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UTSA, Dee Howard Foundation engage students in aviation and aerospace with art contest

UTSA, Dee Howard Foundation engage students in aviation and aerospace with art contest

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 — UTSA and the Dee Howard Foundation are joining with local, state and national partners to establish the Dee Howard Foundation/UTSA Pre-K thru 12 Aviation and Aerospace Art Contest.

In celebration of the NASA MARS 2020 Mission Perseverance Rover, the theme of the inaugural contest for the 2020–2021 academic year is Mission to Mars. Set to launch the week of September 7, the contest is open to all students in Bexar, Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties.

“We are excited to partner with the Dee Howard Foundation and other organizations for this unique art contest,” JoAnn Browning, dean of UTSA’s College of Engineering said. “Our hope is to engage students about aerospace and engineering in a fun and creative way.”


“Our hope is to engage students about aerospace and engineering in a fun and creative way.”



The contest invites all students pre-K–12, including those from charter schools, private schools, schools on military bases and being home-schooled, to use their creativity to envision what a human settlement on Mars would look like to them. Deadline for submission of all artwork is December 18.

aviation and aerospace art contentPrizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners of four categories: pre-K to second grades; third to fifth grades; sixth to eighth grades; and ninth to 12th grades, with certificates of participation awarded to all entries. In addition to prizes the Wayne and Julie Fagan Family Foundation has awarded a grant of $4,000 to the contest to be used to help support pre-K–12 fine arts programs. All schools that participate in the contest will be eligible to be considered for a grant.

“It is important that we not only encourage interest in aviation, aerospace and engineering but support the art and creativity that go hand in hand with engaging future leaders in the field,” said Wayne Fagan, chair of the Dee Howard Foundation. “With this donation the Wayne and Julie Fagan Family Foundation is committed to supporting the success of students and their schools.”

As an added highlight, students will be “led” on their Mission to Mars by the honorary mission commander, Bernard A. Harris Jr. A veteran astronaut, Harris has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space. He was the first African American to complete a spacewalk.


⇒ Explore the contest rules.

“We are honored to have Dr. Harris as our honorary mission commander,” Fagan said. “Together with Dr. Harris and our cooperating partners, we have a comprehensive, enthusiastic and experienced team of experts to lead our Mission to Mars.”

Cooperating organizations of the contest include the City of San Antonio Aviation Department, Port San Antonio, The Doseum, Communities in Schools of San Antonio, San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, Women in Aviation Alamo City Chapter, San Antonio Chapter–Tuskegee Airman Inc., Scobee Education Center, Girls Inc., Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Pre-K4SA, U.S. Air Force and the WEX Foundation.

Libby Castillo



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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.