Monday, December 6, 2010

Take a Shot: Online Contests - An Easy Find

The web provides access to many FREE resources for teachers and you can also find opportunities for your students to participate in contests, challenges, projects, and events like the Google Science Fair and much more.

If you are an educator, click the link for classroom resources, complete the simple registration form and Google will send you materials for your class or even your whole school.  Students or teams ages 13-18 are eligible to participate in the Google Science Fair. Google will kick off registration on January 11th.  So, if you register your classroom/school now, you should receive your material before the.

My next example will be ending on January 21, 2011 but there is still plenty of time to enter.  Olive Garden is sponsoring its 15th annual Pasta Tales Essay Contest.  Students from 1st - 12th grade are eligible to register online or you can print a form.  This year's topic for a 50-250 word essay is: “Describe how furthering your education beyond high school will help make your dreams come true.” The contest grand prize is a three-day trip to New York City and a $2,500 savings bond and there are also winners at each grade level who receive a bond and dinner at a local Olive Garden.
 According to the contest website, submissions will be judged based on creativity, adherence to theme, organization, grammar, punctuation and spelling by the Quill and Scroll Society of the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Iowa, with winners selected by Olive Garden.

This form keeps it simple and the essay topic is central to motivating students to achieve and think about furthering their education beyond high school.

If you are looking for a way to challenge your students and open their eyes to new ways to demonstrate their abilities, search the web for contests, events, and opportunities like these.  There are hundreds available, depending upon where you live and the age of your students.
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.  Wayne Gretzky 
If your students don't ever participate in something like these contests, they will never have the opportunity to win. My search of online writing contests yielded 930,000 websites so, if my examples aren't to your liking, I am sure you will find something that could work for your students. Many contests are simple online submissions like Olive Garden's.  Teachers should check with a school administrator and follow appropriate protocol for online submissions.  I hope you are able to let your students take a shot!

If you have participated in an online event, contest, etc. share your experience in a comment.  If not, could the Google Science Fair or the Olive Garden Pasta Tales Contest work for your students?   Share your thoughts on this topic.

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