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Ocean Awareness Student Contest: Ocean Pollution Awareness and Solutions

We invite middle and high school students from around the world to participate in the 2017 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest! This year’s theme is Ocean Pollution: Challenges & Solutions.
We want your submission – visual art, poetry, prose, or film – to make viewers reflect on the impact of ocean pollution, inspire them to consider possible solutions, and challenge them to take action.
We encourage you to connect your submission to your own life, your local community, or something else that inspires and motivates you. Some questions that you might consider as you work on your submission are:

  • Who is to “blame” for ocean pollution? What are the sources of ocean pollution?
  • Who – and what – is impacted by ocean pollution?
  • How does ocean pollution at one end of the world affect the other end?
  • What innovative solutions have been created or proposed to address different types of ocean pollution? What challenges do these innovations face to widespread implementation?
  • How should scientists, designers, and policy-makers work together to address ocean pollution issues? How do local communities take part? How do individuals play a role? What role do you play?
  • What is the first step to raising awareness about ocean pollution?
  • How does meaningful change happen?
  • What does the future ocean look like to you?

Everything you need to know for the 2017 contest is on this page, so please read it carefully! Download a printable version>


Awards will be presented in each of the four categories at both middle school and high school levels:

Grades 9-12
Grades 6-8
Gold Award
Silver Award
Bronze Award
Gold Award
winner’s school
10 Honorable
Mention Awards
3 Teacher
Recognition Awards

Additional Awards Available in 2017

Over the course of the Contest, other awards may become available and will be listed here. The winners of these awards will be chosen and announced at the same time as the category awards.
Making Waves Award
The Making Waves Award will be awarded to one submission is each age division that demonstrates a powerful, engaging, and original voice of ocean activism. Winners receive a $250 cash prize, and an equal amount will be donated to an organization of their choice in their name.

getting started

1. Research.
Use our website to find resources and inspiration. Do research on the topic, ask tough and complex questions, and have conversations about ocean pollution with your peers and sponsor.
2. Create.
Create your own work of art, prose, poetry, or film that interprets the Contest theme and advocates for ocean conservation. Make sure you review and understand all of the requirements for your chosen Category.
3. Submit.
Make sure you’ve met all rules and requirements for submitting to the Contest. Use our online system to create an account and submit your work. There is no fee to enter the Contest.
It is important that you provide a valid email address so that we may contact you. If you provide a school email address as your primary contact information, please provide an additional, alternative email address as well.
Teachers & Sponsors: You may create a single account under your name and submit multiple entries on behalf of your class, but you must submit separate entries for each individual student, unless they are participating as a Group.
Entries are due by June 19, 2017, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET).

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