Seattle Aquarium Road Trip Challenge! 

Design a mobile experience to inspire conservation action through empathy for animals

Do you care about animals and the environment? So do we at the Seattle Aquarium! We work every day to take excellent care of the animals that reside at the Aquarium and help people connect with animals in their native habitats. We also enjoy sharing what our guests can do to help the marine environment.  
We know not everyone can visit the Aquarium—so we’re thinking about creative ways to bring the Aquarium to communities of the Puget Sound region. Imagine a mobile outreach vehicle traveling all around our region and beyond, helping people learn about and develop empathy for marine wildlife. As people connect with marine animals and learn about what they need to survive, they also start considering how they can help animals in nature. With thousands of people visiting our mobile exhibit annually, we could inspire even more people to make a difference for Puget Sound! 

Will you help us figure out how to take the Aquarium on the road so we can have fun while inspiring people across the region to make a difference in the lives of our local marine animals? Join our Road Trip Challenge!

The challenge

Design a mobile exhibit that would take local marine animals to the community and help people care about the experience/perspectives of these animals in a way that will inspire people to take conservation actions for the marine environment. 
Intended outcomes of a visit to the mobile exhibit:  

  • People will demonstrate increased empathy for animals.
  • People will express an intention to take a conservation action after visiting the exhibit.

Submission instructions and guidelines by category: 

For mixed-category group submissions, use the instructions from the higher-level category (e.g., if you have a 4th grader and an 8th grader, submit under the secondary category). Applicants under the age of 18 need a caregiver’s signature on the submission.

Suggested animals

Orange chiton
Multiple limpets attached to a rock.
A moon snail on a beach.
Moon snail
A purple shore crab on a beach.
Purple shore crab
A san dollar sitting on top of sea grass.
Sand dollar
Two green sea anemone underwater.
Sea anemone
A red sea cucumber underwater.
Sea cucumber
A single red sea urchin.
Sea urchin


Challenge announcement: June 30, 2021 
Submission deadline: August 25, 2021 
Awards: September, 2021


All completed applications will receive a Seattle Aquarium sticker. The best design in each category (elementary school, secondary school, adult and mixed-age groups) will receive a one-year family membership to the Aquarium. The best overall design will receive a one-year family membership and a gift certificate to the Aquarium’s gift shop. We will also award prizes for the design that is best at encouraging connection and empathy for animals, and for the design we think has the best conservation message.