Art is a great way to share messages about science, so this year as part of Global Biotech Week we included an art poster competition for elementary students with a sustainability theme: how does litter affect the environment?

Students, grade 3 to 6, were invited to participate. They collected litter they produced at school to incorporate into a poster. They were asked to illustrate how nature (plants, animals, landscapes, etc.) could be negatively affected by litter. Alongside plastic bottles, food wrappers, straws, plastic/paper bags, bottle caps, students were welcome to use pencil crayons, crayons, paint, and any other art materials for their project.

We had a terrific response: 179 posters were submitted from 12 schools across 11 communities in the province.

Judging art (especially children’s art) is difficult. We really wanted to give every poster a prize, as each piece is so interesting, creative, and colourful!

Dr. Mary Leggett, a scientist who retired after a career as a plant pathologist, coordinated the judging and developed the rubric. A panel of artists and scientists judged the posters and selected finalists in each age group, basing their decisions on creativity, how well the message was conveyed, artistic quality and how the students incorporated the litter into their pieces. Mary is a scientist who retired a few years ago from Novozymes BioAg after a career as a plant pathologist. She is a long-time Global Biotech Week committee member.

“We were fortunate to have 22 judges from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Lethbridge, Alberta,” says Mary. “Many of the judges let us know that they enjoyed judging and were impressed by the creativity of the students.” She shared some of the comments sent by judges:

“The kids have a great future ahead with their level of thinking and creativity.”

“Such a fun project and love to see science and art blending together in a beautiful way.”

“Creative kids! I like this project!” “They were lovely to look at.” “That was fun!”


Another committee member who helped organize the poster competition was Lindsey Rudd, Sustainability Program Coordinator with Agriculture in the Classroom. Lindsey has a master’s degree in Environment and Sustainability. “It is inspiring to see the how aware and creative the future generation is whenever given the opportunity,” she says. “The posters submitted in the Upcycled Art Poster Competition displayed an appreciation of natural habitats that we enjoy alongside the animals and plants that reside there. Their visions and messages shone through in their art.”

Congratulations to the winners! Scroll down to see the winning posters.

We would like to thank the teachers for their help and all the students who submitted posters. All posters can be viewed on the Global Biotech Week website.

Click on the mosaic tiles to view each of the poster!

Photo mosaic by: agwestbio @ Mosaically


The winning posters:

Grades 5&6 category:


Jesse S., Duck Lake School


Emma-Dee M., St. Henry Senior School, Melville


Tie: Micah K., Debden School and Jett K., St. Henry Senior School (Melville)


Grades 3&4 category:


Josie C., Lindale School (Moose Jaw)


Miya V., Hillmond Central School (Lloydminster)


Lila A., Hillmond Central School (Lloydminster)


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