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Poster finalists illustrate their dreams of space


While the Las Cruces Space Festival has been canceled, the enthusiasm for all things space has not. The children of Las Cruces Public Schools turned in their work to a poster contest, and the quantity and quality of the artwork is testament to the lasting dream of space travel.

The festival, which was scheduled for March 30-April 4, has been rescheduled to the fall.

The poster selected is by seventh-grade Vista Middle School student Josswe Duarte. It was chosen as the official poster image for the 2020 Las Cruces Space Festival by a public vote. The festival received hundreds of entries from LCPS students, and 12 finalists were selected by the crew from the Challenger Learning Center of Las Cruces. The final images were voted on at the Challenger Learning Center Open House in December and on the festival’s social-media pages.

The winner and the runner up, Picacho Middle School sixth grader Alicia Lopez, received a Sid the Astro Gnome trophy along with a goody bag from festival sponsors at Spaceport America.

Festival organizers work with LCPSon the poster contest each year to “enrich curriculum, engage with students of all ages and inspire them to pursue careers in aerospace and the commercial space industries,” according to a release.

The Festival team and the Challenger Learning Center of Las Cruces work together to encourage students to participate in the poster contest, as well as the festival.

“The 2020 Las Cruces Space Festival theme is future spaceflight, and we chose ‘Life on Mars’ for the poster design to match the current middle-school curriculum,” the release said. “We asked middle-school students to create an image to represent what they thought future colonies on Mars would look like.”

The poster had to be the student’s own original work, had to include at least one illustration and be presented on 8 1/2 x 11 paper only.

The official poster is displayed in schools across the Las Cruces Public School district, and all the entries by the twelve finalists can be viewed at lcspacefestival.com/las-cruces-space-festival-poster-contest-2/ and will be on display during the Space Festival at the “Dawn of Discovery” exhibit at the Bank of the West Building.