Winning Diversity x Design contest posters are on display at the California Academy of Sciences

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (December 17, 2021) - The California Academy of Sciences is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Diversity x Design Poster Contest, which invited high school students throughout the Bay Area to design and submit posters celebrating diversity in science. Nine contest posters–four winning theme-based designs and five honorable mentions–will be displayed in the Academy’s Children’s Gallery from December 21, 2021 through January 30, 2022.

For the contest, students from across the Bay Area unleashed their creativity to produce posters on topics that matter to them, revealing fresh takes on everything from climate change to biodiversity. A panel of locally based, internationally renowned professional designers selected winning posters for each of four themes, and honorable mentions for outstanding execution of a core design element. Submissions to the contest were free of charge, and throughout the contest period the Academy’s in-house design team provided free online learning resources to support accessible and ongoing design education.

“Graphics are so much more than just something beautiful to look at – they are a powerful way to share ideas, challenge the status quo, captivate imaginations, and inspire those around us,” said Academy Creative Director Rhonda Rubinstein. “By engaging the next generation of creative minds, not only do we encourage them to see design as a potential career path, but we give them the tools to convey their diverse perspectives and another avenue through which to change the world.”

Winning posters and honorable mentions will be displayed at the Academy in-person and online. Winners will receive a large print of their poster, a $100 gift card, and a one-year Academy family membership. Honorable mentions will receive a large print of their poster and four tickets to the Academy. Winners and honorable mention recipients will celebrate their work and receive their prizes at the Academy Children’s Gallery on Tuesday, December 21 at 3pm. Press who are interested in attending should email


Diversity x Design winning poster by Maya Egrie

Category: My Favorite Academy Exhibit
Artist: Maya Egrie, 10th grade
Title: "Coral Reef"

"I grew up close to the Academy and have been going there for as long as I can remember. My favorite exhibit has always been the Philippine Coral Reef in the aquarium. When I was little, I liked to stand pressed up against the tall glass wall and look up at all the fish and coral. I loved feeling like I was at the bottom of the ocean looking up towards the surface, and I wanted to capture that feeling in my poster."

Diversity x Design winning poster by Chaoran Zou

Category: Envisioning a Bright Future
Artist: Chaoran Zou, 12th grade
Title: "Innovation"

"In envisioning a bright future, my poster shows that in the near future, people are protecting the plants and they choose to put them into the bulb. Also, the plants can be used as light bulbs. In this way, this light bulb would light up the whole earth in an eco-friendly way."

Diversity x Design winning poster by Jessica Li

Category: The Beauty of Diversity
Artist: Jessica Li, 12th grade
Title: "Fly Into Diversity"

"Diversity is what allows the world and its organisms to grow and flourish. With over 17,500 different species, butterflies appear in all sorts of colors and forms, each carrying a different role in the ecosystem. No matter their size or popularity, each butterfly plays a significant role in conserving rich biodiversity, assisting other organisms in natural processes, and adding beauty to nature. As we fly into diversity, we are encouraged to appreciate the beauty of these butterflies and their impacts on the environment."

Diversity x Design winning poster by Audrey Chiang

Category: Science Call-to-Action
Artist: Audrey Chiang, 11th grade
Title: "926,116 Acres"

"My poster focuses on the impacts of climate change, particularly in California. I wanted to highlight the impacts it has on people's lives and the importance of taking widespread, urgent action to combat it."

Diversity x Design honorable mention poster by Natalie Wong

Honorable mention: Composition
Artist: Natalie Wong, 11th grade
Title: "Light Up the Depths"

"I love the Water Planet exhibit because it makes me feel like I am underwater, able to reach out and almost touch the aquatic animals. I wanted to capture the atmosphere of the exhibit; the lights from the aquarium cutting through the darkness, revealing the beautiful animals. The jellyfish have always been my favorites, so I made sure to give them the spotlight in my poster. I also wanted to include some of the 'Diversity x Design' prompts, so I made the girl Chinese, representing myself."

Diversity x Design honorable mention poster by Tan Ieng Huang

Honorable mention: Imagery
Artist: Tan Ieng Huang, 11th grade
Title: "A Piece of the Rainforest"

"Even though the diversity of the rainforest is amazing, I often dream of exploring the jungle in miniature. Giant fungi, frogs, herbs, form a fantasy world. Different kinds of organisms are active in the ecosystem, and different details can be noticed when viewed from this perspective."

Diversity x Design honorable mention poster by Sophie Rong

Honorable mention: Typography
Artist: Sophie Rong, 10th grade
Title: "Think Big"

"People are often urged to take small steps to combat climate change—whether it be using paper straws or taking shorter showers. However, these actions do little to affect the Earth's increasingly problematic climate situation. In contrast, most pollution comes from companies and their failure to prioritize environmental friendliness. Through this poster, I encourage companies to own up to their actions and think about making bigger efforts to fight climate change."

Diversity x Design honorable mention poster by Liz Clayson

Honorable mention: Messaging
Artist: Liz Clayson, 12th grade
Title: "Keep San Francisco Groovy"

"This poster is a call to action against the scourge of evictions and for the preservation of San Francisco’s history and culture. I've seen my friends and loved ones struggle with being evicted; these evictions are changing the heart of San Francisco and replacing it with a soulless money machine. It is imperative that we fight these evictions and keep San Francisco Groovy."

Diversity x Design honorable mention poster by Annika Gurnani

Honorable mention: Originality
Artist: Annika Gurnani, 9th grade
Title: "Love Me for Who I Am"

"I chose this topic because there is beauty as well as unity, empathy, and inclusivity in diversity, which we should celebrate every single day. I love music, and Lady Gaga's song 'Hair' inspired me to work on this idea. I wanted to use Illustrator as my art medium, in which I took a class this summer!

About the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution with a mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and environmental education—all under one living roof. Museum hours are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Saturday, and 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday. Admission includes all exhibits, programs, and shows. For daily ticket prices, please visit or call (415) 379-8000 for more information.

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