General Science and Teaching

Student art contest on oceans & climate change

Hi all, 

I am writing to share a great opportunity for you & your students: Bow Seat's Ocean Awareness Contest, a global competition that engages students in creatively raising awareness of issues impacting ocean and planetary health. The 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest theme is Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis. This free, online program invites teens to learn about climate change and its impact on oceans; discover or imagine solutions at local, national, or global scales; and create work that explores hope in action.


  • Submissions accepted in: Visual Art, Film, Music, Poetry, Prose, and Interactive & Multimedia
  • Open to middle and high school ages 11-18 worldwide
  • Students can work as individuals or as a class, club, or team
  • Hundreds of cash awards available, ranging from $50 to $1,500
  • Free to enter
  • Deadline: June 15, 2020

For complete details, visit the Ocean Awareness Contest Overview >

Resources for Educators:

  • $750 Educator Innovation Award: Teachers and youth program coordinators are encouraged to nominate themselves or a colleague for our Educator Innovation Awards, recognizing the creative ways that educators incorporate the Ocean Awareness Contest into their curricula. Learn more about last year's winners and how to apply here.
  • Classroom Activities: We have compiled climate change lesson plans, media, and articles to get your students started on their research and creative projects. Check out our resources for educators here.
  • Classroom Posters: If you would like an Ocean Awareness Contest poster to hang in your classroom or flyers to give to students or colleagues, you can download or request some here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Thank you! We look forward to seeing what your students create.


About Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs
Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs is a Boston-based nonprofit that activates the next wave of ocean leaders through the arts, science, and advocacy, and provides a space for students to connect, create, and communicate for our blue planet. Since 2012, Bow Seat has encouraged youth to learn about and engage with environmental issues through art-making. More than 12,000 teenagers representing 106 countries and all 50 U.S. states have participated in Bow Seat's programs.

Alyssa Irizarry
Alyssa Irizarry
50 Activity Points

Thank you for sharing! I teach in higher education, but I shared this with a friend who teaches high school sciences. 

Emily Faulconer
Emily Faulconer
4660 Activity Points

What great resources.  I wish I had seen this earlier this year when I taught the water uinit.  I will be sharing this with my students since we are in a stay home status because of the pandemic.  I think having the student participate in a contest might be different and fun for them and a great diversion from "being bored" becasue they are home.  Trying to teach online has been a challenge!

Jennifer Hicks
Jennifer Hicks
660 Activity Points

Thank you for sharing! This awesome! I currently teach oceanography and we are about to start our human impact unit. This will be great to share with my students as I have some very talented artisits. I will definitely be sharing these with the other teachers as well. 

Charissa Barnhill
Charissa Barnhill
1514 Activity Points

This looks like a great program. I am working with a collaborative group of teachers to develop a STEAm unit on ocean debris/trash in oceans. I will look into incorporating this.

Anne Marie Wotkyns
Anne Marie Wotkyns
539 Activity Points

Awesome! Thank you for sharing. The students will love this. 

Brittany Alao
Brittany Alao
580 Activity Points

The Shape of Life website has a great lesson incorporating graphical data (on climate change) into art.  They provide a bunch of free resources, which are routinely updated.  If you have trouble accessing any, contact them as they have great customer support.  Note:  Their keys are not protected.  

Carole Gonzalez
Carole Gonzalez
Activity Points

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