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Update: This contest has ended and the winners can be viewed here. Thank you to all who entered!

“Students who participate in arts learning experiences often improve their achievement in other realms of learning and life. In a well-documented national study using a federal database of over 25,000 middle and high school students, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles found students with high arts involvement performed better on standardized achievement tests than students with low arts involvement. Moreover, the high arts-involved students also watched fewer hours of TV, participated in more community service, and reported less boredom in school.”


Clearly, arts in education is important. That’s why K12 holds an annual art contest that offers all kids a fun way to explore their creative side and an opportunity to be recognized for their talents!

Last year, students were challenged to illustrate the decades. Some showed their artistic expressions with pencils, some with markers, some with oils, some with pixels. Students from around the world rose to the occasion and sent in amazing and inspirational examples of their decade-inspired creativity.

This year, the theme is “When I grow up . . .” What do you think of when someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up? Do you dream of being a teacher who helps educate children? Do you imagine your future as a doctor who heals injuries and illnesses big and small? Do you want to explore the galaxy as an astronaut? Do you see yourself on the big screen as a movie star?

We want to see what kids dream of becoming when they grow up. Send us your student’s portrait, still life, action scene—whatever their art is, as long as it’s original!

Here are some important details to know about K12’s eleventh annual Art Contest:

  • It’s open to all K12 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • A first, second, and third place winner will be chosen for each grade, and they will receive a canvas of their submitted artwork, a plaque of recognition, and a sketch book.
  • A Best in Show winner will be chosen in addition to the grade level winners, and he or she will receive a canvas of the submitted artwork, a plaque of recognition, and a sketch book.
  • Each and every student who submits their creative expression of what they will be when they grow up will receive a certificate of participation.
  • All finalists’ work will be featured in an online gallery.
  • All submissions must be received by 5 PM (ET) Monday, October 31, via this online site.
  • Complete details and contest rules can be found here.

Need some inspiration? Visit:

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Brittany Marklin

Brittany Marklin is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a community manager for K12. She coordinates all K12 student contests and connects with families who pursue online education. She attended George Mason University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, with a minor in tourism and events management. Brittany spent her first five years at K12 on the social media team where she aided with content and strategy for multiple channels, and helped construct K12’s user-generated content site, “What’s Your Story?” When she’s not working, Brittany loves spending time with her husband and daughter in North Carolina.

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