Students work on Space Art & Poetry contest entries at Arts in the Hub

Published 4:48 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Crater City Hub event center hosted Middlesboro Independent students and teachers on Tuesday evening as they began creating their submissions for an international Space Art and Poetry contest put together by John Shoffner, astronaut and founder of the Perseid Foundation.

“I’m excited to share a special announcement with my hometown,” said Shoffner in a recent video to Middlesboro students and faculty. “My foundation is hosting a Space Art and Poetry Contest, and I want each and every one of our students to be a part of it.”

The second annual Space Art Contest is hosted in partnership with Limitless Space Institute, Axiom Space, and The Perseid Foundation.

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Tuesday’s Arts in the Hub event was an opportunity for Middlesboro students to work on projects for that contest.

“When Mr. Shoffner sent the personal invitation, I knew our students and teachers would want to participate,” Dr. Jamie Johnson, chief academic officer, said. “We have been focused on incorporating STEAM into our curriculum and Mr. Shoffner has been a huge influence in making that happen; this is just another example of the unique opportunities we are committed to offering Middlesboro students.”

Johnson, and Dr. Tony Maxwell, the district’s instructional supervisor and federal programs coordinator, gathered the Cradle to Career Committee to plan Tuesday’s event. This C2C committee is comprised of the district’s grant-funded employees from Partners for Rural Impact. These place-based partnerships are committed to rural student success from birth through college.

“Once a month, all of the cradle to career grants come together to do one big event for our district,” Jessica Brown, Family and Youth Resources Coordinator at Middlesboro Elementary School, said. “Although we do a lot of things for our students all year that is specific to our individual programs, we have been able to combine our efforts and resources once a month for one bigger event. Focusing our March event on this contest is perfect as it encompasses literacy, STEAM, family involvement, community engagement, and student success – everything we are all about.”

During Arts in the Hub committee members were on hand to help students with their creations as well as submit them to the contest hub.

“We’re asking students from all over the country to ponder this question: ‘What Would it Look Like if We Lived in Space?’” Shoffner said. “And I can’t wait to see the creative ideas that my hometown can come up with.”

Two representatives from each age division — one art and poetry — will be presented from space and will have prints of their creations flown in space! Age divisions include: 5-8, 9-13, 14-18, and teacher/educator.

“In addition to the contest Mr. Shoffner is hosting, our district will be announcing local winners and showcasing their art and poetry throughout town as well,” Maxwell said. “We have so much talent in our district, and we cannot wait to see what everyone creates.”

The contest is free and all MISD students are invited to attend. The final deadline for all art and poetry submissions is Midnight Universal Time (UTC) on April 5, 2024. For more information on the contest, visit the Middlesboro Independent School District Facebook page.