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SACS students design Maine Learning Technology Initiative T-shirt

DYER BROOK, Maine — A T-shirt design by students at Southern Aroostook Community School has been chosen as the winning entry in the 2019 Maine Learning Technology Initiative T-Shirt Design Competition.

Students Collin Grant, Esther Greene, Nathan Mahan, Selena Botting, Rose Arnts, Breanne Wright, Jaelyn Francis, Brianna Daggett and Gracie Brewer, who are students in Kermit McGary’s photography course at SACS, came up with a design of the state of Maine represented as a puzzle.

This design of the state of Maine as a puzzle was created by students at Southern Aroostook Community School and was selected as the winning entry in the 2019 MLTI T-Shirt Design Competition. (Contributed photo/Kermit McGary)

“Our design represents how entrepreneurism in Maine unifies the state,” the students stated in a press release. “Maine citizens have taken pride in building and maintaining businesses over the years and still do today. The Maine outline represents the state, while the puzzle pieces inside represent businesses that have been made by Maine residents. The puzzle pieces also represent unity and how each individual entrepreneur in the state fits together to create the bigger image. The hard work and contribution of each citizen is important to the flow of Maine.”

The students received free registration to the 2019 MLTI Student Conference to be held Thursday, May 23, at the University of Maine in Orono. Their shirt design will be printed and made available to the attendees at the conference.

“We had a good cross section of the student body, with five freshmen, three sophomores, and a junior,” McGary said. “Everyone contributed in some way. Some contributed artistically and some contributed technologically. We had many who multi-tasked and did some of both.”

McGary said one student drew the state of Maine, one took the drawing and digitally edited it, some worked on the graphics, some drew the puzzle pieces, others created the artist statement.

“The kids spent over a month working on this and really worked hard to get it just right during the week before the deadline,” he added. “They are very excited and I’m very proud of them.”

According to the Maine Department of Education website, the Maine Learning Technology Initiative has hosted a design challenge for several years, with students asked to submit original works of digital art that could be used as screensavers.

Twenty winners are chosen, and those images are used as screensavers on thousands of student laptops across the state each year as a way to celebrate the varied ways students could create with the MLTI technology and share with others in Maine.

This year, the MLTI opted to do a T-Shirt Design Competition instead of its traditional screensaver event. A panel of judges narrowed the submissions down to five designs, and then Maine students and educators were asked to vote for their top choice.

SACS’ design was the overwhelming favorite, gathering nearly 68 percent of the votes.

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