Motivation is often a key element that’s missing from our kids’ projects. Without a specific reason to get something done, we’re basically begging for them to ask the somehow-timeless-question:
“What’s the point of this?”
Whether you’re a teacher, a parent or pretty much anyone who’s ever had a conversation with a kid before, you’ve undoubtedly had to answer that question at some point, tapping into creative reasoning you probably didn’t even know you had. I think I once told a kid who was questioning why I was making him read a book that it was because he would cherish the stories from his childhood – I don’t think he bought it.
Get them excited
A better way of motivating your kids could most definitely be with interesting competitions and contests that give out all kinds of awards. There are so many organizations that issue incredible challenges, with real deadlines, rules and most excitingly – prizes. It’s an awesome way to encourage kids to get excited about what they can accomplish, if they just get to work.
Here are few great competitions you can still enter now, for 2016.
- The Science Without Borders Challenge is an international art competition that engages students to promote the needs to preserve, protect and restore the world’s oceans and aquatic resources. It’s open to all kids ages 11-19 years old, and the deadline to apply is April 25th, 2016.
- The Space App Challenge is NASA’s annual collaborative hackathon that takes place over 48hrs in April. Anyone can take part – there are 25 different challenges revolving around technology, robotics, outer space and much more. The deadline to apply to host an event in your city is February 24th, 2016 but registration to be an individual contributor will open soon.
- Collaboration Nation is a nationwide (U.S) competition that schools and school districts can enter to win up to $50,000 to support their EdTech programs. Applicants must enter a video to demonstrate a cross-departmental collaborative project by April 30th, 2016.
- ProjectCSGirls is aimed at encouraging girls to actively use computer science and technology to develop solutions to social problems. The deadline to register is February 15th,2016, so hurry for this one – but projects are only due in April.
- The Tech Challenge is a team-based design engineering challenge for kids in grades 4-12, with the aim of inspiring the next generation of Silicon Valley innovators. The competition takes places on April 23 and 24, 2016.
Do you have any others to add to the list? Let us know!