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Sea Creature Creations: A Youth Art Exhibit

In this annual exhibit in our Welcome Center, view sea creature creations from The Fairchild Challenge student participants.

As our oceans change, marine life will be faced with new challenges like temperature fluctuation, ocean acidification, and the depletion of certain resources like food or shelter, all of which, have different impacts on sea creatures’ ability to survive. In Challenge 5: Sea Creature Creations, students from grades 2-12 were asked to design and build sculptures that represent what transformations marine life might undergo to better their chances of survival in the future.

Their challenge was to design and create a 3D sculpture of their very own sea creature that they think will be able to best adapt to the oceans evolving conditions! In their design, they were asked to contemplate their sea creature’s physical features, behaviors, and unique characteristics that would give it the upper hand in its environment. They were asked to use their knowledge of real marine adaptations as inspiration and let their imagination run wild as they invent a resilient and innovative sea creature that will withstand environmental change. All projects have been created entirely out of re-used and recycled materials.


Piper Machen

3rd Grade, Tenth Street Elementary 

The design of Piper’s sculpture is inspired by the defense mechanisms of jellyfish, a seahorse’s strong vision, a mantis shrimp’s captivating colors, a turtle’s protective shell, the long teeth of a barracuda, the large mouth of a gulper eel that helps it swallow prey, and a dolphin, which has a blowhole on the top of its head, allowing it to reach air at the surface. Materials used to construct this sculpture include a laundry bin, party tassels, leftover yarn, party plates, corks, and small red cups, brown packaging paper, and toothpicks.


Rosie Moon

6th Grade, Environmental Charter School

The design of Rosie’s sculpture is inspired by the warm-blooded narwhal, which is able to regulate its body temperature as temperatures in the ocean rise and fall, and the long tentacles of an octopus that allow it to move quickly across the ocean floor. Materials used to construct this sculpture include old planters, soda bottles, corks, and random discards.


Elsie Ley

8th Grade, Penn-Trafford Middle School

The design for Elsie’s sculptures is inspired by three fish: an opah fish, a trout, and a betta fish. The length of the sculpture is reflective of a trout which allows it to move faster in the water while its reflective skin helps it to blend in with its surroundings. The beta fish-like tail helps it to attract mates, and the opah fish is warm-blooded, allowing it to digest food and react quickly. Materials used to construct this sculpture include board, gum wrappers, painter tape, ribbon, beads, tissue paper, marbles, and watercolor paint.


Sea Creature Creations Online Gallery

To view full gallery of winning Fairchild Challenge projects, click the button below.

View Gallery

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