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The Ocean Awareness Student Contest: The Ultimate Guide

January 12, 2024
By AdmissionSight
Female graphic design smiling at the camera.

The Ocean Awareness Student Contest: The Ultimate Guide

Dive into the exciting world of art, conservation, and making a positive impact with the Ocean Awareness Student Contest! This contest is an ideal platform for middle and high school students aged 11 to 18 who are eager to express their creative thoughts and ideas about environmental conservation through art.

This blog will be your go-to resource for getting a deep understanding of the Ocean Awareness Student Contest. Get ready to join us on a journey where your artistic talents meet the power of advocacy. We’re here to help you navigate and excel in this fantastic contest designed for young ocean lovers like you!

What is the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

The Ocean Awareness Student Contest is an important yearly event that invites students worldwide to join in important discussions and actions to protect our oceans. It aims to teach young people about the environment and the essential role oceans have in our world, emphasizing the need for sustainable habits and conservation.

Students are encouraged to share original, creative work that explores how human actions impact ocean health. They can express their concerns and ideas about saving the oceans using art, film, poetry, prose, or multimedia.

Every year, the contest focuses on a different theme related to saving the oceans, such as plastic pollution, climate change, overfishing, or habitat destruction. This helps participants learn about various aspects of ocean health and the specific problems oceans face.

The contest also educates participants, offering them valuable information, expert opinions, and resources to better understand marine conservation. It promotes curiosity and critical thinking, encouraging students to deeply understand these issues and their role in protecting the oceans.

The contest connects students globally, allowing them to work together and learn from professionals in marine biology, environmental science, art, and education. This builds a community of young ocean advocates with the knowledge and enthusiasm to lead marine conservation efforts.

The Ocean Awareness Student Contest is a significant way to educate, inspire, and motivate young people to actively preserve our oceans. It’s a platform for creative expression and important conversations about environmental issues, playing a crucial role in shaping our planet’s future and the health of its oceans.

Marine Biologists holding a specimen.

2024 Theme: Tell Your Climate Story

In the world of teen creativity and environmental awareness, the 2024 Ocean Awareness Contest stands as a beacon, inviting young artists globally to engage with the theme “Tell Your Climate Story”.

This innovative contest, now in its 13th year, is not just a competition but a platform for learning and advocacy. It encourages participants, aged 11-18, from various corners of the world, to delve into environmental issues through the lens of art and creative expression. The program is designed to inspire students to explore their relationship with a changing climate and to become vocal advocates for positive change.

The 2024 theme challenges participants to become climate witnesses, sharing their unique experiences, insights, or perceptions of the changing climate realities they face. The contest emphasizes the importance of personal storytelling in understanding the global climate crisis, encouraging participants to reflect on how these changes impact their families, communities, and personal lives.

The Ocean Awareness Contest recognizes that climate change is a global phenomenon with local effects, varying from region to region – from droughts in Kenya to floods in Pakistan, from wildfires in North America to rising sea levels in the Pacific Islands.

The contest encourages a broad perspective on climate change, acknowledging that its effects can be as varied as missing snow days due to warm winters or struggling to find favorite foods at the grocery store. It’s about long-term shifts in weather patterns and temperatures, often intensified by human activities like burning fossil fuels. These activities lead to an increase in greenhouse gases, trapping heat and causing global temperatures to rise.

The Ocean Awareness Contest also highlights the importance of individual and community action in combating climate change. It points to the growing presence of electric vehicles, solar panels, composting initiatives, and plant-based diets as steps toward reducing carbon emissions.

The contest’s approach to storytelling emphasizes the power of personal narratives in making climate data relatable and tangible. It encourages participants to share how climate change affects their daily lives, whether it be in eating habits, sports, vacation planning, or community involvement in climate solutions.

These stories don’t have to be catastrophic; they can be about positive change and resilience in the face of environmental challenges.

Reflecting on the previous year’s theme, “Climate Heroes”, the contest acknowledges that personal experiences often drive people to become active in fighting climate change. These individual stories can be catalysts for broader environmental advocacy and action.

Aspiring participants in the Ocean Awareness Contest are invited to think deeply about how climate issues and solutions have touched their lives.

They are encouraged to find a personal connection with the climate crisis, whether it’s through witnessing its impacts, participating in initiatives, or finding inspiration in these challenging times. The contest welcomes diverse forms of expression, from art and writing to performance and multimedia, urging participants to tell their climate stories in ways that resonate with them.

The 2024 Ocean Awareness Contest is a call to action and awareness, inviting young minds to narrate their climate stories and become part of a global dialogue on environmental change.

a female student in a virtual class but is looking at the camera

Why should you join the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

Joining the Ocean Awareness Student Contest is highly beneficial for young people passionate about ocean conservation. Here are the advantages of participating:

Your work in the contest can help raise public awareness about important ocean conservation issues, motivating others to act and help preserve our marine ecosystems.

This contest is a great chance to refine your artistic, writing, filmmaking, or other creative abilities. It offers a platform for personal and skill development. You’ll get to meet and network with other students, educators, and organizations who care about ocean conservation. These connections can lead to collaborative projects, friendships, or mentorships.

Your successful entries could win cash prizes, scholarships, and other rewards. This recognition is a morale booster and acknowledges your effort, creativity, and commitment to protecting the oceans. Participating or winning in this contest can be a great addition to your resume or college application. It shows your commitment to environmental causes and highlights your unique skills.

By participating, you become part of a global community of young people actively striving for a healthier and more sustainable future for our oceans. The contest challenges you to think deeply about environmental issues and find innovative solutions. These critical thinking and problem-solving skills are vital for both personal and professional growth.

Facing the contest’s challenges and presenting your work publicly can boost your confidence and empower you for future projects. Participating in the contest can deepen your sense of responsibility towards the environment, leading you to adopt more sustainable practices in your daily life.

Participating in the Ocean Awareness Student Contest also brings valuable personal and professional growth that can enrich your life and future endeavors.

Graphic designer picking a color from the color swatch placed on the table.

How do you get into the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

The Ocean Awareness Student Contest is open to a broad range of young people interested in protecting the oceans. The contest is inclusive and has specific requirements for who can join:

Students between the ages of 11 and 18 at the time they submit their work are eligible. This includes middle school and high school students, as well as those who have just finished high school. The contest welcomes students from various educational backgrounds and experience levels.

The contest is global, inviting students from all over the world. This international aspect allows for a rich mix of ideas and experiences related to ocean conservation.

Students have the option to submit their work either alone or as part of a group. This choice enables teamwork and collaboration, helping participants to learn from each other and create more meaningful entries.

There are multiple categories in the contest, such as visual arts, film, poetry, prose, and interactive & multimedia. This range of categories means students with various skills and interests can take part and add to the discussion about ocean conservation.

You don’t need previous experience in marine biology, environmental science, or related fields to participate. The contest values enthusiasm, creativity, and a willingness to contribute to making a difference.

a group of students that are member of a school club practicing after class

Ocean Awareness Student Contest Categories

This contest offers several categories for participants to show off their skills and passion for saving the oceans.

Visual Art: Handcrafted

In the 2024 Contest, the program is making a clear distinction between Handcrafted and Digital Art by creating separate categories. In the Visual Art: Handcrafted category, the emphasis is on the hands-on aspect of art creation.

Visual Art: Handcrafted submissions encompass a variety of art forms:

  • Drawings and illustrations
  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Land art
  • Mixed media and collages
  • Printmaking
  • Film photography
  • Ceramics
  • Fashion and jewelry designs

For Digital Art, participants should opt for the Visual Art: Digital category. It’s important to note that AI-generated art is not allowed in the contest.

Requirements for Visual Art: Handcrafted Submissions:

  • Accepted file formats include JPG, PNG, GIF, or PDF.
  • Up to 3 images can be submitted to showcase different angles or details of the artwork.
  • Ensure that the images are high-resolution, well-aligned, and easily viewable.
  • A Progress Photo is required, showing either the work in progress or the artist with the completed piece. These images are solely for verification purposes and do not impact the judging process.
  • A Written Reflection, consisting of a minimum 100-word artist’s statement, is mandatory and will be a distinct section in the submission form.
  • Works Cited should be included if applicable, giving credit to sources for any external ideas, facts, quotes, or pre-existing media used in the artwork.

The program encourages participants to draw inspiration from other environmental artists and designers in the creation of their pieces. If a submission is influenced by another artist’s work, proper credit must be given in the Works Cited section.

It is recommended to use original, copyright-free, or public-domain images if referencing another artist’s work. It is strictly prohibited to copy, trace, or replicate another artist’s work as one’s own.

The use of AI tools like DALL-E to generate art is considered plagiarism, and participants who submit AI-generated work will be disqualified, with notification sent to their sponsors.

a group of animator working on a project in front of a computer monitor

Visual Art: Digital

In the 2024 Contest, Digital Art is now a separate category from Handcrafted Art. Digital Art requires unique skills and deserves its own judging category.

Visual Art: Digital submissions can include:

  • Graphic design
  • Digital illustration
  • Coding art
  • GIFs
  • Digital photography
  • Data visualization & infographics
  • 3D modeling and printing

Please note that AI-generated art is not allowed in the Ocean Awareness Contest.

Submission Requirements for Visual Art: Digital:

  • Accepted file types: JPG, PNG, GIF, or PDF.
  • You can submit up to 3 images to show different angles or details.
  • Ensure your files are high-resolution, straight, and clear.
  • A Progress Photo is mandatory, showing your work in progress or in the program you used to create it. These images are for verification only and do not affect judging.
  • A Written Reflection (artist’s statement) of at least 100 words is required and will be a separate part of the submission form.
  • Works Cited should be included if applicable, crediting sources for any external ideas, facts, quotes, or media used in your artwork that are not your own.

You are encouraged to draw inspiration from other environmental artists and designers. If your work is influenced by another artist’s work, give proper credit in the Works Cited section. It is recommended to use original, copyright-free, or public-domain images if referencing another artist’s work. Copying, tracing, or recreating another artist’s work as your own is not allowed.

Using AI generators like DALL-E to create art is considered plagiarism. Participants submitting AI-generated art will be disqualified, with notification sent to their sponsors.

a college student carrying her things in her arms

Creative Writing

Entries can be either fiction (like short stories) or creative nonfiction (such as personal narratives, blog posts, or journalistic writing).

Creative Writing Submission Requirements:

  • Your document should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins.
  • Include the title of your work at the beginning, but do not add any personal identifying information like your name or school.
  • Accepted file types are Word documents (.doc or .docx) or PDF.
  • Your submission must be in English.
  • Submission length:
    • Junior Division: Up to 3 pages (about 750 words)
    • Senior Division: Up to 5 pages (about 1,250 words)
  • A required written reflection (artist’s statement) of at least 100 words is necessary, and it will be a separate question on the submission form.
  • If applicable, use in-text citations (parenthetical or footnotes, in any style) and provide a bibliography (any style) for ideas, facts, and quotes that are not your own. Works cited do not count toward the submission length.

Please be aware that using AI generators like ChatGPT to create writing is considered plagiarism. Participants who submit AI-generated writing will be disqualified, and their sponsors will be informed.

Photography materials placed next to a laptop.

Film

Submissions can take various forms, including narrative films, live-action films, hand-drawn or computer-generated animations, documentaries, or experimental films.

Film Submission Requirements:

  • Films should be between 2 to 4 minutes in length.
  • Upload your film to Google Drive (preferred), YouTube, or Vimeo, and provide the public URL in the submission form. Make sure your video is not set to private.
  • Within the film itself, include titles and credits for any content like information, images, audio, or video clips that aren’t your own. It’s recommended to use original, copyright-free, or public domain images, footage, and music to avoid copyright issues. YouTube may remove videos that violate copyright.
  • Name your film as “2024 Ocean Awareness Contest – Film Title.”
  • Your submission must be in English or include English subtitles if the narration is in a language other than English.
  • A required written reflection (artist’s statement) of at least 100 words is part of the submission form.
  • If applicable, include a bibliography (in any style) giving credit to sources and citing any external ideas, facts, quotes, or media used in your work that are not your own.

It’s important to note that using AI generators is considered plagiarism. Participants who submit AI-generated work will be disqualified, and their sponsors will be notified.

Interactive & Multimedia

The Interactive & Multimedia category welcomes submissions that incorporate creative communication and interactive elements. It also allows combinations of three or more other submission categories. Examples of submissions include:

  • Websites or apps
  • Social media campaigns
  • Games (video games or board games)
  • Installations
  • Podcasts
  • TikTok

Interactive & Multimedia Submission Requirements

  • You must provide a brief written description of your concept or how your submission will be used (e.g., app instructions, gameplay summary, viewer interaction details, or an explanation of how you combine multiple categories or media forms). This will be a separate question in the submission form.
  • Include up to 5 images, screenshots, or supporting text documents to illustrate your work. Accepted file types are JPG, PDF, PNG, GIF, or Word (.doc or .docx).
  • You can also offer a link to browser-based works and an optional video demonstrating your projects in use (videos should be under 5 minutes and uploaded to Google Drive, YouTube, or Vimeo without privacy settings).
  • Optionally, upload audio files in MP3 format. For podcasts, episodes should be 5-15 minutes long, and you must provide a written script.
  • A written reflection (artist’s statement) of at least 100 words is mandatory and will be a separate question in the submission form.
  • If applicable, include a bibliography (in any style) giving credit to sources and citing any external ideas, facts, quotes, or media used in your work that are not your own.

Remember that using AI generators is considered plagiarism. Participants who submit AI-generated work will be disqualified, and their sponsors will be notified.

Performing Arts: Music & Dance

The Performing Arts category welcomes submissions in the form of original compositions, song parodies in any musical genre, or dance performances in any style.

Performing Arts Submission Requirements:

  • Record a video of yourself performing the work. The video may include other images or video, but it must feature footage of your performance or composition process. For electronic or digital music, screen captures of digital instruments are acceptable.
  • Submissions should be between 2 to 4 minutes in length.
  • Upload your performance to Google Drive (preferred), YouTube, Vimeo, and provide the public URL on the submission form. Ensure your video is not set to private.
  • Name your video as “2024 Ocean Awareness Contest – Title.”
  • If your submission includes lyrics, you must upload a Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF document containing the song lyrics (in English). You can also include lyrics as captions in the video (recommended). For songs performed in a language other than English, provide an English translation of the lyrics.
  • Include a title and credits in the video for any information, images, audio, or video clips that are not your own. It’s encouraged to use original, copyright-free, or public domain content.
  • A written reflection (artist’s statement) of at least 100 words is required and will be a separate question in the submission form.
  • If applicable, include a bibliography (in any style) giving credit to sources and citing any external ideas, facts, or quotes used in your work that are not your own. For song parodies, be sure to credit the original songwriter.

Please note that using AI-generators is considered plagiarism. Participants who submit AI-generated work will be disqualified, and their sponsors will be notified.

berkeley music program

Poetry & Spoken Word

The Poetry & Spoken Word category welcomes submissions in the form of free or formal verse poetry, as well as spoken word poetry.

Poetry & Spoken Word Submission Requirements

  • Format your submission in 12-point type, Times New Roman font, single-spaced, and use 1-inch margins.
  • Place the title of your poem at the top of the page. Avoid including personal details such as your name and school.
  • Accepted file types include Word documents (.doc or .docx) or PDFs.
  • Your submission must be in English.
  • Submission length:
    • Junior Division: Up to 1 page
    • Senior Division: Up to 2 pages
  • For Spoken Word submissions, record a video of yourself performing your poem. The video should solely feature your performance and should not include additional images, footage, or audio.
  • A written reflection (artist’s statement) of at least 100 words is mandatory and will be presented as a separate question in the submission form.
  • If applicable, include a bibliography (in any style) acknowledging sources and citing external ideas, facts, or quotes that you’ve used in your work but are not your own. Please note that the bibliography is not counted in the submission length.

Using AI-generators, such as ChatGPT, is considered plagiarism. Any participant who submits AI-generated writing will be disqualified, and their sponsor will be informed.

Spoken Word Video (optional): You can include a video of yourself performing your poem. Upload your video to Google Drive (preferred), YouTube, Vimeo, and provide the video URL in your online submission form. Ensure that your video is not set to private. Do not submit a Word or PDF document with a link to the video. All spoken word submissions will automatically be considered for the Voice of the Sea Award.

Revising and Polishing the Personal Statements

How do I apply to the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

Here’s how to enter the Ocean Awareness Contest:

Step 1: Review the Rules & Eligibility

  • The contest is open to middle and high school students aged 11-18 worldwide.
  • Make sure to thoroughly read the contest rules, submission requirements, and other details before you begin.

Step 2: Review & Research

  • Familiarize yourself with the theme for the 2024 contest, “Tell Your Climate Story.” Your submission should creatively express your experiences, insights, or perceptions about climate change.
  • Utilize the resources available on the program’s website, including artwork, media, literature, quizzes, and educational materials, to learn about climate change and its impact on the ocean.

Step 3: Create

  • Reflect on climate issues and solutions that resonate with you or your community.
  • Share your personal climate story through art, writing, performance, film, or multimedia.
  • Ensure your submission aligns with the theme of climate change.
  • Choose a submission category that best fits your work. Remember, you can submit up to seven pieces, one in each category.

Step 4: Write Your Reflection

  • Compose a written reflection that accompanies your submission. This reflection serves as an introduction to your work.
  • Describe your creative process and what you’ve learned about the contest’s theme.
  • Address questions about your inspiration, interest in the arts, emotional experiences during creation, and your message to viewers.
  • Explain what actions you plan to take with your community to combat climate change.
  • Your reflection should be at least 100 words and written in English.

Step 5: Submit

  • Create an account on the program’s online submission system.
  • Submit your work, including your submission, title, written reflection, and works cited (if applicable).
  • Provide contact information for an adult sponsor if you are under 13 years old.
  • Submission deadline: June 10, 2024.
  • Save your work and continue later if needed.

By following these steps, you can participate in the Ocean Awareness Contest. Remember to review all the requirements and guidelines for each category you choose.

Young students smiling at the camera in a room.

How hard is getting into the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

Joining the Ocean Awareness Student Contest is quite accessible but has some specific requirements. It’s an international contest open to students aged 11-18 who are in middle school, high school, or the equivalent of homeschooling, anywhere in the world. You might need to provide proof of your age, identity, or eligibility to participate.

If you’ve already started college or university, you’re not eligible for the contest. The contest has two divisions: the Junior Division for students aged 11-14, and the Senior Division for those aged 15-18. You should enter the division that matches your age at the time you submit your entry.

For participants under 13 years old, a parent or legal guardian must complete and submit a Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Parent/Guardian Consent Form along with the entry. This is to ensure compliance with online privacy regulations for minors.

Entries for the Ocean Awareness Student Contest can be made either individually or as a group, and there’s no limit to the number of members in a group. However, if you’re submitting as a group, you need to designate one person as the group leader. This person will act as the main contact for the group.

Every member of the group needs to be mentioned in the submission. All group members must be between 11 and 18 years old to meet the age eligibility requirements.

If your group wins an award, the prize money will be divided equally among all group members. When submitting, your entry should be in the age division of the group leader.

A student can participate in only one entry per category, which means you can have up to seven different submissions if you enter each of the contest’s categories.

View of a woman reading a paper and looks happy while she is reading it.

How can you do well in the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

Here are some key tips to boost your chances of success:

Thorough Research

Begin by immersing yourself in the current year’s theme, focusing on ocean conservation and its broader implications. Gain a deep understanding of these subjects to develop an entry that is not only well-informed but also impactful. Then, move to the creative phase, brainstorming unique ideas and perspectives that align with the theme. This approach ensures that your project is not only rooted in solid research but also showcases innovative thinking and originality.

Be Creative and Unique

The judges prioritize originality and innovation, seeking entries that distinguish themselves through their unique perspectives and creative approaches. Embrace your individuality and express your ideas in ways that reflect your personal style and vision. This is your chance to shine by showcasing how your distinctive viewpoint contributes to the broader conversation on the theme.

Narrate a Story

In your artwork or written piece, focus on weaving an engaging and coherent story. A narrative that is rich in detail and emotion can captivate your audience, leaving a lasting impression.

If you’re creating a painting, you might depict a scene that tells a tale of environmental change, using colors and elements that evoke specific feelings or messages. In a written work, develop characters or settings that deeply resonate with the theme, drawing the reader into your narrative.

View of a student playing a guitar in front of his laptop.

Focus on Details

Thoroughly scrutinize your entry to ensure it adheres to all contest rules and guidelines. Attention to finer details, like formatting and alignment in a visual piece or grammar and syntax in written work, can markedly elevate your submission.

Pay close attention to technical details like resolution, dimensions, and file format. Check elements like color accuracy, layering, and digital textures, which are crucial in digital art. Such attention to technical specifics can significantly enhance the overall quality and impact of your entry.

Seek Feedback

Actively seek opinions from friends, family, or teachers about your work. For instance, if you’re creating a digital artwork, show it to a peer or mentor and ask for their thoughts on its composition, color scheme, or the emotion it conveys. Constructive feedback can offer fresh perspectives and insights, helping you refine and enhance your entry before submission.

A product design specialist working in front of his laptop

Revise and Refine

Expect to revise your initial concept or first draft multiple times. If you’re working on a digital illustration, you might need to adjust the color balance, fine-tune the details, or even rework a part of the composition. This process of continuous editing and refining is crucial. The extra effort you invest in perfecting your work will significantly enhance its chance of standing out in the competition.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

While creating your contest entry, it’s essential to stay motivated, even if the process becomes challenging. For instance, if you’re working on a digital artwork about ocean conservation, remind yourself of the importance of your message.

Keeping your passion for the cause in focus helps maintain a positive outlook. Remember, each entry, no matter the outcome, plays a role in raising awareness and effecting change.

Following these strategies can significantly enhance your chances of success in the Ocean Awareness Student Contest, turning your hard work and dedication into a rewarding experience.

a male student performing in a middle of a stage while his classmates are looking at him

When is the deadline to apply to the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

The final date to enter the Ocean Awareness Student Contest is June 10, 2024, and submissions close at 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET). Students who want to join the contest should submit their entries using the online platform available on the Bow Seat website.

The 2024 theme, “Tell Your Climate Story,” invites students to express their unique experiences, insights, and thoughts about climate change and its global effects through creative means. The contest welcomes entries in diverse artistic forms such as visual art, poetry, creative writing, film, and performing arts.

Participants should familiarize themselves with the theme and guidelines, craft their artistic interpretation, and accompany their submission with a reflective piece. This competition seeks to honor students who engage deeply with the creative process, learn from it, and show a genuine commitment to environmental stewardship.

When do I find out about my submission to the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

The announcement of the winners for the 2024 contest is scheduled for November 2024. Before the results are shared publicly, all winners and their sponsors will be notified by email. This means that participants will learn whether they have won after the winner announcements are made in November 2024.

a student writing on a laptop

Where is the Ocean Awareness Student Contest held?

The Ocean Awareness Student Contest welcomes young people aged 11 to 18 from all over the world. This is an online competition, and students have the option to participate either by themselves or with others as part of a club, classroom group, or any group regardless of its size.

When does the Ocean Awareness Student Contest take place?

The Ocean Awareness Student Contest is held every year. For the 2024 contest, participants need to submit their entries by June 10, 2024.

How long is the duration of the Ocean Awareness Student Contest?

The Ocean Awareness Student Contest is an annual event. For the 2024 edition, the deadline to submit entries is June 10, 2024.

The contest period extends from when submissions open early in the year until the winners are announced, which typically happens in November of the same year. This means the contest runs for several months, starting from the beginning of the submission period to the winner announcement in November.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Final Thoughts

We hope you are now brimming with inspiration and a sense of empowerment to make a real impact in the realms of art and environmental advocacy. Keep in mind that this contest goes beyond winning prizes; it’s a platform for you to amplify your voice in support of our planet’s most valuable gem—the ocean.

Whether you’re holding a paintbrush, a camera, a pen, or a microphone, let your creativity flow freely. Together, we have the power to craft a brighter, bluer future for our oceans and our beloved planet!

Looking for advice on pre-college program admissions? Look no further than AdmissionSight, your college admissions experts. With years of experience, we’ve helped countless students gain admission to prestigious universities worldwide. Begin your academic journey today – schedule a consultation with us now!

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