The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has announced the winners of the Science Without Borders® Challenge, an international art competition designed to engage students in ocean conservation through art. The theme for the 2019 competiton was Connected Ocean: No Barriers, No Boundaries, and No Borders, and students were asked to create a piece of artwork that shows how the oceans are connected.

Lesya Antoshkina from Ukraine won in the high school category for her stunning artwork “The Bike We Ride,” which beat out fierce competition to take first place. Antoshkina lives in a small town near the sea of Azov. She loves the sea and said that she wants “to show nature’s problems through art.” With her piece, she aimed to convey that the Earth works “as one big mechanism,” and that as people, “we control the Earth, and we have to look after it.”

Second place in the high school category of the 2019 Science Without Borders® Challenge went to Chengkun Xu from China for “Unity,” and third place went to Tianyi Jia of New Jersey for “Water of Gaea.”

High School Winners:

FIRST PLACE: “The Bike We Ride” by Lesya Antoshkina, Age 16, Ukraine
SECOND PLACE: “Unity” by Chengkun Xu, Age 17, China
THIRD PLACE: “Water of Gaea” by Tianyi Jia, Age 16, New Jersey, USA

The winner in the middle school category was Zeno Park from New Jersey, who at only 12 years old created the winning entry “The Place Where Fish are Free to Roam.” With his imaginative piece of artwork, Park said he wanted to show that in the ocean, organisms are “free to go where ever they wish” but that life in his underwater islands is “heavily dependent upon the condition of their habitat.” Park said he was inspired to create this artwork “because the world is becoming polluted and ravaged. We might be forced to live in a difficult situation if we do not change our actions.”

Benedict Tan Kuok Hau from Malaysia took home second place in the middle school category with his piece “The Bigger Picture,” while Worachet Phanthura from Thailand won third for his artwork “The Ocean Life.”

Middle School Winners:

FIRST PLACE: “The Place Where Fish are Free to Roam” by Zeno Park, Age 12, New Jersey, USA
SECOND PLACE: “The Bigger Picture” by Benedict Tan Kuok Hau, Age 13, Malaysia
THIRD PLACE: “The Ocean Life” by Worachet Phanthura, Age 14, Thailand

Through this competition, the Living Oceans Foundation hopes to promote public awareness of the need to preserve, protect, and restore the world’s oceans and to inspire many students to conserve and protect coral reefs around the world. Each year, students send in artwork that reflects the issues they are most interested and passionate about. Amy Heemsoth, Director of Education at the Living Oceans Foundation said that “this year, more than any other, students seemed to express through their art and written descriptions that they are concerned about the health of our planet. It gives me hope that youth from all over the world are aware of issues that negatively impact our planet and that they want to preserve it for generations to come.”    

Our judges were impressed by the sheer number and high caliber of entries submitted this year. We received over 350 pieces of artwork for the 2019 Science Without Borders® Challenge from 30 different countries around the world, including Armenia, Norway, Saint Lucia, South Africa, and Thailand. Although not all of the students can win, the artwork we received was amazing. Check out the finalists of the 2019 Science Without Borders® Challenge:

High School Finalists:

Middle School Finalists: