Lauderdale County, Miss. West Lauderdale Elementary School competed for and won a $2500 arts grant.
Last year, third graders studied famous artists and then created miniature hot air balloons in the style of those artists.
The contest theme was 'Elevate the Arts', sponsored by American Girl Doll Company.
West Lauderdale Elementary was among ten runners-up in the contest. Their teachers say hands-on activities build skills.
"It's something different from the regular book work they may be accustomed to doing so much of," said West Lauderdale teacher, Teresa Davis. "We did a lot of our papier-mâché outside. It was an ongoing project so it taught them perseverance. They had to keep working on it. A lot of different steps in this activity."
Teacher Karen Williams was also involved in leading the third graders, who worked in teams of four.
The money will be used for student art supplies and training for teachers who use art in teaching other subjects.