Stick figure science contest!

By Phil Plait | April 6, 2009 10:00 am

Can you draw? Yeah, me neither. But don’t let that stop you from entering the Florida Citizens for Science Stick Science contest!

The concept is simple:

Contest for ages 13 through adult:
Your job is to create a cartoon that can be used to educate the general public and especially decision makers (state legislators, school board members) about the truth behind one false argument. Choose an argument… and create a cartoon that corrects the record.

Contest for ages 12 and under:
Your job is to create a cartoon that tells everyone “why understanding science is important.”

The winners receive some cool prizes, and the cartoons will be judged by "celebrity" skeptics/scientists (in quotes because they picked me as a judge, but Genie Scott certainly counts).

So, can you do better than this?

If I’m not too embarrassed to post that, then you can certainly do one of your own and send it in. The deadline is May 31, so get cracking!


Comments (41)

  1. Dan

    I’m pretty sure that no matter what, Randall Munroe will win.

  2. I hope Randall Monroe makes a submission!

  3. Pritchard

    I predict the result of this contest being patently offensive, gargantuantly ridiculous and embarrassingly proper in a multitude of manners. In short – honest.

  4. llewelly

    I thought that was banker logic.

  5. Xkcd is banned, right?

    anyway, I´m SO in!

  6. Dave C

    Dr. Plait – totally unrelated to the post, but are you going to Fiske or SBO this Saturday, April 11, for any of the activities?

  7. TomInAK

    Looks more like federal government logic to me, though congress (a) is definitely halo-free, and (b) is much less likely to compromise on taking your money away.

  8. Brian

    That one would be a bad example of a teaching tool. It only conveys the message you intend to a reader who is already informed on the subject.

    Someone who isn’t already aware of the creationism-in-schools arguments would not understand at all how this is relevant. Someone who doesn’t already realize that their “compromises” are fake would not understand the analogy you’re attempting.

    I’m not saying it’s a bad comic, mind you. The joke is funny (if old). It’s only a bad way of explaining a new concept.

  9. Alan French

    Finally, a contest for the stick figure artists of the world!

    Sounds like a good idea for a book showing all the finalists. I’ll bet there are quite a few good entries.

    Clear skies, Alan

  10. zaardvark

    Is this for U.S. citizens only? It says “contest is open to anyone who wants to enter with the exception of contest judges and their families”, but it looks all U.S.-ish (fields for “City” and “State”, but nothing about “Country”).

    Thanks for any info.

  11. Ooh! I can actually do this.

  12. Hoonser

    Another contest where the entrance requirement is to give up the rights to your work.

  13. Alan French

    “Another contest where the entrance requirement is to give up the rights to your work.”

    Yes, and I’m poised to make a bloody fortune off my stick figure drawings.

    Given they want to use the winner in an educational campaign, I’m not surprised they want the rights to it. I guess folks are simply free to market their artwork elsewhere if they want.

    Clear skies, Alan

  14. Sili

    That sounds more like realpolitik than Creationism, though. Even if I can see where you’re coming from.

  15. I seem to have been beaten to the punch in making the obligatory xkcd joke. Mine was going to be “so, have you filled out the shipping label to Randall Munroe yet, or are you waiting until the deadline out of respect?”

  16. mike

    Did anyone else think the logo for Florida Citizens for Science looks like an enormous pair of (lopsided) breasts reaching for the stars?

  17. MHS

    I am also wondering whether this is for U.S. citizens only? I’d love to give it a try!

  18. Rich Berlew can do a mean stick figure too!

  19. It would be a good compromise if they had non-exclusive rights to use your cartoon. Then you could still publish it elsewhere and have the right to use it as well (as long as your other uses were had non-exclusive rights, of course).

    Since they say they will not use it to make money, why can’t I put it on a t-shirt to make money :)

  20. Quiet Desperation

    Is there a nastiness threshold? Seriously, I don’t think I can do one of these without massive nastiness happening in those comic panels. Small animals *might* be threatened during production.

  21. Caleb
  22. Ooooh …. I submitted the following:


    (Yeah, somewhat bad form to stick the stuff on an faux-cladogram, but it gets the idea across and its a comic). Perhaps it only implicitly “corrects the record”, but I was amused by the idea.

  23. Alise

    I told my kids about it and they immediately went to work on their comic. It’s probably more funny than educational, but I thought it was pretty clever! That I’m their mom has nothing to do with that, I’m sure.

  24. evirus

    i made one… but don’t feel like entering, link below if you want to use mine.

  25. George

    Sounds like a fun contest, but my artistic ability impedes me from even drawing stickmen.
    Seeing as how creationist really make no compromises the last panel should probably be more along the lines of: “You’re right, I meant to say you owe me 13,650 pesos… It’s science!!”

  26. Mine is up. But I also don’t think I will submit, it isn’t very humorous.

    and if I messed up the coding, here is the URL:

  27. Kimpatsu

    Hey, Phil, you owe me $1,000…

  28. astronut

    I don’t see your little stick figure graphic as being representative of creationists. Instead, I see it as being representative of government. Except for the fact that the third pane would not be so kind to the individual. It would be more along the lines of “Let’s compromise. Give me what I asked for or die.” Bow down and obey your god, the government.

  29. Umm… astronut, you do realize that in the U.S. the government is of, by, and for the people…

  30. astronut

    That was a quote from Lincoln. You really believe that to be the case? You ought to freshen up on current events and take notice of the State intruding into your freedoms. Okay, enough of my Thomas Jefferson, classical liberal, influenced thinking … back to something related to science.

  31. another mike

    Except for the halos, that looks more like the recording industry than creationists. They’re always trying to fund their next welfare bureaucracy. Philip Kahn’s got the creationists nailed. To their crosses. Bryan, what do your dancing men spell out?

  32. I submitted one with the intent of doing several, then noticed they had a “one per member” clause. Dammit.

  33. First prize includes an autographed copy of Death From the Skies? Count me in! Now, where’d I leave my crayons?

  34. zaardvark:

    Is this for U.S. citizens only? It says “contest is open to anyone who wants to enter with the exception of contest judges and their families”, but it looks all U.S.-ish (fields for “City” and “State”, but nothing about “Country”).


    I’ve been asked if folks outside of the U.S. can enter. Sure, why not! Antiscience/antievolution is not restricted to Americans. If you’re a winner, we just ask that you be patient with us concerning the shipping of prizes. I’ve never sent anything international before.

  35. Well, they did reject my comic because it argued against the bible and faith. A pity, because if they wish to promote science education, that’s exactly the kind of oppsition they’ll get. It’s only the people that view certain holy books as inerrant that have a problem with good science education. I have yet to meet an anti-evolution agnostic.


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