2023 Science Without Borders® Challenge Finalists: 11-14 year old students

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is delighted to announce the finalists in our 2023 Science Without Borders® Challenge! This international contest engages students in important ocean issues through art. This year we asked students to create a piece of art that highlights the beauty and importance of a marine species that is on the brink of extinction.

This year we received more entries than ever before. Over 1,200 entries flooded in from 67 different countries, and let us tell you, it was no easy feat to choose the finalists. We hope you will be as impressed with the submissions we received as we were.

Entries to the Science Without Borders® Challenge are judged in two categories based on age. Here are the finalists selected from the younger group of applicants, students 11-14 years old:


"An Aching Beauty of Africa's Waters" by Sharon Yitong Qian, Age 11, United States of America

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ARTIST'S STATEMENT: The beauty of an African penguin speaks for itself. They are not the most graceful, but something about their snowy underbelly, bold neck stripe, and wacky pink surrounding their eyes spark amusement to the audience. But as we admire their charm, we should also think about preserving it. Penguins can live to 20 years, but because of the Sixth Extinction, many don’t reach that lifespan. The primary causes of these penguins' demise are oil spills and overfishing. In this piece, one penguin atop a cliff, and one half-submerged in the oil-polluted water, gaze at each other. The penguin atop the cliff watches his companion being pulled away by a net sympathetically. Perching on the cliff symbolizes the threat of slipping away. If we want to preserve the beauty of African penguins, we must understand what causes their decrease and take action to save the only penguins that’s native to Africa.