International Student Art Contest

2023 Science Without Borders Challenge the Sixth ExtinctionThe Science Without Borders® Challenge is an international contest that engages students and teachers in ocean conservation through art. This annual competition inspires students to be creative while promoting public awareness of the need to preserve, protect, and restore the world’s oceans and aquatic resources, contributing to the overarching goals of the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. The Challenge is open to primary and secondary school students 11-19 years old, with scholarships of up to $500 awarded to the winning entries.


The 2023 Science Without Borders® Challenge

The theme for the 2023 Science without Borders® Challenge is “The Sixth Extinction.” For this year’s contest, you can help create awareness about endangered species. We ask students to create a piece of artwork that highlights the beauty and importance of a marine species that is on the brink of extinction. Learn about the theme.



Winners of the Science Without Borders® Challenge will be awarded with the following scholarships:

  • 1st Place: $500
  • 2nd Place: $350
  • 3rd Place: $200

This year, we will also offer a “People’s Choice” award, where the winners in each age group will receive a $50 scholarship. 



This international art competition is open to all students 11-19 years old. Students must be enrolled in primary or secondary school, or the home school equivalent. College and university students are not eligible for this contest.

Work will be judged in two categories based on age, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes awarded for each:

  • Students 11-14 years old
  • Students 15-19 years old



The application period for the 2023 Science Without Borders® Challenge is now over, and the winners have been announced! The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation extends its warmest congratulations to all the winners and participants of the 2023 Science Without Borders® Challenge.

Stay tuned for next year’s contest, which will open in the fall. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know.


How to Apply

To apply to the 2023 Science Without Borders Challenge, fill out the online entry form, upload a picture of your artwork, and make sure everything is submitted before the deadline! If you are under the age of 13, your parents will be asked to provide consent, so make sure not to wait until the last minute. Before applying, check out our Tips for Success for suggestions on how to make the most of your application, such as how to write a compelling artist’s statement and describing how your artwork relates to this year’s theme.  


A panel of artists, educators, and scientists judge the Science Without Borders® Challenge. Artwork will be evaluated on the quality of the artwork, originality, and adherence to the theme. The judges will use a Grading Rubric to evaluate the artwork.

When creating your artwork, you should think about these questions:

  • Does your artwork reflect that you understand the theme of the contest?
  • Does your artist’s statement also show that you understand the contest theme?
  • Does your piece show that you have a good understanding of art and that you use these art elements, such as line, shape, form, value, composition, and color, to effectively portray the theme?
  • Is your artwork original, inventive, and shows off your individual style?
  • Is your artwork neat? Are there tears, smudges, and/or smear marks?
  • Does your artwork invoke emotion for your viewers? Is it striking and memorable?

For tips on creating winning artwork, see Tips for Success.


Contest Rules

Before beginning your artwork, make sure to review the Contest Rules for more information on the types of art we are are looking for. For example, the Science Without Borders® Challenge only accepts original 2-dimensional pieces of artwork students have created by hand, such as a painting or a drawing. 

See the Guidelines for Submitting Artwork for tips on how to upload your artwork. Although the application process is online, semi-finalists will be required to mail in the original artwork in order to be eligible to win. 


For Teachers

In oder to make it easier for teachers to encourage their students to participate in the Science Without Borders® Challenge, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has compiled a number of resources to help them do so. This includes providing information and links to lesson plans to help students learn about the theme, a grading rubric, and the following handouts they can use in their classrooms:

2023 Science Without Borders® Challenge 1-Pager (5MB)

2023 Science Without Borders® Challenge 1-Pager (1MB, editable & printer-friendly version)