Four students at Chewonki Elementary and Middle school have received honors as part of the 27th annual Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design program, a collaborative effort between Maine Audubon and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Zella Morgan from Alna received a 3rd-place award for her duck painting, while Wilton Scott of South Bristol, Zea Arbuckle of Newcastle, and Micah Loosigan of Woolwich received honorable mentions.
According to the Maine Audubon, the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is the culmination of the Junior Duck Stamp educational program, a multi-part course of study designed to meet the National Science Education Content and National Visual Arts standards for students K-12. After studying waterfowl anatomy and habitat, students express their newfound knowledge by drawing, painting, or sketching a picture of an eligible North American waterfowl species.
“The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is one of our favorite integrated education units, incorporating natural history, waterfowl, waterways, art, and conservation,” says Chewonki Visual Arts Specialist Coreysha Stone. “We are lucky to be located on the edge of an estuary. We were able to spend valuable time in the field doing habitat studies with the support of Kyle Wonser, Science Educator for our Traveling Natural History Program. A few months of this type of highly focused work really bolstered students’ abilities and improved their compositions.”
“This unit was one of the longest for the year, starting in November and concluding in February, as we slowly built skills in observational drawing and watercolor. Students were very engaged during these months and really leaned into every art challenge they experienced,” says Stone. “I recently asked students: ‘What was the most exciting, memorable, or challenging lesson for you this year?’. Duck Stamps came up numerous times as a lesson in which students felt they learned the most and made the most progress. This is an annual unit that students in multiple grades can experience two years in a row, really honing their craft over a period of time.”