An Evolution and Art Contest September 13, 2010

An Evolution and Art Contest

Charlie’s Playhouse is running a fantastic contest for children (under 12) that involves thinking about evolution.

In essence, pick an animal you like and an island with a different environment from the one your animal is used to living in… now, think about the evolutionary shifts that animal would undergo.

Now imagine that millions of years pass. How would the animal evolve to fit the environment on the island? Draw us a picture of your animal after it has evolved, and include the new environment if you can. Remember that there is no “right” answer, just your imagination and your understanding of how animals fit into their environments.

The deadline is November 15th.

There are prizes for the winners in the various age categories and you can see all the rules/details here!

If you’re an adult who wants to win an awesome prize, Neil deGrasse Tyson has a contest for you!

The rules are here and you must submit your video by this Sunday!

(And if you win, I *fully* expect you to take me as your guest.)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Richard Wade

    Hmm. This is a good idea, and I hate to be picky, but “an animal” would not evolve. It would survive for a while and then die. This may inadvertently be perpetuating the misconception that animals “morph” as individuals from one form to another, like what we see in animated sequences of a fish developing lobed fins, then leg like fins, then crawling out of the water, then morphing into a salamander-like animal, then a reptile, etc. etc. I think that these metaphorical illustrations have contributed to very pernicious misconceptions about how evolution works. Many people have trouble understanding metaphorical vs literal illustrations.

  • Roxane

    Richard Wade is of course correct, but these are pretty young kids. Smart kids at the top of the “under 12” age limit, who have had an unusually rigorous science education for their age, might get that distinction, but I think it’s OK for 7-8-9 year-olds to think of it in these terms. Much of the process of education involves learning that what you learned two years ago was a serious oversimplification.

    A contest like this gives small kids the opportunity to bring what they’ve got–as foggy and imprecise as that may be–to the party.

    Plus, my daughter is an art teacher who is always looking for ways to bring science and critical thinking into what she does–this is SO getting forwarded to her!

  • Anonymous

    On Sept 10, deGrasse Tyson Twittered:

    “Likely source of all conflict in world: believing what you want or what feels good, rather than what is objectively true.”

    I appreciate him so much for making this statement.

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