World Ocean Week Challenge Coin and Poetry Contest

K-12 Student Competition:

Design the World Oceans Week at the Explorers Club Challenge Coin

World Oceans Week is inviting K-12 students to submit designs for our 2023 World Oceans Week Challenge Coin.  The winner’s design will be featured as this year’s challenge coin that is presented to distinguished presenters during WOW, June 4-9 in New York City.

What is a Challenge Coin?

Challenge coins are unique and are believed to date back to ancient history.  Today challenge coins are used by the president, in the military, and in civic organizations to recognize members for their outstanding accomplishments.

This year’s ambassadors for WOW are the manatee, the sea horse, and coral.  One or all of the ambassadors can be used to design an original art piece.


-All artwork must be original.  Any submissions that are not original artwork will be disqualified (copyright images, computer graphics, etc.).

-Your design should include one or all of this year’s ambassadors.

-Students cannot use more than 7 color gradients.

-Do not include any text or writing on your artwork.

-Artwork must fit inside the provided template, anything outside the circle will be excluded from the design.

-Students may use crayons, markers, or colored pencils, as well as original digital art designs.

-All submissions must be in the format of PDF or JPG.

All designs should be submitted through this link.  Submissions that are emailed or mailed in will not be accepted.

Due Date

All designs must be submitted by March 31, 2023.

If you have any questions regarding this competition,

Please email:

Submit here, create a folder with your name, email, and grade level:


Judging Criteria and Process

A panel of judges will review all entries.

One finalist will be selected for the coin design.

The finalist will work with the World Oceans Week team to finalize the design.

Artwork will be judged using the following criteria:

-Creativity and originality of the depicted theme

-Professional Quality (neatness and craft)

-Aesthetic Quality (design, composition, color/tones)

Participation in contest constitutes permission for World Oceans Week to use, without notice, worldwide and in perpetuity, any eligible participant’s entry, are, name, grade, and school in any and all media for any purpose, including without limitation, printer materials and promotional purposes as well as in, on or in connection with the website or the contest or other promotions.

All designs must be submitted by March 31, 2023

If you have any questions regarding this competition,

Please email

Poetry Contest 

This contest is open to students in grades K-12, with 3 grade categories for awards in poetry: K-3, 4-8, and 9-12. Entries must have a coastal or ocean theme that includes one of the 2023 Ocean Ambassadors (manatee, sea horses, and coral reefs). Poetry winners will be selected in each of the grade categories; and all winning poems will be published on The Explorers Club website, in the Explorers Club Log or other venues.

Students may submit to both the art and the poetry contest; students can submit only one entry for each contest.

Poetry Contest Rules

-All work must be original. Any submittals that are not original compositions will be disqualified.

-Your poem should include one or more of the Ocean Ambassadors (manatee, sea horses or coral reefs).

-Poem lengths:

  • K-3 8 lines
  • 4-8 20 lines
  • 9-12 30 lines

-Poem entries should include student’s name, grade and teacher’s name; that will not be included in the word count.

-Do not include any drawings or artwork in your poetry.

-Submittals must be made by the student’s teacher

-Submittals must be in the format of a PDF or JPG.

All submittals must be received by March 31st, 2023

If you have any questions regarding this competition,

Please email:

Submit here, create a folder with your name, email, and grade level:

*poems in French or Spanish will be accepted as well.

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