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A Year-long Look Through the Artistic Lenses of Students
By: Denise Lineberry

From more than 200 entries submitted, 84 students received awards for their artistic portrayal of NASA innovation.

Grand Prize Winner Laura Curran
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A piece by Laura Curran, an 11th-grade student at Warwick High School in Newport News, which illustrates a bionic contact lens and its many functions, such as focusing, taking digital photographs, zooming in and out and providing protection from ultraviolet rays, was chosen as the grand prize winner. Curran's drawing adorns the cover of the 2011 calendar.
Credit: Laura Curran

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Spaceships to Mars, hotels on the moon and the growth of technology are just a few of 13 first-place concepts that were awarded spots in NASA's 2011 "Year of Innovation" art calendar. Winners are also invited to attend AeroSpace Day, in Richmond where their art will be on display in the State Capitol.

In all, 84 students who earned awards for grades kindergarten through 12 were recognized Thursday night at the Virginia Air and Space Center. This was the fourth annual NASA Langley-sponsored art and calendar contest. All of the artwork will be on digital display at the VASC, and the artists received a bag of NASA goodies and the opportunity to visit NASA Langley and have lunch with Lesa Roe, the center director, this summer.

Charlie Harris, who heads Langley's Research Directorate, congratulated the students for their artistic abilities and also thanked the teachers, administrators, parents and siblings for their encouragement. "NASA is actively pursuing new ideas and technologies to improve the world in which we live," Harris said. "Some of these NASA-inspired innovations are right inside your homes, classrooms and offices, from fire resistant clothing and materials, thermal gloves and boots, battery-powered smoke detectors to water filters for cleaner drinking water and even video game joysticks that we use to play our gaming systems."

Student entries illustrated each artist's interpretation of innovation in one of several themes: aeronautics, exploration, science, spinoffs and education. The primary purpose of the 2011 "Year of Innovation Art Contest" was to emphasize how NASA encourages and inspires innovation and discovery to build a better world, one full of new opportunities, technologies and ways to understand ourselves and protect and conserve Earth.

"We will need students like you to join the teams of people working on exploration, science and aeronautics. Whatever you decide to become - an engineer, a scientist, a lawyer, an educator -- is up to you," Harris said. "We are counting on the students who have good imaginations and are willing to learn all they can while they are in school."


The Researcher News
NASA Langley Research Center
Editor & Curator: Denise Lineberry
Managing Editor: Jim Hodges
Executive Editor & Responsible NASA Official: Keith Henry