NUS Geography Challenge 2021

NUS Geography Challenge website created by James Lao, 2021
Website created by James Lao, 2020 - 2021


The National University of Singapore Geography Challenge (NUS GC) is an annual non-profit Geography-centered competition jointly organised by the NUS Department of Geography and the NUS Geographical Society. As NUS GC runs for the 25th year, we will continue on our quest to ignite passion and inspire secondary school students to develop a keen interest in the dynamic discipline of Geography. Through healthy competition, we seek to engage, empower and educate students on world issues and highlight the omnipresence of Geography in our everyday lives. In the course of participating in this challenge, NUS GC also aims to encourage students to embark on independent learning.

The theme for the 2021 edition of the Geography Challenge is Passport to the World: Sustainable Footprints.

NUS GC 2021 will focus on the theme of sustainability which is inherently geographical and engages a range of cognate topics (e.g. economic sustainability, food sustainability, climate sustainability). This theme of sustainability focuses on the need for Singapore to not just tide out the current pandemic in the immediate term but seek to thrive in the longer term. To this end, we will focus particularly on the Sustainable Development Goals, as set out by the United Nations in 2015.

Through NUS GC 2021, students will be empowered and inspired as a Singaporean citizen, as well as a world citizen in thinking critically of the larger picture to protect Singapore’s immediate future and Singapore’s next decades – towards SG100. Students will also explore the potential solutions and opportunities to promote active citizenry as they adopt a role in not just shaping the future of the nation, but to also ensure Singapore is still the Passport to the World.

Website created by James Lao, 2021
Image credit: Viessman Group

COVID-19 Precautions

In view of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Preliminary Round and Geo-Trail will be held online while the Grand Finals will be held physically with the proper safe-distancing measures and procedures in place. The NUS GC will strictly adhere to the safe-distancing guidelines throughout the course of the entire competition.

More information on the online GeoTrail and physical Grand Finals will be given closer to the component dates themselves.

We hope to announce the results for the Creative Component, Individual and Team Component, as well as the Geo-Trail and Grand Finals circulars to be sent to the top 30 schools by latest next week. We appreciate your patience.




Each school team must have 4 students for NUS GC 2021. These students must be between 13 to 16 years old as of 1st January 2021. Students who have participated in previous iterations of NUS GC are ineligible to participate in NUS GC 2021.


The registration fee for NUS GC2021 is SGD20 per team. Make sure to indicate your preferred method of payment (IFAAS or iBanking) in the registration form. Once your submission is received, a confirmation email with the payment details will be sent to you. We will be sending the consent forms for students in the confirmation email as well, consent forms will need to be emailed back to us on the day of Preliminary Rounds. (to note, the consent forms will be the same as GC2019 and GC 2020).

If there are any registration-related issues, please contact us at

Creative Component


4 January 2021 – 10 February 2021

Website created by James Lao, 2020 - 2021

In this optional component, each participating team can complete one of two options.


Create a poster that showcases the supply chain of a brand and how various stakeholders may improve the sustainability of this chosen brand.


Create a poster that showcases an initiative that promotes sustainability in schools and/or in Singapore. This initiative can be one participants are familiar with.









All submissions are to be sent to Further details such as format and file naming conventions can be found in the CC circular below. Example submissions can also be found within the circular. Note that if the format is not adhered to, the school will be forfeited from this optional component.

Preliminary Round


27 February 2021

9.00 am – 4.30 pm
Website created by James Lao, 2020 - 2021

Together with the Creative Component, the Preliminary Round serves to qualify capable participants for the subsequent GeoTrail and Finals Rounds. Participants will be tested not just on their geographical knowledge, but also application and technical skills so useful in the field and beyond. The top 25 teams from the Preliminaries will progress to the next stage, along with the top 5 teams from the Creative Component.

Due to the exceptional circumstances brought about by COVID-19, the GC2021 Preliminary Round will be conducted online. Instructions for accessing the questions and submitting answers will be disseminated via an online briefing on the actual day itself.

Individual Component


Team Component


Semifinal Round: Geo-Trail

20 March 2021

8.00 am – 12.15 pm
Website created by James Lao, 2020 - 2021

The Semifinal Round, also known as the Geo-Trail, will see the top 30 schools compete against each other as they learn more about geographical concepts in the Singaporean context. Participants will apply what they know to what they see, and this round is sure to test their application skills. From this round, 5 teams will progress to the Final Round.


Once Geo-Trail ends at 12:15 pm students are to go for lunch.

Students should also be dressed in their full school uniforms, as we will announce the Top 5
finalists for Grand Finals by 1:30 pm. Thereafter, students and their teacher IC are to make their
way promptly to MOE HQ (Grange Road).

Grand Finalists (Top 5 schools from the Geo-Trail event) should reach MOE HQ (Grange Road) no
later than 3:30 pm for registration.

Announcing Grand Finalists

  • The Geography Challenge Organizing Committee (GCOC) team will first call and text the student representative, and then inform the teacher IC from the Grand Finalist schools.
  • Thereafter, we will also email an announcement to all 30 semi-finalist schools – this
    announcement will include a list of the 5 schools which have made it to the Grand Finals.
  • As stated previously, we aim to have these done by 1:30 pm so that students and teachers
    have ample time to get to the venue by 3:30 pm.

Grand Finals

20 March 2021

3.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Website created by James Lao, 2020 -2021

As the name suggests, this is the final round that tests the Top 5 teams to see who comes out on top. We have planned an intense competition where participants will be challenged beyond what they already know. This exciting closure to NUS GC2021 will be held in MOE HQ at Grange Road, and it will be livestreamed for all to watch! You may access the livestream here on the day itself.