What is the Living Worlds Space Art Contests?
This art challenge elementary school students to imagine the possibilities of life on other planets, the opportunities for interstellar communication, and the future implications of the discoveries that are being made today.

Why is the iLocater team hosting these contests?
Now is one of the most exciting times in history to be a scientist – we are on the verge of discovering life elsewhere in the universe! We want to share this excitement with young students, and hopefully inspire them to continue their education in science, mathematics, and technology.

What prizes can my students and I win?

The top three entries in each age group will receive a prize for both the winning student and teacher.

  • 1st Place: $250 Teacher classroom Cash Card, Beginner telescope for winning student
  • 2nd Place: $150 Teacher classrom Cash Card, Student Space Swag Bag
  • 3rd Place: $100 Teacher classroom Cash Card, Student Space Swag Bag

All teachers who submit entries for an entire classroom will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a variety of different prizes for their school. 

Drawing prizes include:

  • a collection of space books for school library
  • a classroom set of space books
  • skype session with the iLocater scientist
  • skype session from the LBT telescope in Arizona
  • classroom set of space pencils, erasers and stickers

What is required for each entry?
A contest entry should consist of an original artwork of a hypothetical alien organism along with a written description of how the organism’s features have adapted to the exoplanet’s environment.  The description should be written on (or tapped to) the back of the artwork.

What format is acceptable for the artworks?
All artworks must be two-dimensional and scannable, with dimensions no larger than 8.5” x 11”. You may use any materials that will remain flat on the page. Computer-generated images are also acceptable, but all artworks must be entirely original creations, not derived from any other works.

How do I submit my entry?
Teachers or parents should submit the original artworks with a completed entry form to: iLocater Outreach Program, attn: Professor Justin Crepp, 225 Nieuwland Scienc Hall, Notre Dame IN 46556. You are encouraged to submit the entire class’s artworks in a single large envelope.  You can also email scans or photos of the art work to aslozatc@nd.edu.  Make sure to attach an entry form.

When are submissions due?
All contest entries are due or postmarked by Friday March 10, 2017.

How will the artworks be judged? 
Entries will be divided and judged in three separate age groups: grades K-1, grades 2-3, and grades 4-5. A panel of educators and scientists will evaluate the artworks based on their artistic creativity, scientific accuracy, and the written explanation.  

When will the winners be notified?
We intend to notify all winners by Friday March 17, 2017.

Who is allowed to submit entries?
We welcome submissions from teachers or parents of students in grades K-5 at public, private, parochial, and home schools.  Entries will be accepted from any school anywhere in the world, but should be in English.

Is there a limit to how many entries can be submitted?
We can accept only one entry per student. If we receive more than one entry, only the first will be considered and all other entries will be disqualified.

How can I incorporate the contests into my classroom?
Our intention is that the contests may be used as stand-alone activities or be integrated into the traditional curriculum. Naturally this contest would fit well in a unit on astronomy, but would also align with life science lessons related to how animals adapt to their environments.

How can I make my drawing “scientifically accurate?”
The law of natural selection will apply to the development of life anywhere in the universe. As a result, all creatures (whether on earth or another planet) will have adapted to the environment in which they live. Students should learn some age-appropriate details about the environments of extrasolar planets (temperature, pressure, gravity, etc.). They can then use this information to imagine hypothetical alien organisms that would thrive in such an environment. The written explanation that is submitted along with the drawing will be an excellent place to describe how the organism’s features have adapted to the exoplanet’s environment.

Who can I contact with additional questions?
Direct any additional questions to aslozatc@nd.edu