Students Discover Biodiversity in National Children's Science-Art Contest

With the theme "The World's A Place of Living Things," the 17th annual art contest of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) invited students to share their impressions of biodiversity.

Phoebe Chiu, a third-grader from Ohio, USA, won first place with "Wetlands: a heaven of wildlife" in a national science-art contest run by IGES.

From Nancy Colleton, IGES President and IUCN CEC Deputy Director

Arlington, Va. - Dec. 5, 2012 - Hundreds of students in grades 2-4 created biodiversity-themed art as part of a national contest, presenting everything from whales, turtles, deer, zebras, and sharks to butterflies and eucalyptus trees. Over 400 children submitted artwork for the contest, which addresses national education standards in science, geography and the arts.

In vivid color, students explored the biodiversity in many different regions of the world: from the desert to forests to oceans. Through books, websites and other resources, they researched the contest theme then used their new knowledge to create a visual image of what they had learned.

"Biodiversity sounds sophisticated, but as this artwork shows, it can be a meaningful concept for kids," said Nancy Colleton, IGES president. "And to those of us who work to protect biodiversity, its wonderful to see that these children don't just understand it, they celebrate it!" 

Phoebe Chiu, a third-grader from Ohio, won first place with "Wetlands: a heaven of wildlife." Samantha Lee, a Virginia fourth-grader, won second place with "Exploring nature's beauty." And three students - Lu Abuizzah, a fourth-grader from Washington; Jennie Wei, a second-grader from Michigan; and Jeffrey Zhong, a fourth-grader from New Jersey - tied for third place. Winners receive gift cards. All contestants receive certificates of participation.

Many entries captured the complexity of nature in food chains as well as concerns for how human action can negatively impact biodiversity, such as through pollution. This shows that even from a young age students can be aware of the connections between flora and fauna and the environment.

To view winning entries from the 2012 contest and previous years, please visit:


Located in Arlington, Va., the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies was established in 1994 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supported by public and private entities. IGES is a trusted leader in Earth and space science education, communication and outreach, and in fostering national and international cooperation in observing the Earth.


Brandi Bernoskie, Science Communications Manager, IGES, Email:


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