NOAA’s “Picture Climate Change” Student Photo Contest

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NOAA’s “Picture Climate Change” Student Photo Contest   offsite link

Show NOAA how climate change is impacting your community

What is this photo contest about?

How has climate change impacted you? Your family? Your school? Your community? We want to hear and see your climate impact stories through your eyes. In what ways has your landscape, wildlife, or way of life changed due to climate shifts?

To enhance our understanding of the diverse ways climate change impacts people and places around the United States, NOAA is asking students in grades 5 through 12 for photo submissions showcasing what climate change means to you. Check out our last year's Contest!

Winning photos will be featured next Spring (2023) on the NOAA Regional Collaboration Network website in conjunction with responses developed by NOAA's climate experts, and will possibly be displayed in various NOAA facilities around the country.

Each entry must include the following:

  • a photograph showcasing an example of climate change impacts or resilience of climate change in the United States or one of its territories; and
  • a 3-4 sentence description of the climate change or impact, from your perspective. 

Who is eligible to enter the contest?

All students in fifth (5th) through twelfth (12th) grade from all U.S. states, territories and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau) in recognized public, private, and home schools are eligible to participate. Schools, including home schools, must be in compliance with federal and state civil rights and nondiscrimination statutes. 

Students are not required to live in the state the picture they submit was taken in, but all photographs must have been taken in a U.S. state or territory.

What are the categories?

Photo contest categories include Nature, Water, Weather, Society, and Resilience.  Examples are provided below to explain types of issues within a given category, but photo submissions need not be limited to these examples.  Students may submit no more than five entries (five total, regardless of category) in the categories below:

  • Nature: Changes related to organisms and environments 
    • Examples may include: wildfires, desertification, crops, gardens, animal habitats and behaviors
  • Water: Changes related to water 
    • Examples may include: drought, sea level changes, lake or river water level changes, reservoirs, coastal changes, water quality, wetlands
  • Weather: Changes related to weather events and weather patterns
    • Examples may include: extreme heat or cold, rain, snow, thawing of glaciers, thawing of permafrost, flooding
  • Society: Changes related to people and society, live and recreate
    • Examples may include: air quality, urban design or architecture, transportation, walkability, energy, costs, lifestyle, parks, shade, health
  • Resilience: Actions being taken to increase community resilience to climate change.
    • Examples may include: urban design or architecture, green transportation, clean energy, sustainable practices, restoration efforts, etc.

What else do I need to know?

The competition runs through February 15, 2023. 

A NOAA judging panel will review all entries and select winners in each of the five categories to be featured on the NOAA Regional Collaboration Network website.  Entries will be judged on the written understanding of climate change, creativity, and relevance to the theme.  For fairness, judging will also be grade appropriate.  This means, 12th graders will be held to a higher standard than a 5th grader during the judging process. 

Students may submit their images (10mb max) to us through this form offsite linkAll images MUST include the following information

  • photographer's name; 
  • short description of when,where, and the date the photo was taken; and 
  • a short description (3-4 sentences) of what climate change or climate impact is shown in the photo. 

Contest rules:

1. Photographers must be in fifth grade through twelfth grade as of the closing date of the contest (February 15, 2023).

2. Photos must be of locations in the U.S. states and territories.

3.  To be considered for judging, your photograph and completed entry form must be received by 11:59 pm Pacific Time, February 15, 2023. 

4. Each student may enter up to five photographs (five total, regardless of category) that illustrate a personal account of how they have experienced or observed climate change. 

5. Winners will be notified in the early Spring of 2023 and presented with a certificate.  Winning images and NOAA responses will be featured on the NOAA Regional Collaboration Network website in the Spring of 2023, with the possibility of being displayed in various NOAA facilities around the country. 

Additional details and instructions can be found on the submission form offsite link. Please review the form carefully to ensure you submit all required information!

Are you an educator interested in climate curriculum?

Easily connect this contest to your curriculum using NOAA's standards-aligned lessons on climate change. If you are new to teaching climate change, The Essential Principles of Climate Literacy will help you effectively bring important climate change subjects into your classrooms. NOAA Education and Outreach Specialists around the country can connect you with guest speakers, field trips, and professional development related to climate change.




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