Ocean Awareness Contest

Hosted by Bow Seat, the Ocean Awareness Contest provides a platform for young people to understand environmental issues through artistic creation and creative thoughts, explore their relationship with the changing world, and become advocates of positive change.
Interested in the competition?
ocean awareness contest

Competition Overview

11-18 years old
Entry fee
June 10, 2024​
Submission deadline
November 2024
Results and winners are notified

Competition Details

1. Eligibility
This competition is open to students ages 11-18 who are enrolled in middle school or high school (or the homeschool equivalent) worldwide. Students ages 11-14 may enter the Junior Division. Students ages 15-18 may enter the Senior Division. 

2. Theme
The 2024 Ocean Awareness Competition theme is “Tell Your Climate Story.” Students are invited to express their personal experiences, insights, or perceptions about the changing climate reality. 

3. Competition Category
Art, Creative Writing, Film, Interactive & Multimedia, Performing Arts: Music & Dance, Poetry & Spoken Word

4. Results
Contest winners will be announced in November 2024. Winners and their sponsors will be notified via email before we announce results publicly.

5. Prizes

Cash awards are presented to the Junior and Senior Divisions winners across 5 categories.

  • Gold Award: $1,000
  • Silver Award: $750
  • Bronze Award: $500
  • Pearl Award: $250
  • Honorable Mention: $100

Ocean Awareness Contest Past Winning Submissions

Submission Details

Submission Deadline: June 10, 2024.

1. Category Submission Limit
Students may submit one entry per category, meaning that you may enter up to six pieces, one in each category. If you submit more than one entry in a category (for example, two poems), additional entries will not be counted or judged.

2. Written Reflection
In addition to the essay submission, students are required to submit a reflection. Your reflection, which is a minimum of 100 words, should describe 1) your creative process and 2) what you have learned through your exploration of the Ocean Awareness Contest theme. Use the following questions to guide your writing:

  • What inspired your work and creative process?
  • Why are you interested in the arts?
  • What feelings did the process of creating (art, writing, film, music, dance, interactive/multimedia) raise for you?
  • What is your message to viewers of your artwork?
  • After doing research on climate change and our oceans, what have you learned?
  • Beyond individual actions like recycling, what actions will you collectively engage in with your community to tackle climate change?
  • How does this Climate Hero’s efforts make you feel about the future?

3. Submission Checklist

  • Contact information
  • Your submission with a title
  • Your written reflection
  • Works cited (if applicable): List of sources for any ideas, quotes, or facts used that are not your own
  • Contact information for an adult sponsor (required for all participants)
  • Parent/guardian consent (required if under 13 years old). 

Frequently Asked Questions

The use of AI-generators, like ChatGPT or DALL-E, is considered plagiarism. Any participant who submits AI-generated work will be disqualified and their sponsor will be notified.

Your submission must be in English. However, students are allowed to submit a Film or Performing Arts in any language but have to include English subtitles in the video. 

Bow Seat judges are artists, writers, educators, scientists, creators, activists, and ocean-lovers, along with former Ocean Awareness Contest winners as Alumni Judges.

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