FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Science, Features, Education Editors
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The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences received more than 700 entries during its first ever Shark Illustration Contest for Kids. Winning pictures, plus more than 100 honorable mentions, will be displayed in the Museum Store beginning Friday, March 26 and running through May 9. Karen Bethune, curator of the Museum’s Nature Art Gallery, credits educators for contributing to such a huge response. “Several teachers made the contest a part of their curriculum and turned it into a class project,” she said. “We were overjoyed to receive packets of 20 to 30 entries” she says.
The contest, held in conjunction with the Museum’s current special exhibit, “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived ,” challenged kids from Pre-K to 9th grade to illustrate their best and most realistic version of a shark in its natural surroundings, and allowed for multiple media ranging from crayon to water color to pencil. Judging was held Monday, March 22, and was based on artistic ability as well as scientific accuracy. Judges were Bethune, Wayne Starnes, curator of fishes and director of the Museum’s Research Lab, and Todd Pusser, a marine-biologist and award-winning wildlife photographer.
All winners will receive a 1-year family membership to the Museum. First place winners also will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Museum Store and 2nd place winners receive a $25 gift certificate. All artists also received a free ticket to “Megalodon,” a unique exhibit focusing on the 60-foot, 100-ton ancestor of the Great White Shark that went extinct nearly 2 million years ago. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.naturalsciences.org  or call 919.733.8450 x212.
(large images available on request)
1st Place: Skylar Kortte, High Point, “Shark Eating a Fish”
2nd Place: Matias Chazo, Asheville, “Lemon Shark”
3rd Place: Delta Joy McMullan, Raleigh, “Escape of the Fish”
1st Place: Ramzi Musleh, Durham, “Shark Menu”
2nd Place: Camille Zehner, Chapel Hill, “Sawtooth Shark”
3rd Place: Abby Macko, Raleigh, “Feeding Frenzy”
1st Place: Mohamed Thomas, Raleigh, “Megalodon”
2nd Place: Scout Hayashi, Chapel Hill, “Scalloped Hammerhead Shark”
3rd Place: Giunjan Shroff, Cary, “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived”
1st Place: Erin Floyd, Wake Forest, “Whale Shark”
2nd Place: Ayla Gizlice, Raleigh, “Leopard Shark in Kelp Forest”
3rd Place: John Z. Lee, Raleigh, “Mr. Hammerhead Going for a Swim”