Niagara Science Communication Competition


Brock University is pleased to announce the first annual Niagara Science Communication Competition.  The Niagara Science Communications Competition is run by the committee that oversees the BASc in Earth and Planetary Science Communication. The committee consists of members of the of the department of Earth Sciences, the department of Geography and Tourism Studies, and the department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film.

This annual competition will have a new theme each year.

The theme for 2023 is – Exploring Mars: The Big Questions

We are seeking submissions related to Mars Exploration to focus on the Planetary Sciences side of the degree and allow for easier comparison of entries.

Mars exploration is driven by Big Questions.

  • How did its climate change from warmer and wetter in the ancient past to the cold, dry desert of today?
  • Was there ever an ocean on Mars?
  • How did major landforms, such as the massive volcanoes on Tharsis or the largest canyon in the Solar System, Valles Marineris form?
  • Where is there water on Mars today?
  • Did life ever exist? If so, in what form? And in what environment did life thrive?
  • What is the best way to explore Mars?
  • Will humans ever colonize the Red Planet?
  • Whatever you might wonder when you see Mars, a red dot in the night sky.

We are seeking entries that ask a Big Question. And then rather than answer that question, explain why it is important to ask. Entries may provide background information, describe what additional information is needed, or speculate what future missions might look like to answer that question.

Because modern communication can take place in many forms, there are three streams in which to participate for this competition:

  • Written word. Submissions will consist of essays of a maximum of 2000 words.
  • Video. Submission will consist of a link to a single TikTok or Instagram video.
  • Illustration. Submission can consist of a single poster (17”x10”) or a single page graphic with multiple images (i.e. a short graphic novel).

Multiple entries as well as entries into multiple categories by the same person are accepted.

The Competition is open only students who are currently enrolled in their last year in an Ontario High School.

Submission can be made by sending your entry either as an attachment or link to:


Submission will be accepted until June 15, 2023.

The winner will be announced by September 15, 2023.

Retention and rights to entries: All entries received shall be retained by Brock University and not returned. By participating in the Competition, all participants grant Brock University the right to retain, share, communicate, publish, distribute, copy, and modify the entries as may be necessary, in Brock University’s sole discretion, for the purposes of running and publicizing the Competition.

Disclaimer regarding entries, systems and intellectual property: Brock University is not responsible for late, lost, incomplete, illegible, misdirected, stolen, delayed, damaged or destroyed entries, or for any unavailable network connections, failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions, on-line failures, hardware, software or other technical functions or disturbances or any other communications failures or circumstances affecting, disrupting or corrupting the Competition in any manner. Brock University is not responsible for any third party use of the entries, including any intellectual property in the entries, as part of or arising from the Competition.

Professors of the program will choose the top 10 submissions in each category to be reviewed by our final judging committee. The final winners will be selected by a committee that will include external judges.  The identity of these external judges will be announced during the summer of 2023.


The winner in each category will receive an iPad mini 6 (approximate value $680).

The student who submitted the winning entry will be notified by email by September 15, 2023. If the student declines the prize or fails to collect the prize, it will be forfeited and awarded to another entry in accordance with the competition rules. Only the winning entries will be notified. If the judges, in their sole discretion, deem that an insufficient quantity or quality of entries has been received, the competition organizers reserve the right not to award any prize.

Participants in this Competition agree:


  • To be bound by these Competition Rules and the decisions of Brock University, whose decisions are final;
  • To the use of their name, likeness, voice, image, recording, video footage and statements in connection with running and promoting the Competition; and
  • To release and indemnify and hold harmless Brock University, respective officers, directors, employees, owners, agents, contractors, representatives, successors and assigns from any liability in connection with or arising out of this Competition.
  • Cancellation and other changes: Brock University reserves the right, without prior notice and its sole discretion, and at any time, to cancel the Competition, alter the rules in whole or in part, or modify, suspend or extend the Competition in any way.


  • Disqualification: Brock University reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any participant for any reason, including failure to comply with these rules or with the intended purpose of these rules, or to require proof of eligibility, in whatever form Brock University deems appropriate.


  • Dispute resolution: All decisions made by Brock University with respect to this Competition are final without any right of appeal. This Competition and these Rules are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Province of Ontario and the applicable laws of Canada, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules that would cause the application of any other jurisdiction’s laws. Any actions or proceedings arising in connection with this Competition must be conducted in the courts of Ontario, which will have exclusive jurisdiction over such proceedings.