At SBC we are committed to partnering with educators and professionals to provide students with experiences that ignite their dreams, unleash their potential, and make them eager to chase the amazing opportunities in their lives.

For 30+ years, thousands of participants from the Twin Cities metropolitan area have benefited from SBC’s dynamic programming. High student participation and strong support from the schools and the community are proof of the value of Success Beyond the Classroom!



Knowledge Bowl

Senior High Knowledge Bowl began in Fergus Falls, MN, coordinated by the Lakes County Service Cooperative. The first KB season featured teams from only eight school districts in western Minnesota. Today, Knowledge Bowl has grown to include over 800 teams from across the state and is sponsored by the Minnesota Service Cooperatives, a coalition of 9 educational service agencies in Minnesota.

Inaugural Young Authors Conference

1991 brought the start of SBC’s much-loved Young Authors Conference. Keynote, Marion Dane Bauer, focused on Writing from the Heart. What began as a one-day, small conference of a few hundred students has expanded into a five-day conference bringing together thousands of young writers each year.


The Creatives

Early on, the Creativity Festival was held at Coffman Union on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Moving to the Science Museum of Minnesota in 2000, and then splitting into separate programs, the Creativity Festival and CreativeCon excite and encourage young people to explore their creative potential alongside professionals from the arts and sciences. We now partner with the University of Minnesota.


SBC becomes a Nonprofit

SBC becomes a nonprofit when its programs spun off from its parent organization, the Metropolitan Educational Cooperative Service Unit (Metro ECSU), which serves Twin Cities schools in many capacities. Most SBC programs and activities were developed by SBC from initial concept to coordinated program execution.


The Future City Competition Launches in Minnesota

17 schools participated in the inaugural Minnesota Regional Future City Competition (FCC) at Saint Anthony High School. Since then, the MN FCC has been hosted by the University of St. Thomas, University of Minnesota, Dunwoody College of Technology, and currently, Dakota County Technical College. Over 300 6th-8th graders participate each year. 2021 marks the first year FCC goes virtual at both the regional and national level.


Middle Grades Knowledge Bowl

Knowledge Bowl expands their grades to include a Middle Grades Knowledge Bowl program for 5th-8th graders. Today over 100 middle grade teams compete yearly in the metro-wide Middle Grades Knowledge Bowl program.



STEMLink, once known as STEMLink5, began its first year as a one-day event at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN. STEMLink has since expanded to three college campuses, four program dates, and thousands of fifth and sixth grade students annually.


SBC Goes Virtual

The COVID-19 pandemic caused schools to shift to distance learning. SBC quickly adapted and converted Knowledge Bowl, Young Authors Conference, The Creatives, STEMLink, and the Future City Competition to the virtual world!


The 30th Anniversary of YAC!

30 years ago, we started the amazing tradition of the Young Authors Conference!


Inaugural Knowledge Bowl Nationals

SBC worked with Knowledge Bowl Coordinators from Colorado and Washington to host the first-ever Virtual Knowledge Bowl Nationals tournament on Discord. Nine teams from Minnesota competed head-to-head with curious students from the other two states!

Retired SBC Programs

Blizzard Cup

2009 – 2015

SBC in partnership with the YMCA Beacons after school program provided an academic challenge opportunity to Beacon students, grades 6-8, from several Minneapolis public schools. The program, similar to Knowledge Bowl, was called the Blizzard Cup thanks to generous funding from Dairy Queen International (DQI).

Young Inventors Fair

1980 – 2012

The Young Inventors Fair (YIF) engaged approximately 7,000 young inventors in grades 3-8 each year. Students created original inventions over a multi-month period using a project-based curriculum that emphasized the creative process, scientific inquiry skills, and problem solving.

Water is Life Contest

2008 – 2011

In collaboration with the Minnesota Service Cooperatives and The Freshwater Society, high school students participated in a contest to create a piece of visual art conveying messages about water conservation. The artwork and accompanying statement from each artist explained the theme of their work and how the artwork conveyed the importance of protecting and preserving water.

Just the Arts

2006 – 2009

Just the Arts provided inspiration and exploration of a variety of performing and visual arts topics for grades 6-9. This event offered students an opportunity to explore an art form of their choice in a deeper way.

Holocaust Remembrance

1995 – 2006

This presentation was a powerful multimedia message that provoked students to examine the effects of social injustice and discrimination. It enhanced school curriculum related to the Holocaust and included open dialogue with a Holocaust survivor.

Ragamala Dance

2003 – 2004

Ragamala Dance Company performances introduced students to the South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam. SBC collaborated with the University of Minnesota’s School of Music to provide performances of Return of the Rain Seed, where Ragamala dancers weaved a magical spell of music, dance, and the spoken word to tell the story of Mala, a young girl who yearns to be brave and adventurous.

Hands On History

1999 – 2004

Student in grades 5-7 were immersed for a day in the life of early Minnesota settlers at Murphy’s Landing, a living historic village of the 1800’s located in Shakopee, MN.

Fourth Write! Conference

1998 – 2004

Fourth Write! was a series of one-day events designed to immerse Minneapolis Public Schools’ fourth grade students and their teachers in experiences and expertise of professional writers, literary artists, and educators.  The purpose of the conference was to support increased student achievement in writing. It focused student and teacher attention on the expectation that, by the middle of fourth grade, students should be purposefully applying the skills of written communication with increasing expertise.  

SBC Logo black and white

© 2021 Success Beyond the Classroom

SBC presents its programs in collaboration with Metro ECSU. Metro ECSU member districts can participate in SBC programs at special member rates. For more information, visit www.metroecsu.org.

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