A little competition never hurt anyone. In fact, it may even be healthy for your children or teenagers. By participating in competitions, they can develop their interests, network with mentors and like-minded peers, challenge themselves, and gain knowledge and experience that will give them an edge when applying to universities or jobs.
If your child has a passion, speak to your child’s teachers and enrichment coaches to find out if there are local and international competitions that he or she can join. A reminder: don’t limit your scope to academic contests. There are many talent contests that are open to participants worldwide, and they could give your child a platform to shine on the global stage.
For instance, an 8-year-old Japanese girl, Yoyoka Soma, has gained international media coverage after earning a finalist’s spot on the global Hit Like A Girl drumming contest. Although she did not place in the top three, the experience has cemented her desire “to be the best drummer in the world.”
A 12-year-old local artiste, Annette Yeong, also launched her performing career after joining The Premiere Program, an international talent showcase. (Read her story here.)
Not sure where to begin? Let your child’s interests guide the way. You can help by keeping your eyes peeled for relevant competitions, and below, we highlight some useful links.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
A*STAR has joined forces with organisations such as the Science Centre Singapore to hold science and technology competitions and fairs for budding scientists, engineers, and innovators. Read about their programmes here.
Science Centre Singapore
Apart from partnering with A*STAR for the Science Buskers Festival and the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award, the Science Centre also runs its own competitions (details here).
School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA)
SOTA has been running creative writing competitions for three years, and this year, they also organised a nationwide art competition—both were targeted at Primary 6 students. Contact them to enquire about upcoming contests.
Singapore Book Council
One of the Book Council’s objectives is to support local content creators, and they hold events and competitions for young storytellers to learn, network, and collaborate. Browse their 2018 competitions here, and contact them to find out what’s in the pipeline.
CDL Singapore Young Photographer Award
This contest to nurture young Singaporean photographers has been running since 2005. There is a different theme each year, and children aged 13 to 18 can participate in the “Junior” category.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
This essay competition is said to be the world’s oldest international writing competition for students, and it is managed by the Royal Commonwealth Society. It is open to youths aged 18 and under from Commonwealth countries, and it is a chance for students to reflect on the state of the world, while sharing their hopes for the future.
Google Science Fair
This international science contest by Google is an open invitation for children to find a problem worth solving, develop and test solutions, and share their discoveries with the world. No idea is too big or too small, claims Google, so it’s worth giving this a shot.
Organised by Shell International, Shell Ideas360 is a global competition for students to develop game-changing solutions that will address the world’s food, energy, and water problems. Although it is officially open to university students aged 18 and above, younger students may participate if they have the consent of their parents or legal guardians.
For more student competitions, check out the suggestions by the Digital Senior, as well as the Intercompetition.com blog.