How to Enter
LEARN & BE INSPIRED
Immerse yourself in the issue of marine debris. Get started on your research by reviewing our useful links below. Go into your neighborhood to observe and document problems such as littering or the consumption of single-use plastics. Have conversations with your principal, town officials, or local business owners to identify challenges and opportunities specific to your school or community.
Here are some resources to help you get started on your campaign, including educational materials for learning more about marine debris, and inspiration to get your creative juices flowing!
Brainstorm ideas for how you can tackle the problems you uncovered. Who do you want to reach, and what are your goals? How can you incorporate the creative arts to raise awareness, tug at emotions, and encourage behavior change?
Select a campaign that you feel passionate about and that is relevant to your school or community. Create a list of tasks that must be completed to achieve your objectives, including deadlines and team member roles. Identify the materials you need to carry out these tasks (e.g., flyers, art supplies, recycling bins) and the budget necessary to purchase these items.
Need help brainstorming your creative advocacy project? Check out the winning 2017 Competition campaigns
FIND A SPONSOR
Each individual or group who participates in the Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition must have the support of an adult sponsor. Your sponsor will provide you or your team with guidance throughout your campaign and will serve as an additional point of contact. This sponsor may be a teacher, community member, local business owner, parent/guardian, etc. You must receive a signed letter of commitment from your sponsor as part of the registration process. This is an electronic form that you will request when registering.
READ THE RULES
Don’t skip the fine print! The Competition Rules contain a lot of important information about deadlines, eligibility, file formats, and more. It’s important to read these through before you move forward with your campaign.
This is an international Competition and is open to middle and high school students worldwide who are ages 11-18 before the Competition deadline June 17, 2019.
Students and groups interested in participating in the Competition must create an account and register through our online system. We encourage you to register early!
You will need:
- Basic contact information
- A brief description of your campaign idea
- Name and contact information for your adult sponsor
- Parent/Guardian consent (Required for students under the age of 13)
Your registration must be approved before moving forward in the Competition. Registrations are evaluated and approved on a rolling basis; you and your sponsor will receive an email regarding your registration status within approximately one week of submission.Register
FILL OUT THE PRE-PARTICIPATION SURVEY
After your registration is approved, you will receive a link for a pre-participation survey. Survey responses will not influence judging. The survey is intended to measure participants’ environmental awareness and attitudes, which will inform our program evaluation and development.
REVIEW THE FINAL PROJECT REPORT CHECKLIST
Use our Final Project Report checklist to keep track of the information and supporting materials you’ll need to document and collect throughout your campaign.
DOCUMENT YOUR JOURNEY
Capture every step of your campaign so that you can share your journey with others. How does marine debris impact your community? How did you try to address these problems through your campaign? Who did you engage? What challenges did you face? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?
You will use your footage and photos to create an edited 3-5 minute video* (to be submitted as part of your Final Project Report) to educate others about the marine debris problem and inspire them to become a part of the solution in their communities. This video itself does not count as your project or campaign; rather, it should illustrate your process and bring your Final Project Report to life.
Never made a video before? No problem! Here are resources to help you create one.
*Note: Videos must be in English or have English subtitles.
SAVE CAMPAIGN MATERIALS
As you work, save copies of materials created while you develop your campaign, including – but not limited to – research or brainstorming notes, interview transcripts, task lists, maps, artwork, photographs, presentations, and communications materials such as flyers or brochures. These are a required part of your Final Project Report!
COMPLETE YOUR FINAL PROJECT REPORT
When Bow Seat approves your registration, you will be emailed a link to access your online Final Project Report. This will be the primary way for you to report on your advocacy campaign, and by which Bow Seat will judge your submission to the Competition. You must submit your Final Project Report* and all campaign materials by the deadline: June 17, 2019.
Now sit back and feel awesome about yourself and the work you’ve done on behalf of our blue planet!
*Note: Final Project Reports must be written in English.
FILL OUT THE POST-PARTICIPATION SURVEY
After you submit your entry, you will receive a link for a post-participation survey. What did you learn from the project? Have your attitudes towards marine debris changed at all? We want to know! Survey responses will not influence judging. The survey is intended to measure participants’ environmental awareness and attitudes, which will inform our program evaluation and development.
The Bow Seat team is available to you throughout the Competition period for questions, brainstorming, and guidance.
“As our environmental knowledge increased, our passion increased as well. We were astounded by the amount of marine debris found at the beach and its impact on wildlife. We feel more strongly about environmental advocacy, and want to contribute to greater environmental awareness.”