Snapshots of Spring: Earth Day Photo Contest Challenges Middle School Students to Take Pictures of Their Local Environment

Makapu’u Beach Erosion: The 2007 winning photo by Kristen Tanabe, Grade 7, Kaneohe, Hawaii. Read Kristen’s award winning essay here.

Makapu’u Beach Erosion: The 2007 winning photo by Kristen Tanabe, Grade 7, Kaneohe, Hawaii. Read Kristen’s award winning essay 'here.

Our planet is constantly changing. Look closely and you’ll see changes on the land, in the water and in the air. Of all the seasons, changes are especially noticeable during spring, from blooming flowers to migrating birds to thunderstorms and tornadoes.

U.S. students in grades 5-8 are participating in a unique national effort to capture our changing world by taking a photograph, anytime from Tuesday April 22 (Earth Day) through Tuesday April 29, of something that is changing in their local environment. The photo could be of a change occurring in their backyard, outside their school, in a local park, or off in the distance toward the horizon. The contest is conducted annually by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Arlington, Va.

Photograph submissions must be accompanied by a written explanation of 400 words or less that answers the following questions:

- What is the change taking place in the photograph?
- What may be causing the change?
- Was the change expected?
- How might the change impact surrounding areas, including people?
- How might the picture look different in the future?

Entries will be judged by IGES staff based on relevance to topic (depiction of change in the environment), uniqueness and overall appearance of the photo, and thoroughness of the written explanation.

The top three winners will receive a digital camera, digital photo frame, and digital photo keychain, respectively. The top 10 winners will receive their photograph in a special commemorative frame. The top 50 photographs and accompanying descriptions will be published on the IGES website.

Entries must be received by email or postmarked by May 9, 2008. For submission instructions, entry form, and suggestions for using this activity in the classroom, visit www.strategies.org/EarthDayPhoto.

Topic: ,