The winning entry from Delaware for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest was selected on Tuesday, March 29, as artistic renderings of waterfowl and conservation messages from students in grades K-12 were judged at the New Castle County Cooperative Extension Building to determine which would represent the state in the national contest. Participating competitors selected a waterfowl from a list of species on the official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service webpage and drew a live portrayal of that species in its habitat demonstrating its natural behavior. Iris Fang’s entry from the grades 4-6 division, an oil pastel rendering of a northern pintail duck titled “Joining the Flock,” was selected as the best in show and will move on to the national Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, where it will have the opportunity to be chosen as the Federal Junior Duck Stamp for 2016. Rain Vasey’s conservation message — “a clean environment means clean wings over water” — was selected to move on to the national contest, as well. Vasey was also in the grades 4-6 division. Autumn Starcher, Junior Duck Stamp Program state coordinator, said that there were 31 statewide entries this year spread out over four different age groups and that the competition was a great way to get students exposed to science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) curriculum. “A lot of the coolest science stuff you can think of has a lot of art integrated in, and so integrating art into these science programs really helps foster creativity and innovation,” Starcher said. “It’s a good way to get kids who might not like science so much and are interested in art, or the kids who don’t like art and are interested in science, interested in other programs and see how they’re integrated together. I think that is probably my favorite part of the program.” Starcher said those interested should participate next year. “If you’re interested in getting your school or church group involved, you can reach out to me or the local 4-H office,” said Starcher. The 4-H Junior Duck Stamp Program is an art and science based program that encourages wetland and waterfowl conservation through sharing and expression with art, and meets monthly in the fall and early winter. For more information on the Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Program, visit the website or contact Starcher at firstname.lastname@example.org. Division winners included: Artwork Haley Holderman — grades K-3; Iris Fang — grades 4-6 (best of show); Dorothy McCormick — grades 7-9; Grace Helen Mitchell Winston – grades 7-9; and Daniel Bryant Mitchell Winston — grades 10-12. Conservation Message Mason Merritt — grades k-3; Rain Vasey — grades 4-6 (best of show); Iris Fang — grades 4-6; Kyle Merritt — grades 7-9; Grace Helen Mitchell Winston — grades 7-9; and Grace Cords — grades 10-12. Article by Adam Thomas Photos by Wenbo Fan This article can also be viewed on UDaily.