Where do you think we'll be living in 3017? How long do you think we'll live for? And what most concerns you about the future?
These are the important questions we recently asked our members to celebrate the theme of the return of our yearly writing competition, The National Young Writers' Awards - the future!
Whilst inevitably talk of the future results in images of life in space, flying crafts and teleportation devices amongst the fantasy is an overwhelming sense that children really care for the environment. Of the 1,000 members asked, 87% said they believed 'saving the environment' should be taught in schools. Pollution was found to be their biggest worry for the future, followed by the extinction of animals, politics and rising sea levels. This reveals a very real, humbling desire amongst the UK's children to educate themselves fully about the damage humans are causing, in order to put things right and protect our future planet!
And when it comes to the rise of Donald Trump, the majority of children (86%) say they are worried about his presidency and the impact it could have on the world. Influenced by their parents or children's intuition - who knows?!
Very sadly, almost a third of children say they have never heard of the woolly mammoth, the dodo or sabre tooth tiger! And the animals that they were worried could be extinct next is the panda, followed by the polar bear and then elephant.
Our judge of the National Young Writers' Awards, TV presenter, adventurer and author, Steve Backshall says: "It's heartening to know that so many children care about the impact that pollution is having on the world around us. We are incredibly lucky to have an amazing array of animals in this world and a beautiful planet to inhabit so it is of paramount importance for our future generations to look after them. I would certainly agree that saving the environment should be a top priority in schools."
And we know why - because children think they'll be around for a while! Kids seem very optimistic about how long they will be living with nearly two thirds (62%) believing they will be enjoying life over the age of 100 and nearly one in five (17%) thinking they'll live to the grand old age of 200!
And when asked what children would most like for the future - the top answer, far beating the chance of them travelling in space, was a cure for cancer.
What humbling results! The future looks bright in such caring and compassionate hands. We chose to theme this year's National Young Writers' Awards around 'the future' because it opens up so much potential for a child's imagination. Their characters could be living in space, travelling via drones, living in a planet free of pollution without disease, who knows? The opportunities are endless and we cannot wait to read and be inspired by the entries!
The National Young Writers' Awards have been running for nine years and have inspired hundreds of thousands of children across the UK to put pen to paper and give writing a try. Enter now before the 5th May- simply go online at www.explorelearning.co.uk/youngwriters for more info.