Ocean Awareness Student Contest

The Fromthebowseat Organization invites middle and high school students from around the world to participate in the 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest. The contest challenges all middle and high school students around the world to create works of visual art, poetry, prose, or film that speak to this year’s theme – Ocean Pollution: Challenges & Solutions.The Programs believes that students who learn by creating and making experience deeper learning and longer-lasting behavior change. With the aim, the program works to inspire the next generation of ocean caretakers through education and engagement with the arts, science, and advocacy.The contest is completely free to enter, and students can earn awards up to $1,500 in each of the four competition categories at both middle school and high school levels.

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts, USA.Realizing the power of artwork and media to educate, inspire, and activate younger generations, Linda began to shape Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs into the organization it is today.The Bow Seat seed was born from a feeling of responsibility for our planet.


  • Any student in grades 6-8 or the international or homeschool equivalent is eligible for the middle school division.
  • Any student in grades 9-12 or the international or homeschool equivalent is eligible for the high school division.
  • As long as you were a high school or middle school student for any amount of time during the Contest (Fall 2015 – June 2016) then you are eligible to enter.
  • If you are between 13 and 18 years of age, be sure to obtain your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission before you send any information about yourself (such as your name, e-mail address, etc.)
  • Students from any country may enter
  • Students must have an adult sponsor – usually a teacher. Homeschooled students may put down their homeschool teacher’s name.
  • An Individual, meaning that you are the sole creator of your submission
  • A Group. Groups can be of unlimited size, but you must provide the name of each group member. There will be one group leader who will serve as the contact person for the group. Awards will be given to the group as a whole.

How to Apply:

  • Research: Use the website to find resources and inspiration Do research on your own, ask tough and complex questions, think about the way science and society help you interpret the theme, and start building your case for ocean advocacy.
  • Create: Interpret the theme to create your own work of art, writing, poetry, or film that advocates for ocean stewardship. Make sure you’ve met all the requirements for your category
  • Submit: To enter the contest, submit both your work and reflection through the given link: http://www.fromthebowseat.org/submit.php

Supporting Documents:

  • To be considered for the contest, the applicant must submit one of the following Art, Poetry, Prose, and Film submissions
  • Any student may submit (i.e., have their name included in) only one entry per category. Therefore, a student may have a maximum of four different submissions, one in each category.
  • They 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?
  • They invite you to reflect on the question: How does ocean pollution make you feel?

Reflection Requirements:

  • Length: 100-250 words
  • Your reflection should be written in English.
  • File Format: PDF or Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Here is a helpful article for getting started on your reflection:
  • “Your Artist Statement: Explaining the Unexplainable”

Financial Aid and Award Money:

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

  • High SchoolGrades 9-12
  • Gold Award $1,500
  • Silver Award $1,000
  • Bronze Award $500
  • Gold Award winner’s school $1,500
  • Plus: 10 Honorable Mention Awards $250
  • 3 Teacher Recognition Awards $750
  • Middle School Grades 6-8
  • Gold Award $1,000
  • Silver Award $750
  • Bronze Award $250
  • Gold Award winner’s school $750
  • Plus: 10 Honorable Mention Awards $100
  • 3 Teacher Recognition Awards $750

Application Deadline:

  • All submissions must be received by Monday, June 19, 2017, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET) to be considered in the 2017 Contest.
  • The 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest results will be publicly announced in January 2018.

Link for More Information:


Contact Information:

If you have any questions, email info-at-fromthebowseat.org

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