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Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest

7th Annual Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder Contest

U.S. EPA and its partners are pleased to present the winners for the annual intergenerational photo, essay, song, poetry, mixed media and dance Sense of Wonder contest. All entries were created by an intergenerational team.

What is the Contest About?

The U.S. EPA, Generations United, the Dance Exchange, Rachel Carson Council, Inc., the Legacy Project, Songwriting Works™ Educational Foundation and the National Center for Creative Aging announce a photo, essay, song, poetry, mixed media and dance contest. Entries must be from an intergenerational team of two or more persons that are not the same age-- a young person and an older person. The entry should express your sense of wonder about capturing the essence of the natural environment –the sea, streams, the mountains and prairies, a sunrise or moonlight, flowers, leaves, wildlife in its habitat.

We would like your team to share your love for nature through a creative project that tells a story about our precious earth. Capture what you hear, see, feel and taste as you explore and study the natural beauty. Contestants will work across generations to share through one of these distinct mediums their own interactions with and reflections about the sense of wonder of the natural environment.

Dance video entries are not limited to the moving body. You can use live performers and/or capture movement and change visible in nature: ice melting, the sun rising, bees and hummingbirds at work, caterpillars crawling, trees swaying in a breeze, an otter playing in the waves. Everyone is welcome to praise nature in a collaborative work of art. Experienced and first time poets, dancers, songwriters and video makers are encouraged to participate.

Let Rachel Carson's words inspire you. In her book The Sense of Wonder, Carson used lyrical passages about the beauty of nature and the joy of helping children develop a sense of its wonder, of curiosity, and love of nature. It was published posthumously and illustrated with wonderful nature photography. In it Ms. Carson wrote that she would endow every child with "a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." However, "if a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in."

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