Creativity and innovation win the youth contest raising awareness about the importance of oceans


Life began in the oceans. They cover most of the Earth's surface and are the largest ecosystem on the planet. They provide us with food, oxygen, energy, and, moreover, billions of people depend on the physical, chemical, and biological functioning of this great environmental system to live. Additionally, oceans regulate the climate and are a key factor in mitigating climate change.

With the primary objective of highlighting the fundamental role of the global ocean in the development of life on the planet and raising awareness among the public, the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA CSIC-UIB), in collaboration with SeaTeach, launched the "Ocean Odyssey Challenge" last February, a contest of ideas aimed at promoting significant transformations through the younger generations.

The contest was aimed at primary and secondary school students from educational centers in Mallorca, who had two months to jointly present an idea, action, or innovative project to raise awareness about the importance of the oceans.

Additionally, some schools are already in motion as they have committed to implementing the project during the third trimester of the 2023-2024 academic year. This proactive approach underscores their dedication to making a tangible difference in ocean conservation and further emphasizes the importance of fostering environmental stewardship from an early age.

Through this initiative, IMEDEA aims to showcase the work carried out in marine science centers and the importance of research for the conservation of oceans, marine life, and sustainable management practices, while also promoting exploration and interaction of young people with science and innovation.

In total, 11 schools from across Mallorca participated, and their proposals were evaluated based on their creativity, educational value, impact on the community, technical feasibility, and proximity to the scientific field. As a result, the jury, composed of researchers and technicians from IMEDEA and SeaTeach personnel, selected three winning projects, each endowed with €2,000 for execution, and an honorable mention.

The winning classes attended the awards ceremony at IMEDEA today, where they were able to learn about the science conducted there and present their projects to the scientific staff and other awarded classmates.


Challenge achieved: small ideas to inspire big changes from the classroom.

The "Ocean Odyssey Challenge" aspires to be a contest that not only promotes a sense of environmental responsibility but also showcases the creativity and passion of young people in promoting ocean culture. The awarded proposals are as follows:


Primary Category

Two educational centers shared the podium in this category, receiving €1,000 in funding each:

"Save the Posidonia," by 6th-grade students from CEIP Pere Cerdà (Port de Sóller), is based on creating a pedagogical tool inspired by traditional board games. The creators propose to bring Posidonia oceanica closer to other educational centers through entertainment, inviting reflection on why it is important to research and understand this marine plant, its threats, and proposed actions for its preservation. Depending on their communication and collaboration skills, the gaming community either wins or loses as a whole, thus promoting teamwork and cooperation to achieve a single goal: saving the posidonia.


"Messages from the Sea," by 3rd-grade students from CEIP Ses Rotes Velles (Santa Ponça), highlights the erosion and deterioration of the marine landscape and ecosystem services in their locality over the past years. To address this, they advocate for an awareness campaign through street-level communication tools. Thus, students will thoroughly investigate various issues through interviews with experts, fieldwork, talks, and dialogues, and then convey their findings in the form of messages distributed throughout their municipality, aiming to capture the attention of the public.


Secondary Category

The prize in this category received €2,000 in funding to carry out the project "MarINe SIDE," by 2nd and 3rd-grade students from IES Port d’Alcúdia, which reinforces their commitment to environmental conservation and the application of the scientific method to achieve it. Their main objective is clear: to analyze the different sounds present during different times and seasons on the beaches in their environment, and to understand and document their potential impacts on human health and marine ecosystems. To do this, they will install professional equipment to collect sounds at strategic points along the coast.


Special Mention
"Let's Recover the Sea Shanties!"
, from the primary students of CEIP s'Alzinar (Capdepera), has received a special mention for their commitment to maritime culture and the promotion of traditions through science and the arts. We encourage this group to continue working on this project."


Congratulations to all for your great work!