SNOLAB is hosting a poster design contest. Students aged 4-19 are invited to design an original visual artwork that explores the theme of dark matter. Designs can be created using any medium. Awards will be given to winners in each age category. All contest submissions will be displayed at the SNOLAB facility!  

Everybody loves a mystery — and one of the biggest mysteries in our universe is dark matter. Scientists around the world are working together to come up with ideas, and to build experiments that are trying solve the mystery of dark matter. It seems to make up part of the universe that we don’t know much about yet. Scientists are not sure if dark matter is a new type of particle, or if it could be explained by new physics. Learning about it will teach us more about our universe and our place in it. 

SNOLAB is Canada’s deep underground science laboratory and there are different types of dark matter experiments there. The experiments that are looking for dark matter underground at SNOLAB are designed to record dark matter particles passing through them. There are many more experiments around the world looking for dark matter. Some experiments use telescopes that look deep into space to learn about dark matter, and there are other experiments smash particles together to try and make dark matter.  

Students are invited to design original visual artworks, in any medium, that explore the theme of dark matter. This can include the mystery of dark matter, the role that it plays in the universe, the science behind it, the people studying it, or anything they find interesting about this topic. Be as creative as you like. Imagine a dark matter particle or a dark matter superhero. Dream up a design for your own experiment or travel deep into space following your imagination. This contest is part of SNOLAB’s participation in Dark Matter Day.

Deadline to enter is October 27th at 11:59pm EDT.


This contest is open to all Canadian and international students aged 4-19 and will be organized into the following categories: 

Entry requirements

Criteria for judging

Submissions will be judged based on originality, innovative techniques, interpretation of the theme (dark matter), and the overall appearance of the artwork. 


Winners in each category will receive a SNOLAB prize pack, have their artwork printed and displayed 2km underground at SNOLAB, and shared on SNOLAB social media channels. All submissions will be digitally displayed at the SNOLAB facility. Winners and honourable mentions in each category will have their printed artwork returned to them after it has been displayed in the underground laboratory – 2km underground!  Prize packs will include:


What is dark matter?

There is a huge amount of stuff out there in space that is affected by gravity. We can see the pull it has on matter like stars and galaxies. But it’s not regular matter. It’s not a black hole. It’s not anything that we have ever seen before. But it’s definitely there. Scientists named this mysterious stuff dark matter. Together, dark matter and dark energy make up 95% of the universe. That only leaves a small 5% for all the matter and energy we know and understand. 

Most scientists think that dark matter is a different type of matter in our universe. The lead candidate, WIMPS (weakly interacting massive particles), are believed to have much more mass than regular matter, like protons, but interacts very rarely with regular matter — making them difficult to study. 

Resources and information about dark matter for grade K-6 students: 

Resources and information about dark matter for grade 6-12 students: 

What is Dark Matter Day?

Dark Matter Day is a public outreach initiative from the Interactions Collaboration, an international community of particle physics communication specialists, Dark Matter Day celebrates the work underway at laboratories and institutions around the world. Dark Matter Day events begin in late October and highlight the global search for dark matter, the many fascinating ways scientists search for this elusive substance, and the value of devoting scientific resources to unraveling this cosmic riddle. For more information and resources, visit the Dark Matter Day website

What information will be publicly shared? 

When winning posters are shared, only the first name, age, city, and country of origin will be published. No other personal information about the contestants will be published or shared. 

Can I use words on my poster?  

Poster entries may or may not include text. As a rule of thumb, no more than 50 words should be used. Please do not include your personal information, such as names, school names or age, etc. 

How will the winners be announced? 

Results will be announced on SNOLAB’s website and will be posted on SNOLAB social media accounts on Dark Matter Day, October 31st, 2023. Winners will be emailed in advance of the announcement. 

Where can I see other submissions? 

All submissions will be posted to the SNOLAB Flickr, under the album “2023 SNOLAB Dark Matter Day Poster Design Contest”.

How do I enter the contest? 

Enter the contest using the “Submit artwork here” button located at the top of this page or by emailing your submission to Entries must be submitted by Friday, October 27th at 11:59pm EDT.  

What if I have a question not answered here? 

If you have questions about the 2023 SNOLAB Dark Matter Day Poster Design Contest, please send an email to!