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An Astronomical Art Idea Driven by Ecological Education Wins Big

“Space Eco Car” Wins Silver Award in FY22 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest!

With intergalactic exploration becoming more popular and accessible by the public and private sectors, many have set their sights on space! As cosmic construction is being built outside our planet, it seems logical that the ecological practices of our world’s new frontier should be examined, too. This observation is what drove a seven-year-old girl from Wellesley, Massachusetts to illustrate her astronomical idea on paper, resulting in her award-winning drawing in the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest.

An Astronomical Art Idea Driven by Ecological Education Wins Big

A second grader at John D. Hardy Elementary School, Allison Yi’s intuitive thinking skills landed her on the orbit of a compelling concept, merging both the fun and the functionality of her car creation while honoring her love of art. A second-time entrant to the contest, this young artist’s love of painting and drawing was a beacon of a star in the FY22 competition – her “Space Eco Car” won the U.S. Silver Award in her age group!

Allison Yi draws her "Space Eco Car" that won silver award in 2022 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest
Allison Yi draws her “Space Eco Car”

As for the inspiration, Allison’s parents noted that the idea all started from a conversation. “We were talking about a space station that has had to dodge satellites in the earth’s orbit, and possibly, it will have to do so more in the future to avoid the trash in the orbit,” stated her parents, Julia Yang and Xianhua Yi. “That was the reason Allison was thinking to design vehicles that could travel around the earth and collect trash in space, so one day, when little animals could be astronauts, they could live, read, play and have fun in the space station safely.”

Allison utilized marker pens to paint her artwork. Over the course of two weeks, she sketched the design and what she wanted to have in the work. In the final week, Allison put all the finishing touches to her galaxy-driven idea. What was completed was a vehicle that could remove and recycle all the trash in the earth’s orbit and beyond, fixing the space traveling pathways. Utilizing solar energy, she hopes that one day, little cute animals could travel to space, read their favorite books, and have fun in space too. By using her artistic skill sets, Allison was able to complete something beautiful and functional.

“Art is a way to show what would happen in the future, dreams could come true if we work hard. Vehicles can be more powerful, they could run on the road, they could fly to space, be multifunctional and do many things, and they could clean, recycle, provide big room for little animals to live and read.”

Allison Yi, Silver Award Winner in 2022 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest
3D Model of Allison Yi's award winning "Space Eco Car" in 2022 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Competition
3D model of Allison Yi’s award-winning drawing

The Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest also inspired another exciting project that incorporates the STEAM approach to teaching and learning, combining science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math to guide student inquiry, discussion, and problem-solving. Presented in partnership by Toyota Motor North America, California State University Dominguez Hills (CSU-DH), and the Petersen Automotive Museum, university students create their own 3D interpretations of the contest’s top winning artworks. Three of this year’s 3D models – including one inspired by Allison’s “Space Eco Car” – are displayed on the first floor of the Toyota Center for Innovation in STEM Education, which is located on the CSU-DH campus in the Science & Innovation Building (1000 E. Victoria St., Carson, CA 90747 – parking map and driving directions). Seven other 3D models based on designs by grade school artists are on view at the Petersen Automotive Museum in the Rob and Melani Walton Discovery Center (Saturday, October 29, 2022 through Sunday, March 26, 2023). For museum hours, visit www.petersen.org.

Through the work of Allison and many other young artists, Toyota is proud to hold a contest that inspires children and teens to dream about the future of cars while using art to inspire others to make an impact on the world. Now in its 12th year, the FY23 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest launched in the United States on October 1, 2022. Artwork by U.S. youth, ages 4-15, may be submitted online or by mail for this year’s U.S. contest through January 31, 2023. Entry forms for this year’s contest are available at www.ToyotaDreamCarUSA.com/entry-forms.

Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan held the first worldwide contest in 2004. Nearly 90 countries now host national contests. All countries submit their top nine winners to Japan as entries into the World Contest. To learn about the World Contest, visit www.Toyota-DreamCarArt.com.

About Toyota: Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018. Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.