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Hawai‘i students succeed in the SOEST Ocean Literacy Art Contest

K-12 students in Hawai‘i had an opportunity to showcase their ocean-themed artwork to thousands of their peers and teachers. The contest, sponsored by Maui Jim, Inc. and organized by the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant (UH Sea Grant) Center for Marine Science Education, is held every two years in conjunction with the SOEST Open House and asks students of all ages to create a drawing, photograph, or digital image depicting one of three ocean-related themes. This year the students focused on 1) Our Ancestors, Our Ocean; 2) Wow! Water!; and 3) Connected to Island Earth.

Over 300 entries were received in three age categories, and the top three winners in each category received a generous prize package from Maui Jim, Inc. In addition, Pizza Hut also supported the contest by providing a pizza party for the winning student’s class in each category. Alyssa Gundersen, project manager at the Center for Marine Science Education and organizer of the poster contest, noted “I was overwhelemed by the response from our Oahu and neighbor island educators, both in the science and art departments. Many worked collaboratively to help their students succeed and help them understand the importance of the contest, which is designed to inspire better stewardship of our island home and precious natural resources. It was clear that teachers showed great care for their students’ learning and fully commit themselves in and out of the classroom to help the students develop.” The top three submissions from each age group can be seen in the slide show on this website.


“Thanks to the tremendous support from Maui Jim, the SOEST Open House poster judging committee was able to award prizes to all nine winning entries” said Kanesa Seraphin, director of the UH Sea Grant Center for Marine Science Education. “The top three submissions in each age category received a prize pack including a Maui Jim backpack, towel, water bottle, sticker, and key chain. Maui Jim also supported the teacher of the winning student in each age category by generously donating a new pair of sunglasses.”

The SOEST Open House, a biennial event organized by the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, welcomed nearly 4,000 students of all ages.