Do you ever worry about the impact of all that screen-time on our kids and how it might affect their well-being and their futures? If you do, you’re not alone. Even Steve Jobs and Bill Gates set screen-time limits for their children. Research is continuing to prove that digitisation of our lives could have some dire outcomes unless we equip our kids well.

Skills for the future

For us at the William Pike Challenge, it’s a privilege to be helping young Kiwis develop skills that will help set them up for a fantastic 21st-century future through the William Pike Challenge. It’s clear that what they’re learning through the programme is more important than ever.

OECD Director of Education and Skills, Andreas Schleicher says that our young people will need the ability to think across disciplines, to see the world through different perspectives, connect ideas and “construct information” for the world we face.

William hears the same thing from the many leading companies he visits as an inspirational speaker. They’re looking for good communication, problem-solving, resilience, and team-work in their new employees. These are the skills the William Pike Challenge develops.

Skills for the real world

Activities outside the classroom like community service, a new hobby and exploring the outdoors enables kids to nurture a sense of responsibility, confidence, and self-worth. The William Pike Challenge introduces them to new things that are away from screens and based on real-world experiences. And this is vital.

Stuff recently reported that researchers found adolescents who spent more time on electronic communication and screens – social media, texting, electronic games, the internet – were less happy, less satisfied with their lives and had lower self-esteem. Importantly, “every non-screen activity was correlated with greater happiness, and every screen activity was correlated with less happiness.”

Exploring as a skill

One of our student’s favourite things about the William Pike Challenge is that they can do activities that suit them best. It’s not all ranging up mountain peaks! It’s true that William loves to focus on exploring, but this includes exploring your own interests, exploring ways that you can to contribute to the community and much more. One example is Westlake Boys who shared William’s book with their new Year 9 students. Not only did the boys get to check out his journey to a life with #NoLimits, but they all also have something in common to talk about as they settle into their new school. It’s a double dose of exploring and connecting, and that’s just what we love here at #WPCA.