About the first-place entry

The First Place artwork was on the DVD label and was visible on the outside of the spacecraft as it journeyed to Mars!

The winning entry for the MAVEN Going to Mars student art contest is a photograph showing the efforts of an entire Kindergarten Enrichment class.

The students worked in eight pairs; each pair created a model Mars, attaching important items to bring along during the journey to the Red Planet.

Below are close-ups of each model Mars, together with the students’ perspective on their creations. Visit our school-based awards page for more information on the winning team’s teacher and her approach.

We only use first names of teachers and educators to protect the privacy of our participants.

Jack and Magnolia
(Planetary Scientist Team #1)

Jack: “If I was going from Earth to Mars I’d bring the American flag. Every ‘place’ needs a flag like Neil Armstrong brought one to the Moon. I’d stick it right into the red dust.”

Magnolia: “Did you know that the first time people came on ships to America they saw the Statue of Liberty? They knew they arrived in New York. I’m taking the Statue of Liberty so all the astronauts who are coming with me will know when we arrive.”

Isaiah and Henry
(Extragalactic Astronomer Team #2)

Isaiah: “Well there is water on Mars ya know. The water is frozen, but I think ocean life is essential. Megalodon sharks are my favorite and I really like them. Giant squid could eat prehistoric fish. They could rescue me from aliens. Landryk is my best school friend so I’m taking him with me to Mars too.”

Henry: “I’m taking a buffalo. They’re my second favorite animals. Pandas are my first, but I didn’t feel like making a panda and buffalo are very strong especially in a stampede which could trample Martians!”

Sawyer and Charlie
(Archaeoastronomer Team #3)

Sawyer: “If I was going to Mars with MAVEN, I’d need a house I can live in and all the things I want to do. A rocket is way too small. I’m taking along the army too so they can protect Charlie and me from aliens.”

Charlie: “I am going with Sawyer so we could have time together. Here we are holding hands.”

Luke and Ian
(Astrophysicist Team #4)

Luke: “When I go night-night, I need to sleep with Giraffie, my stuffy. I would need to bring giraffes with me to Mars. They’d freak out Martians if there were any.”

Ian: “I made a boy. He has blue eyes like me. I’m thinking it is Lucien. If I brought Lucien, there would be life on Mars. I’d have someone to play with. I also made an alien for Luke’s giraffes to scare away.”

Landryk and Eti
(Orbital Mechanics Team #5)

Landryk: “I love ships and I love to sail. I would not want motorboats on Mars because they are noisy and pollutive.”

Eti: “Cats are my favorite type of animal. I really like cats, but I don’t know why. I think this little guy is cute. I am taking him along to cuddle with.”

Tessa and Abe
(Aerospace Engineer Team #6)

Tessa: “I’m bringing sunshine. Mars is very very cold. It’s like night time all the time too. The sun would give heat and light.”

Abe: “I plan to take fresh water to Mars. The water that is there is frozen and you have to drill under the ice to get it. That is too much work.”

Giselle and Lucien
(Astrophysicist Team #7)

Giselle: “I like T.V. shows and games. Angry Birds are the only one I can think of. If it takes 4 to 6 months to get to Mars, I need Angry Birds to keep me occupied.”

Lucien: “I need food to survive. There are no restaurants on Mars. Cooking on a spacecraft would be tricky. I’m bringing a hot dog and pop.”

Avery and Jill, teacher
(Physical Cosmologist Team #8)

Avery: “I decided to bring Logan. My sister is my sister. If I left without her I’d be sad. I really love her.”

Jill: “Avery and I made our planet depict ½ Earth and ½ Mars to represent MAVEN’s mission. I could not endure this journey without my family. I would also try to grow sunflowers there. On each of my petals, Avery was sure to add our school family too!”