Contests for Inspiration

I remember back when I was little, I used to feel this huge sense of inspiration whenever I saw an ad for a contest. I remember Nickelodeon always had advertisements for how little kids could cause great, big change and I remember thinking – “Hey, i’m a little kid. It could be me!” I was reminded of this passion for contests recently while working 1:1 with a nine year old. She said to me, “Marisa – have you heard of this writing contest? I need to enter!”¬†Motivation comes from many different places, but contests are definitely one really great way of inspiring kids to dream big.

Here are some really fun contests that can be super motivating for your child:

Kids Are Authors

Contest: Students work in teams of 3 or more under the guidance of an adult coordinator to create their own original piece of writing with illustrations. The pieces can be fiction or non-fiction.

Ages: Students in Grades K-8

Dates: Accepting submissions until March 15th, 2012

Prizes: Winning books will be published by Scholastic and sold at Scholastic book fairs around the country!


Wouldn’t It Be Cool If…

Contest: Dream up the coolest idea powered by math or science to make life more awesome!

Ages: 10-12 and 13-15

Dates: Accepting Submissions until March 28th, 2012

Prize: The opportunity to develop your idea


National Geographic Dare to Explore O’ahu

Contest: Write an essay about why you want to explore O’ahu

Ages: 9-15

Dates: Accepting Submissions until April 16th, 2012

Prize: A trip to O’ahu


Adobe Youth Voices Essentials

Contest: This contest is different from the rest in that a teacher needs to submit the work on behalf of a young artist. They are looking for original, high-quality youth-produced multimedia created to address critical issues and effect positive change.

Ages: 13-18

Dates: Accepting Submissions until April 20th, 2012

Prize: Your work will be displayed on the Adobe site and there are a range of other prizes that will be given out at the end of the contest as well.


If you know of other contests, post them here! Also, National Geographic Kids has a Contests page that I love to look at from time to time to get an idea of what’s out there. Happy entering!

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