Raleigh - Hundreds of young artists put pen, crayon, paint and colored pencil to paper to create entries for the N.C. Department of Transportation's 2016 Aviation Art Contest. A record 801 students from across North Carolina entered the contest, and now the results are in.
The state's Division of Aviation coordinates the contest, which offers all children who live in or attend school in North Carolina the chance to explore different aspects of aviation and express their creativity. Participants were asked to create original artworks inspired by this year's theme, "Air Sports in Harmony with Nature."
Young artists from 168 towns and 69 schools across the state entered the 2016 competition. "This contest is a great way for kids to learn more about aviation," said Division of Aviation Director Bobby Walston. "We love engaging with students and seeing their creativity."
This years' entries were judged by a panel of local art enthusiasts, members of the aviation community and NCDOT employees. The judges looked for originality, adherence to the theme and overall aesthetics to make their selections.
Entries are divided into three age groups. The top three entries in each age group advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C. National winners advance to the international competition in Switzerland.
The U.S. portion of the contest is sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association, managed by the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education and sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott, Ken Cook Co., the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education with additional support from NASAO members.
Click here to view a photo gallery of this year's winning entries. The top finishers in each category, with their schools, are:
First Place: Austin Stephenson, Angier Elementary School, Angier; age 10
Second Place: Evalee Breault, Angier Elementary School, Angier; age 10
Third Place: Jingming Li, Rashkis Elementary School, Chapel Hill; age 9
First Place: Hyunmin Ra, Berean Baptist Academy, Fayetteville; age 13
Second Place: Maggie Rand, Roxboro Community School, Roxboro; age 14
Third Place: Olivia Demi Machado, Lake Wylie Elementary, Charlotte, NC; age 11
First Place: Lauren McLaughlin, Green Hope High School, Cary; age 17
Second Place: Siana Thomas, Corinth-Holders High School, Wendell; age 17
Third Place: Joann Jackson, Green Hope High School, Cary; age 16
Visit the Aviation Art Contest website for information about the competition.