Students invited to be a part of a collaborative book about grizzly bears.

Why do bears cross the road? What kind of trouble could two mischievous cubs get into as they travel with their mom? What should they learn along the way? How do they find their way across busy highways?

These questions and more are posed by Inspired Classroom, Sinopah Wildlife Research Associates and Y2Y as part of a book titled, “Why does the bear cross the road?”

Students from kindergarten through Grade 8 across the United States and Canada can submit entries of art work and descriptions for compilation in a collaborative book describing mother grizzly bear, Hope and her two cubs Arcti and Ursi as they travel their range from their den site to summer food sources. Along the way Hope has to teach her cubs how to be bears and live in harmony with humans and the highways criss-crossing the land.

The book concludes with non-fiction information and photos from internationally renowned wildlife biologist, Dr. Michael Sawaya, and researchers summarizing studies about highway dangers and ways to connect wildlife corridors, making it safer for bears and humans.

The objectives of the international art contest are to teach the importance of wildlife connectivity and develop transboundary connections. Learn more and enter now.

Any students in kindergarten through eighth grade may participate. No age categories are stipulated. 


All entries must be post marked no later than June 1, 2020.  Entries submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

Judging and winners

  • A panel of art educators, authors, and wildlife biologists will review all entries.
  • Finalist’s artwork and descriptions will be featured in the final book. Finalists will receive:
    • A certificate of recognition
    • A copy of the final ebook
  • Participating classrooms will be entered into a drawing for a one hour, free video conference visit from Dr. Sawaya. ($150 value).

Project theme

The book will follow the bears’ journey starting with emerging from their den and traversing the wilderness and the human/wildlife interface.  Along the way, the cubs will learn lessons about how to navigate their world, stay away from attractants, and cross highways safely.  However, what cubs should do and what they really want to do can be two different things.  Students can imagine what crazy hijinks the cubs might wish they could do.  Artwork can be realistic, fantastical or abstract.

Contest rules and details

Read full submission details, rules and more.

Header image courtesy Mike Sawaya/Sinopah Wildlife Research Associates