5 poster themes

What will your poster be about? Will it showcase the beauty of biodiversity? Will you tell the world about your favorite exhibit (real or imaginary) at the Academy? Perhaps you’ll share a story about how you feel connected to science, or what you imagine a positive future looks like. Or maybe you’ll grab everyone’s attention with a passionate stance for science or nature!

Below are five poster themes—choose one for your poster to address. You’ll also find links to relevant sciencey stuff from the Academy and quotes to inspire you. Feel free to come up with your own quotes to feature on your poster!

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1. The beauty of diversity

Graphic star design with orange background

What makes us different makes us beautiful. Whether you love animals, plants, microbes, or minerals—or all of the above!—let your poster celebrate the dazzling diversity found in nature and humanity.

“My movement is for everybody. My movement celebrates diversity. It's all about getting our flowers and giving each person their own space to be an individual and speak up for that individuality."
Lizzo, Musician

 

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Links to get you started

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2. My favorite Academy exhibit

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What’s your favorite exhibit at the Academy? Or, how would you design the exhibit of your dreams? Show what you love most when visiting the Academy, where everything from the bottoms of our oceans to faraway planets are all within reach.

"What could be better than hanging out on a heated rock in this magnificent swamp, surrounded by 40,000 or so of my closest animal friends and some human admirers?"
Claude, the alligator with albinism, as overheard by Rhonda Rubinstein, Academy Creative Director

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    Links to get you started

    • Wander (virtually) through a variety of Academy exhibits
    • Ooh and aah at animal eye candy on the Academy's Instagram
    • Be dazzled by the Color of Life exhibit
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    3. Including me in science

    Graphic concentric circles design with yellow background

    If you’ve ever gone on a hike, watched the sunset, or counted your steps via smartphone you’re connected to science, even if you didn’t realize it. Share a personal story about what makes you feel connected to the world around you—whether it’s something you’ve done, a place you’ve explored, or a scientist you admire.

    "When I was in high school, I was certain that being an astronaut was my goal. It was a very important time -- Sally Ride was making her first flight into space and she had a real impact on me."
    Karen Nyberg, NASA astronaut

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      Links to get you started

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      4. Envisioning a bright future

      Graphic concentric circles design with green background

      Create your vision of the planet (or your neighborhood) in the next decade. How will people travel? How will people throw away garbage? How will people, animals, and plants live together? Share a peek into your ideal future Earth.

      “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
      Dalai Lama XIV

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      Links to get you started

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      5. Science call-to-action

      Graphic triangle design with orange background

      What change would you like to see for the universe, the world, or for science? Use your poster to advocate for a science or nature-related cause. It could be for environmental justice, food security, conservation, or something else related to science.

      “We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change—and it has to start today.”
      Greta Thunberg, climate activist

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      Links to get you started

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      Poster judging criteria

      As you think about transforming your big ideas into a beautiful poster, remember that the judges will be considering these five design criteria:

      1. Typography—How well does the poster use lettering to convey the message?
      2. Imagery: Illustration or Photography—How well does the poster use imagery to convey the message?
      3. Composition and Layout—How well does the poster use composition and layout to convey the message?
      4. Messaging: Communicating the Idea—How well does the poster inspire thinking, tell a story, or spark emotion? How well does the poster answer the prompt?
      5. Originality—How well does the poster show a unique perspective or express an idea creatively?

      Be sure your poster meets the size requirements:
      16 inches wide x 20 inches tall (the same proportions as a tall Instagram post), and the highest resolution you can muster (minimum: 1920 x 2400 pixels, maximum: 4800 x 6000 pixels) while keeping the file size under 30MB.

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      Contact us
      Questions about the contest? We're here to help. Drop us a line!