Chessman is changed to the shadow of the crown. Idea concept

Since I (baby boomer) started playing netball when I was 5 years old in South Africa I always had a competitive streak in me. However that only meant I practised harder. I remember in high school I started shooting 100 goals a day and at University I challenged myself to shoot 100 goals in a row or I will have to start from scratch. I worked hard and strived to at least be good at what I’m doing, if not being a winner. After I had my lovely daughter (Gen Z) and had sent her to school I learned that teachers were talking about participation and not about winning. So when did this all change?

How do we engage Gen Z and keep their attention?

Born roughly between 1995 and 2015, Gen Z made up 24% of the workforce in 2020. This generation has already proven themselves radically different from their Millennial predecessors. Competition is pretty fierce when it comes to Gen Z.  The key is to create constructive competition.

Child development experts believe competition is healthy for children as it will teach them empathy, how to collaborate with others to problem solve, and tenacity.

“Competition helps kids learn that it is not always the best or the brightest who are successful, but rather those that work hard and stick with it,” says Timothy Gunn, Psy.D., a pediatric neuropsychologist, owner of Gunn Psychological Services, Inc., in Southern California, and a judge on Lifetime Network’s Child Genius: Battle of the Brightest docu-series. What’s more, he says children who engage in competition “earn critical social skills through interacting with other children, while also learning the value of hard work and developing self-esteem and self-efficacy.”

1. Gen Z is Tech-Savvy

It is no surprise that Gen Z is more tech-savvy than any other generation. Gen Z grew up watching media conglomerates build online platforms and create social media tools that are an integral part of their day-to-day living and choices they make.

2. Gen Z is risk-averse

Gen Z is significantly more risk-averse than previous generations, likely stemming from growing up during a period of economic uncertainty and unrest.

3. Gen Z is independent

Gen Z is accustomed to thousands of years of accumulated knowledge and rather be googling for more information than asking for advice. They want a balanced lifestyle but flexible to meet their needs.

4. Gen Z is competitive

They are willing to work hard at what they want. Gen Z’s competitiveness doesn't just fuel their drive to succeed but they are very aware of promotions and recognition.

At Kai’s Clan, we recognize that competitions can fuel engagement, participation, and recognition, therefore we run several competitions throughout the year. 

A couple of weeks ago we launched the Global Chess Challenge. While you do not need to be an expert in chess or coding, we want to combine these two skills, and problem-solving and critical thinking is valued in our teachings at Kai’s Clan. Since then, we have taken on another challenge of ourselves to bring to you a new competition.

Today we are proud to announce that we are part of the International Seaperch Challenge 2021. 

We have big plans to expand Kai’s Clan, especially our Mars Adventure. For more information on the 2021 International SeaPerch Challenge, visit 

We are also very excited to bring back the School Space Race for another year in Term 3. Only this time it will be bigger, we plan to bring it to the international stage and invite any schools from around the world who are interested, not just for those who are in New Zealand. So watch this space!

This weeks’ featured article’

Meet Kai at one of the following events.

Computational Thinking for All, Meet Commitment Makers

May 14, 10 am Pacific Standard Time

Interface XPO 2021 (workshops at each event delivered by teachers)

Christchurch – 21 May at Lincoln Event Centre

Wellington – 25 May at Lower Hutt Events Centre

Auckland – 27 May at Trust Arena

 Interactive Breakout Session:

 EDT: Friday, June 4 @ 6:15p – 7:55p

NZST: Saturday, June 5 @ 10:15a – 11:55

 Informational Breakout Session with Live Q&A:

EDT: Saturday, June 5 @ 4:50p – 5:35p

NZST: Saturday, June 6 @ 8:50a – 9:35a

For more information check out

If you are a teacher or school and want to learn more about Kai’s Clan, go to and book a demo or contact Ronel at [email protected]

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