The Oregon Game Project Challenge, known as OGPC, has its competition in two Saturdays (May 4th). This is the coolest competition, and the first one like it I've seen. It's part of TechStart, and is all across Oregon. Kids form teams to create video games based on a challenge each year. This year's challenge is "public good." Games just need to somehow incorporate the concept of public good. Other than that, it's all fair game. You can do side-scroller, isometric, first-person, or other mechanics, you can be single- or multi-player, any platform, and framework. Kids use Kodu, Scratch, Game Maker, XNA, and other technologies.
There are middle school and high school teams, and many schools have more than one group. Each team creates a game, and can also do extra work to earn achievements to increase their score. At the day of competition, games are scored based on the game itself, how it adheres to the theme, and how many achievements it earns. I love that there are industry professionals on hand, giving the kids great feedback.
If you are in Oregon and not taking advantage of OGPC, you're missing out! If you are out of state, see what you can do to bring something similar to your state. If I had known about it back when I lived in Iowa, I would have started something like it. I sure wish I could have competed in something like it as a kid!
Link: Oregon Game Project Challenge