SchoolArts Magazine

OCT 2014

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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F O C U S I N : O R G A N I Z A T I O N U P D A T E S I n 2009, Linda Cabot embarked on a week-long sailing trip with her teen daughters. The purpose of the trip was to make a family documentary about environmental issues impacting the Gulf of Maine. Linda had no idea that just a year later she would launch a nation- wide student contest aimed at promoting next- generation ocean stewardship and art/science collaboration. Linda thought about how her daughters were inspired by grappling with environmental issues head-on, and she wanted to create a way to expose middle- and high-schoolers more broadly to these issues. As an artist, it was natural to pair her pas- sion for the ocean with her love of art. As Linda explains, "Art is a power- ful messenger, and through it we can help more people understand and care about complex scientific issues." The Ocean Awareness Contest The Ocean Awareness Student Con- test challenges entrants to think critically about issues impacting the ocean. They are allowed to explore the topic alone or in groups, through art, essay, poetry, or film. The contest also serves as a springboard to promote the connections between art, science, and environmental advocacy in schools. The contest, which runs from September to June, has an annual theme. In 2015, students are invited to explore the issue of plastics pol- lution as part of a three-year series on marine debris. The contest is divided into two categories: one for students in grades six through eight, and one for stu- dents in grades nine through twelve. In each division, students can win up to $1,500, with an additional $1,500 award going to the school of the win- ning student. Teachers can also win awards for demonstrating innovative interdisciplinary methods of teaching the contest. Teaching From the Bow Seat Teachers can easily incorporate the Ocean Awareness Student Contest into their curriculums. The website Ellen Bechtel features lesson plans and curriculum ideas, and classroom-visit programs will soon be available. Below is an example of how you can integrate the contest into your curriculum: 1. As a class, watch the three-minute video at www.oceantoday.noaa. gov/ourdebrisfillingthesea, which explains why ocean plastics pollu- tion is such an important issue. 2. Show your students the Ocean Awareness Student Contest's gal- lery of art inspiration at www. fromthebowseat.org/gallery.php. 3. Have students work alone or in groups to discuss which artists inspire them and how they could develop an artwork for the contest. Students can collect plastic debris from beaches, rivers, or even their school or local recycling bins or centers. Ellen Bechtel is national program manager for From the Bow Seat Education Programs. ellen.bechtel@ gmail.com From the Bow Seat The Ocean Awareness Student Contest challenges entrants to think critically about issues impacting the ocean. Go to www.fromthebowseat.org/ contest for deadlines, submission requirements, and full details on how to register. 14 Page sponsored by:

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