PennDOT invites young artists to express their creativity through its annual aviation art contest, sponsored by the department's Bureau of Aviation.

"We've been very pleased with the participation and creativity students showed in this contest in the past," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "Aviation supports thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, so we're glad that kids are learning about an important industry and having fun at the same time."

"The View from the Pilot's Seat" is the theme of this year's contest. Entries will be judged in two divisions: first through third grades, and fourth and fifth grades. There will be 22 statewide winners, with one winner from each division selected from each of PennDOT's 11 district offices. Winners will receive a certificate signed by Secretary Biehler and a mounted, full-color, 16-by-20-inch copy of their entry. The students' schools will also receive a mounted copy of the artwork for display.

Artwork should be submitted on 8.5-by-11-inch or 9-by-12-inch paper, unframed, unmatted and unlaminated. All work must be done by hand (there is an exception for children with physical challenges).

Permitted formats are: acrylic, oil paint, felt-tip pens, indelible ink, soft ball point pens, watercolor or crayons. Formats that are not permitted include: non-permanent media such as pencil or charcoal, computer-generated artwork and collage work using photocopies.

The back of each submission should include the student's name, teacher's name, grade level, county and school address and phone number. Entries will not be returned.

Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 15. Send entries to: Bureau of Aviation, c/o Harrison Brooks, 400 North St., Harrisburg, PA 17120 or PO Box 3457, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0064.

Winners' schools will be notified by telephone.

Last year's winners are viewable under the Bureau of Aviation's "Communications" section on www.dot.state.pa.us.