submission Deadline, Online
  • September 5-25, 2017 - Round I Public Voting/CHSI Judging, Online
  • September 30, 2017 - Video Workshop and Poster Session/Interview Phase; Announcement of Results of Round I - 50 Applicant/Teams Advancing in Competition, Millikin University
  • November 3, 2017 - Project Summary/Feasibility Study Mentoring Workshop & Campus Visit for Round II Competitors to coincide with StartUp Showcase ISU, Illinois State University
  • January 5, 2018 - Round II Submission Deadline, Online
  • January 15, 2018 - Announcement of Results of Round II - 30 Applicant/Teams Advancing in Competition, Online/Email
  • March 3, 2018 - Presenting and Selling Your Innovation; Mentoring the Mentor Workshop for TEACHERS; & Campus Visit for Round III Competitors; High School Innovation Grant Announced & Awarded, Millikin University
  • April 6, 2018 (beginning at 5 pm) - Round III - Display & Interview Phase, Illinois State University
  • April 7, 2018 (8:30 am - 2:30 pm) - Announcement of Results Round III - 10 Finalists Advance to Round IV immediately, Illinois State University
  • April 7, 2018 (3:30 pm) - Awards Ceremony, Illinois State University


Contestants must be high school students (including home-school students), grades 9-12 across the state of Illinois. Applicant/Teams may apply under one of the following categories:

  • Arts, Media, & Literature
  • Business Entrepreneurship
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)


Round I - Applicant/Teams submit a 3 minute video pitch and a personal statement (500-1000 words) describing who they are, what they have done, and why their idea is relevant. This will be an online submission to the CHSI website portal for public access and voting and final judging by CHSI panelists.

Round II - Fifty Applicant/Teams will be selected from Round I to continue in the contest. Applicant/Teams will submit a Project Summary/Feasibility Study in support of their innovation. This document will be an online submission to the CHSI website portal and will be judged by CHSI panelists.

Round III - Thirty Applicant/Teams will advance to Round III and will be held on the campus of Illinois State University for the 2017-2018 competition. During this phase of the competition competitors will present their IDEAs in a job-fair type display and discuss their innovations with the general public and CHSI judges.

Round IV - Ten Applicant/Team finalists will advance to Round IV to participate in the live Shark Tank style competition. Finalists will compete for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place awards and $1,000 cash prizes.

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