Arts integration makes studying anything more interesting to kids. The magic of this contest is that kids can learn about important issues impacting the ocean (this year it is plastics pollution) and then be totally creative in the way they express what they have learned through art, film, prose or poetry. Not only does the art produced reflect the students' deeper understanding, the contest makes great efforts to share student art with authentic audiences. They help budding artists by turning winning designs into t-shirts and prints and then give half of sales proceeds back to the student artists and the other half to ocean conservation organizations. This contest is a great tie-in for any science teacher who teaches about the ocean or literature teachers who want to get kids writing about important issues affecting the globe. Also a great way to team teach and break down the outdated silo-ed approach to learning. It's pretty amazing to see what kids middle and high school students create when they are engaged and inspired! A great example of STEAM (STEM plus Arts) at it's best.
The contest launches in November each year and the deadline is in June.