SPRINGFIELD, -- It's time for Illinois students to showcase their artistic skills.
The state's Department of Transportation has launched its 2012 Rain Barrel Design Competition for the third year. The goal is to educate students about storm water management and highlight green efforts.
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The department's secretary, Ann Schneider, says the contest's popularity has increased.
Students from 3rd to 12th grade can participate. They should submit an artistic design that can be painted onto a rain barrel. Officials suggest designs that incorporate nature and sustainability, among other things.
Officials say 50 designs will be chosen in November and each of those schools will get a rain barrel.
Schools can enter one submission per age group. Those are 3rd to 5th grade, 6th to 8th grade and 9th to 12th grade.