|This painting of a wood duck by Lily Spang, then 16, of Toledo, Ohio, took first prize in the 2009 Junior Duck Stamp competition.|
|Many young contestants use photographs and other visual resources as a basis for their drawings and paintings.|
|Credit: Rob MacDonald, USFWS|
On your mark . . . Get set . . . Draw! Or paint or crayon. Children in grades K–12 are now preparing entries for the 2010 Junior Duck Stamp contest that combines science and art to teach students about waterfowl conservation. The competition is administered by the Service under the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Act enacted by Congress in 1994.
Participants, grouped in four age categories, compete to create visually compelling and biologically accurate drawings or paintings of any of 46 native species of ducks, geese and swans. Students are encouraged to visit National Wildlife Refuges with their families or environmental education groups to observe or photograph waterfowl for their drawings and paintings.
The winning national entry is reproduced on one–inch by one–and–one–half–inch stamps sold by the U.S. Post Office and some National Wildlife Refuges. Sales of the $5 stamps help support environmental education programs and provide awards and scholarships for the students, teachers and schools participating in the program.
Each state or territory first selects winners and prizes vary. The "best in show" from each state or territory contest goes on to compete nationally. National winners will be selected April 23, 2010, at the Science Museum of Minnesota. The top three national winners earn cash prizes ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.
In most states, the submission deadline is March 15, 2010. The deadlines for a few specific states include North Carolina: January 18, 2010; South Carolina: January 30, 2010; and Arizona and Ohio: March 1, 2010.
K–12 students attending public, private, tribal or home schools in the United States and the U.S. Territories are eligible to enter as long as they are U.S. citizens, resident aliens, or nationals. U.S. citizens attending schools abroad may enter through their legal state of residence. For contest information and entry forms, visit: http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck/.