North Carolina Sea Grant

January 15, 2021 | Lauren Pharr

Elementary school student Victoria Yang's winning art

Elementary school student Victoria Yang’s winning art

North Carolina Sea Grant, NC State Climate Office, and NC DEQ have partnered to create a network of educators and researchers to connect and learn about the latest in NC climate research and information. The NC Climate Education Network (NCCEN) hosted an art contest for students across North Carolina and received over 150 entries. Poetry, drawings, and photographs were submitted from K-12 students all over North Carolina during the Fall of 2020.

The organizers chose the best, most creative submissions to the question, “What does Climate Resiliency mean to you?” Submissions ranged from detailed drawings to beautiful poems exploring climate resiliency through the eyes of our K-12 students.

The Winners


Elementary School: Victoria Yang, Chapel Hill, NC 

Middle School: Ally Garcia Mendez, Kinston, NC 

High School: Corey Torrain, Browns Summit, NC 

Middle schooler Ally Garcia Mendez's award-winning artwork

Middle schooler Ally Garcia Mendez’s award-winning artwork



Elementary School: Molly White, Lenoir County, NC

The ice starts to melt,
And so do the poor polar bears’ hearts.
All because you drove your Hummer to the mini mart!
Flowers are in bloom.
But is that bad?
It is when big storms are to be had!
Snow is melting sooner.
Wild fires are ablaze.
The whole world is in one big haze!
The coral reefs are dying,
The algae is all gone.
All because you put fertilizer on your lawn!
The world is resilient,
but only if you do your part.

And the people who are willing to help Earth are off the chart!


High schooler Corey Torrain's winning artwork

High schooler Corey Torrain’s winning artwork

Middle School: Katherine West, Iredell County, NC

Whose polluted skies is that? I think I know.
The creator is quite sad though.
It really is a tale of woe,
I watch her frown and cry below.
She gives her polluted skies a shake,
With lightning striking the birds awake.
The only other sound’s the break,
Of thunder shaking the humans awake.
The earth is dying, exhausted and deep,
But she has promises to keep,
Until then she shall not sleep.
As she lies in bed with clouds that weep.
She rises from her uncomfy bed,
With thoughts of sadness in her head,
She idolizes being dead.
Facing the day with never-ending dread.


High School: Cailee Ledford, Yancey County, NC

It’s so quiet
here in the future
where the oceans are warm
and the fires are blazing
Smoke stacks keep coming
glaciers are sinking
our mother was destroyed
why was there no logical thinking
It’s so quiet
here in the future
where Earth is dull
and life is decreasing.

The NCCEN hopes to connect the latest climate research and information with teachers across North Carolina, including a virtual NC Climate Education Network Open House on January 26, 2021 from 3:00-4:00.







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