Part Two: More Challenge/Competition Resources… 21 Century Skills Plus PBL For All Subjects

Welcome to the second in a two part series introducing you to national competitions, challenges, and programs that can make any classroom come alive with learning. As you learned in the first post, you do not have to join the competition in order to benefit! I hope you find Part Two useful, and I thank you for reading and sharing Part One with others! As always,  feel free to subscribe by RSS or email, follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), and also discover some great resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki! Now, check out the next 8 of these 16 amazing resources ! If you know of a great resources please  comment/reply so we all can learn!

If you liked Part One of my Amazing Challenges and Competition Resources, then Part Two will really give you some great 21st Century ideas! Remember, there are many reasons to integrate these sites in your curriculum, even if you do not compete. Such reasons include the facilitation of national and state standards, engaging resources,  NETS, PBL, and 21st Century skills are many times included, most are free, cross-curricular opportunities, real world experience, and great reward opportunities for both educators and students. Take a moment to explore and enjoy these next eight wonders!

The Next Eight (missed the first eight?… check out this link and learn about the first eight resources!

The Scholastic Art And Writing Awards – A site also sponsored by the Alliance For Young Artists and Authors provides an avenue for students to enter competition and have writing and art work reviewed. There is even a Gallery that can be filtered by writing and art. Be sure to view the various programs and events available. (Check this data base for continuing awards, guidelines for each year’s program are usually available at the start of October

World Math, Science, Science, Spelling Day – Three separate days with competition on a global scale. It includes over 235 countries, over 1,000,000 students, and close to 60,000 schools! It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, all are invited to compete and set a new world record! Don’t forget to download this new app for your iPod!  (Usually takes place on the first three Wed of March with Math, Science, Spelling in order) * 2011 date are Math – March 2,Science – March 9, and Spelling – March 16

Project Citizen – Another great activity provided by the Center For Civic Education. All the components to provide a great opportunity to begin a project based learning activity based on curricular standards and needs of community and students. There is even a section guiding students on building a portfolio! (Check the site for competition dates since it does very by grade level and state)

GeoBee Challenge – Sponsored by National Geographic and Google Earth! Students get a daily opportunity to test their geography smarts. Ten new questions are posted every day! Also, check out the National Geography Bee Competition ! (There is a new GeoBee posted every day along with the preceding two days. That means there are three available quizzes  each day. The national competition begins at start of Nov and winds up locally in mid Jan , followed by state and national competition)

The Young Scientist Challenge – If your grade 5 – 8 students are excited about science and have the skills and know-how to explain and demonstrate science at work in every day life (making a video), then this is the right program for your classroom. Great teacher tools with video, lesson plans, and webinars. There are science extras with experiments, trips, links, and resources. Students will love the awesome challenging question/topic each year. (Usually begins begins of Dec and ends final days in May)

National STEM Video Game – Program is inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. The National STEM Video Game Challenge intent is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passions for playing and making video games. The Youth Prize engages middle school students  in STEM learning by challenging them to design original video games. (Submissions for competition usually open mid October with submissions closing after the first of the year.)

Oracle Thinkquest – This International Competition challenges students to solve a real-world problem by applying their critical thinking, communication, and technology skills. Participants may enroll in the following competition events which include Projects, Digital Media, and Application Development. You can find detailed information on the site. (The competition usually opens the end of August with final submission towards the end of April)

Mathcounts – MATHCOUNTS is a national enrichment, club and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement. Check out these  two unique programs to middle school teachers and students:  The MATHCOUNTS Competition Program and the FREE MATHCOUNTS Club Program. You may want to take a look at the problem of the week, month, or archive for the past year! There are also some great videos that will engage learning and some engaging arcade games featured. (Registration is usually up until mid December)

Thanks for joining me on this second quest to find engaging 21st Century teaching resources involving competitions and challenges. Be on the look out for my Advanced Google Search and my Evaluating a Web Page Series. You can also find a variety of my postings under Blogs at Tech & Learning Magazine.  If you know of a great challenge/competition please leave a comment! Take a moment and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email, share with others, and as always follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). See you soon!

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