2020 Theme | Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis
A CREATIVE CHALLENGE FOR TEENS WORLDWIDE
The global Ocean Awareness Contest is a platform for young people to learn about ocean issues through art-making and creative communication, and where teens can explore their relationship to a changing world and become advocates for environmental action. Students ages 11-18 from are invited to participate.
Your voices, visions, and stories of hope are needed to help transform the world.
The 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest is a call for young artists, conservationists, makers, thinkers, and activists who are concerned about the future of our blue planet. Join thousands of youth around the world in our annual program that raises awareness about the climate crisis and potential solutions, uplifts youth voices for ocean conservation, and inspires hope and action through art, creative media, and storytelling.How to Enter
CONTEST DEADLINE: JUNE 15, 2020
Our blue planet is in crisis.
Earth is a blue planet, with oceans covering more than 70% of its surface. Oceans play a central role in regulating Earth’s climate and act as a buffer that protects us from human-caused global warming; but oceans are feeling the heat. Climate change—primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas—is changing water temperature and chemistry, altering marine habitats, and threatening marine life. Rising sea levels and extreme weather events are endangering and displacing millions of people who live on the coast. Learn more about oceans & climate change >
Climate hope is an invitation for curiosity, imagination, and creativity.
The good news is, there is much cause for hope: individuals, communities and cities, organizations and movements (largely youth-led!) around the globe are already working to slow the climate crisis and drive the transition away from destructive, polluting, and unjust practices to systems that respect, value, and protect the diversity of life on Earth.
From how we get around to how we eat to how we power our lives, transformative solutions to the climate crisis are rooted in imagination and energized by having hope that what we create matters. Explore solutions & read more about climate hope >
WHAT CAN YOU CREATE?
Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis invites students to learn about the climate crisis and its impact on oceans; discover or imagine solutions at local, national, or global scales; and create work that explores hope in action.
Submissions are accepted in:
- Visual Art
- *NEW* Interactive & Multimedia
Who May Enter
Students ages 11-18 from around the world are invited to participate in the Ocean Awareness Contest. Enter the division based on your age at the time of entry:
- Junior Division: Age 11-14
- Senior Division: Age 15-18
Students can participate as an individual or as a club, class, or group of any size.
All students must also provide the contact information for an Adult Sponsor (teacher, parent, mentor, etc.).
- Gain knowledge about a critical issue facing your generation: dive into Bow Seat’s NEW Resource Studio to learn more about climate change and our oceans, explore solutions being created all over the world, and find resources for taking action in your community.
- Build your portfolio and make art in your preferred medium, or practice a new creative skill! Add to your resume with a global participation certificate.
- Develop 21st Century skills in communication, critical thinking, creativity, and advocacy. Use your artwork to raise awareness of the most important issue facing our blue planet.
- Join Bow Seat’s global community of 12,000+ young people who care about our ocean and climate action, and be represented in an international digital activation experience. Be inspired by the work of other young creators around the world.
- Earn cash awards and scholarships of up to $1,500.
Cash awards are presented in each of the categories in both the Junior and Senior divisions:
Additional Awards Available in 2020
Hometown Award (Boston, Massachusetts students only)
This award recognizes talented students in Bow Seat’s hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. Eligible participants must demonstrate financial need. Up to 3 winners in each age division will each receive a $250 cash scholarship.
Students’ families must have a combined annual household income of less than $50,000.
Students must be residents of Boston or its neighborhoods: Allston, Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Brighton, Charlestown, Chinatown-Leather District, Dorchester, Downtown, East Boston, Fenway-Kenmore, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mid-Dorchester, Mission Hill, North End, Roslindale, Roxbury, South Boston, South End, West End, West Roxbury.
Winners will be required to verify their eligibility by submitting a proof of residence as well as valid document(s) that confirms their household income.
Bay State Award (Massachusetts students only)
All students who reside in Massachusetts will be automatically considered for the Bay State Award, a special recognition to celebrate the creative young artists, thinkers, and activists in our home state! From the Housatonic River to the Quabbin Reservoir to the Atlantic Ocean, water connects us all and plays a wicked important role in the Commonwealth’s economy, culture, and health of our human and non-human residents.
Up to 3 winners in each age division will each receive a $250 cash scholarship. Participants are encouraged to describe how their submissions portray the impacts of the climate crisis on their communities, habitats, and wildlife, or that highlight local solutions to reduce the impact of climate change.
South Coast, Cape & Islands Award (Massachusetts students only)
Thanks to the generosity of the Island Foundation—which is committed to the conservation of marine and coastal resources in southeastern Massachusetts—we will be offering one $250 cash scholarship in each age division to participants who reside on the South Coast of Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket. Participants are encouraged to describe how their submissions portray the impacts of the climate crisis on their communities, habitats, and wildlife, or that highlight local solutions to reduce the impact of climate change.
SOUTHCOAST, CAPE & ISLANDS AWARD
Students who are residents of a South Coast, Massachusetts, town (Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, Somerset, Swansea, Wareham, or Westport) OR a resident of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket will be automatically considered for a South Coast, Cape & Islands Award.
Making Waves Award
The Making Waves Award will be presented to one submission in each age division that is used to inspire hope and action in participants’ schools or communities. Open to participants worldwide. Eligible participants will be required to describe how their submission was used in a campaign, initiative, or event to creatively raise awareness for ocean conservation and climate action.
Examples include (but are not limited to): Documentary (Film submission) screened at a community event about climate change; op-eds or letters to the editor (Prose submission) published in a town newspaper; poster (Art submission) created for a school or community composting program. Show us how you are making waves in your community, and you may earn a $500 cash prize!
Ocean Matters Award (Florida high school students only)
Bow Seat is partnering with Ocean Matters, a marine science leadership program, to provide a full scholarship ($3,500 value) for one Florida high school student to participate in Ocean Matters’ Florida Marine Ecology Expedition, June 19-29, 2020! Students on this program will earn open water scuba certification, participate in a coral restoration project, learn about manatee, turtle, and dolphin conservation from researchers in the field, and gain skills to make a difference in our changing world.
To be eligible for this need-based scholarship, students must submit to the Ocean Awareness Contest and opt-in to the award on the submission form by March 1, 2020, AND apply separately to Ocean Matters by March 15, 2020.
The Ocean Matters Award recipient will be notified by April 1, 2020.
OCEAN MATTERS AWARD
The Ocean Matters Award is a full scholarship (valued at $3,500) for a high school student from Florida to participate in Ocean Matters’ Florida Marine Ecology Expedition from June 19-29, 2020. One scholarship award will be granted.
Questions & Contact
For questions about applying for this scholarship, please contact [email protected] For more information about the Ocean Matters Florida Marine Ecology Expedition, visit oceanmatters.org, or contact [email protected] All scuba related questions should be directed to [email protected]
Rules & Eligibility
Students must be a resident of Florida, currently enrolled in high school, and at least 15 years old. Students must be able to swim 200 yards comfortably and tread water for 10 minutes to be able to participate in the Florida Marine Ecology Expedition.
Students must submit to Bow Seat’s Ocean Awareness Contest and opt-in to the Ocean Matters Award on the submission form by March 1, 2020.
Students must apply separately, and be admitted, to the Ocean Matters Florida Marine Ecology Expedition program by March 15, 2020. Eligible students must demonstrate merit and need on the Ocean Matters application to be considered for the scholarship.
While it is our policy not to share email addresses with third parties, students who opt in to this award agree to have their email address shared with the Ocean Matters team solely for the purposes of this scholarship.
Student submissions (Visual Art, Film, Interactive & Multimedia, Music, Poetry, or Prose) to the Ocean Awareness Contest will be reviewed by the Ocean Matters Award selection committee. Students who do not receive the Ocean Matters Award are still eligible to earn a prize in the Ocean Awareness Contest.
The award winner will be required to complete Bow Seat’s Affidavit of Eligibility/Liability Release.
The scholarship ($3,500 value) may only be used for participation in the 2020 Florida Marine Ecology Expedition. The full program scholarship includes all scuba equipment and certification, instruction, food, lodging, and materials. Travel to and from home to Clearwater, FL is not included.
The award winner agrees to write a blog post about their Ocean Matters experience for publication on the Bow Seat blog.
Publishing, Art Exhibitions, and Special Opportunities
As a winner, you may have a special opportunity to showcase your talents worldwide while raising awareness of ocean issues to a broader community. Bow Seat organizes art exhibitions, pop up art shows, and film screenings; curates anthologies of art and poetry; finds opportunities to publish student writing; and showcases all winning student work in our online gallery. As part of Bow Seat’s student art collection, your creative piece will help to educate and inspire audiences to take action!Upcoming Exhibits
Awards for Educators
If you are a teacher or youth program coordinator who uses the 2020 Contest in your classroom, we want to hear from you! Bow Seat grants $750 Educator Innovation Awards to acknowledge the efforts of individuals who are teaching students about ocean issues and empowering them to be creative stewards of our blue planet. Educators can nominate themselves or a colleague.Learn More