Washburn Tech Students Win State Design Competition


Students at Washburn Tech competed in the Kansas SkillsUSA design contest back in December, winning first place in both the State Pin and the State T-Shirt design contests. 

Graphics Technology students Olivia Schwyhart made the State Pin winning design while David Vincent made the State T-Shirt winning design.  Schwyhart is a student at Perry-Lecompton High School while Vincent is a post-secondary student from Topeka. 

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers as well as high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations. 

Pam Manning, a graphics technology instructor at Washburn Tech. said the Kansas SkillsUSA contest is open to all skills students in the state of Kansas.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” said Manning.  “There was about forty submissions for the t-shirt designs and the pin designs.”

Manning said that her graphics technology class helped prepare students for the contest by teaching them design skills, composition, design elements and design principles.

“The students applied what they learned in class to design the two pieces,” said Manning.

The Graphics Technology program offers a 48-credit technical certificate that is designed to introduce students to the graphics industry.  Through hands-on activities, projects and internships opportunities students learn the basic of graphic design, digital photography and printing using industry standard software such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.  Students learn how graphics, photography and print work together, developing the skills required for entry level employment in the graphics industry.

Manning said there was specific information given to them by SkillsUSA which the students needed to follow as well as instructions to how they submitted their artwork and how they submitted it for the voting process.

“The T-Shirt that won will be the Kansas SkillsUSA T-Shirt for 2012,” said Manning.  “Those will be printed up and distributed to every skills school in the state of Kansas, which is quite a few.”

According to the Kansas SkillsUSA organizers, this is the first time in memory that a single school has won both first place awards.  State pins will be traded at the SkillsUSA Nationals, June 23-27, 2012 in Kansas City.

Manning said that she was thrilled when she found out the results from the contest.

“This was the first year that Washburn Tech. has submitted a design for the pin or the T-Shirt,” said Manning.  “We were just ecstatic and we hope to be able to do it again.”