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From the Bow Seat announces its contest for 2014, which will appeal to all learners!

The contest invites high school students to tackle the issue of Plastic Pollution in the Ocean, individually or collaboratively, through ART, ADVOCACY or ESSAY options.

The 2014 Ocean Awareness Student Contest is an outgrowth of From the Bow Seat, a 64-minute documentary about environmental issues impacting the world’s oceans. The contest and the film provide opportunities for high school teachers and home school instructors to challenge their students to explore real-world threats to marine life. Contest information can be found at The contest extends from September 15, 2013 to June 15, 2014.

Submissions to the 2012-13 Essay Contest grew by over 50 per cent, with participation from students in 15 states and Canada. The Essay Contest award winners will be announced on October 15, 2013.

Once again, the focus of this year’s contest is creating next-generation ocean stewardship and encouraging students to think critically and cross disciplinarily about the ocean.  However, some exciting changes in the contest rules will broaden its appeal to students and expand its applicability to more areas of the curriculum:

1. This year’s theme is Plastics Pollution in Ocean, a timely topic that is increasingly in the news, as we see evidence of growing plastics gyres in both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, and as debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami arrives on our shores. The topic aligns with both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards for Human Impact.

2. Students may submit entries in the form of a 5-8 page essay, an art project, or 5-10 minute video highlighting their advocacy campaign.

3. Students may work independently or collaborate in groups.

4. More awards will be given to students, teachers, and school science and art departments. This year, the number of cash awards has been increased dramatically. There are now cash prizes for all three categories of Art, Essay, and Advocacy: $1,500 for First Prize, $1,000 for Second Place, $500 for Third Place, plus $250 for 10 Honorable Mentions.

In addition, the First-place winners’ high schools will receive $1,500, and three Teachers Recognition Awards of $750 each will be presented. See contest site for all rules and submission requirements.