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2018 Science Without Borders® Arts Challenge Winners Announced!


Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

International Coral Reef Initiative

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation and International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) are proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Science Without Borders® Challenge!



An international student art competition that highlights important ocean conservation issues. The theme for this year’s challenge was “Why Coral Reefs Matter”. The theme was chosen to highlight the importance of coral reefs as part of this year’s International Year of the Reef (IYOR) celebrations.

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation received a record number of entries for this year’s competition; students from 38 different countries submitted over 600 pieces of art for the 2018 Science Without Borders® Challenge.

The artwork was spectacular. I could tell a lot of it was very personal to the artist, and many portrayed a deeper meaning through creative uses of symbolism,” says Amy Heemsoth, Director of Education at the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. She continued, “The students poured their hearts out in into their work, creating stunning imagery that evoked many different emotions in the viewer.

The challenge was divided into two categories – high school (15-19 years old) and middle school (11-14 years old). The winners of this year’s Science Without Borders® Challenge are:

High School Competition

Middle School Competition

Kirsty Richards, ICRI International Year of the Reef Coordinator says, “Whether you live near the coast, or within a land-locked city, you are able to ‘do your bit’ and raise awareness about the plight of coral reefs. These students have done just that, put their passion on paper and produced incredible pieces of artwork that will engage and inspire.”

Selena Yang, 16, a student at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, California, and first place high school winner, hopes that her artwork does just that, stating, “Creating conservation artwork can bring society’s attention to the value of environmental problems that cannot be expressed by sheer words and statistics. I hope that my artwork can inspire people to see the beauty and vital importance of coral reefs.”

The students’ artwork will be displayed at various International Year of the Reef events throughout the year. CAPT Philip Renaud, Executive Director of the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation says, “Scientific research is essential for us to understand nature, but art stirs our emotions and compels us to save the amazing life on our coral reefs.

About the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation:
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is a US-based nonprofit organization that protects and restores ocean health through scientific research, education, and outreach.

About the International Coral Reef Initiative:

The International Coral Reef Initiative(ICRI) is an informal partnership between Nations and organisations which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world. 2018 has been designated by the ICRI as the third International Year of the Reefas a great opportunity to come together to strengthen awareness on the plight of coral reefs, to step up and initiate conservation efforts.