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Stick Science Contest
Enter to win GREAT prizes!

Stick Science Contest: Home

WINNERS ANNOUNCED! See who the 2010 Stick Science winners are here.
All of the Top 10 entries for 2010 are here.

Welcome to the second annual Stick Science Cartoon Contest!
We had a lot of fun with the inaugural event last year, so we are back by popular demand. Take a moment to check out last year's top ten entries and the winners. The Scientist magazine did a short piece about the contest, and we even attracted the attention of the Creation Ministries.

Background information: Why are we doing this?
Public understanding of science is horribly low. Folks who push antievolution efforts on local, state and national stages prey on that weakness. For instance, one such gap in the public's science knowledge is the use of the word "theory." When the general public uses the word, it means one thing; when a scientist uses the word, it usually means something completely different (see the Understanding Evolution website for more info). We see this a lot when antievolution folks claim that "evolution is only a theory." The news media mistakenly runs intelligent design and evolution alongside as two competing theories in their stories and accompanying graphics. Lawmakers take advantage of this confusion when proposing antievolution legislation.

Besides the misuse of the word theory, antievolution efforts rely on false arguments such as gaps in the fossil record, the ever changing nature of science, and scientists being afraid of honest critical analysis.

There are plenty of other misconceptions about science out there concerning all branches of science:

  • Dinosaurs and cavemen lived at the same time.
  • We experience seasons because of Earth's changing distance from the Sun -- closer in summer, farther in winter.
  • The phases of the Moon are caused by the shadow of the Earth on the Moon.
  • Evolution causes something to go from "lower" to "higher".
  • All scientists wear labcoats and work in a lab.
  • Heat is a substance which could be added to or removed from an object.
  • You only use 10 percent of your brain.

So, what do I do?
Your job is to create a cartoon that can be used to educate the general public and especially decision makers (state legislators, school board members) about the truth behind one false science argument. Choose an argument, either one I've mentioned above or another one you are familiar with, and create a cartoon that corrects the record.

But wait! I can't draw!
Don't worry. The name of the contest is "Stick Science" for a reason. All entries must be drawn using stick figures. Even if you are a professional artist, you must still use stick figures. The main focus will be on your creative idea, not your artistic talent. This doesn't mean you can be sloppy, though. Your entry needs to be as clear as possible. You are welcome to add "artist's notes" to the cartoon to make a certain point clear if your stick figure drawing ability doesn't allow you to express it. But your writing and drawing needs to be understandable. You're not going to win anything if the judges can't figure out your cartoon.

Your cartoon can be funny or educational or a combination of both; however, the cartoon should not be mean-spirited or single out a real person for ridicule. Additionally, the cartoon must focus on science and/or education, not religion. Your entry can be a single pane like a political cartoon, or it can be three or four panes like a daily comic strip, or it can be several panes in two rows similar to the Sunday comics. As long as your cartoon fits on a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper, either vertically or horizontally, you are good to go.

We have "celebrity" judges and great prizes awaiting your cartoon! Click through the following links to learn more.

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