T-shirt design contest held for virtual STEM festival


Hannah Gonzalez

The annual t-shirt design contest will be held this year in order to spread the word about the virtual STEM festival. The t-shirts are used as marketing for the STEM festival and sold to community members.

This year, the fourth annual district-wide t-shirt design contest for the STEM festival runs until March 19. The contest is open to all LISD students.

“The students usually have three or four weeks to create a custom design that meets all the eligibility rules, and then they send that design in,” said Michelle Wilde, chair of the STEM marketing committee. “Then, the marketing committee of the STEM council all votes on all the designs, and then we choose three winners. The first place winner is the actual design that will be on the t-shirt.”

The contest made one change as a COVID-19 safety measure this year. This change is in accordance with the rest of the festival, which will take place virtually over Zoom.

“The only thing that is different this year is that in the past, we would accept a hand-drawn design on a piece of paper, and students could submit that to the front office of their school, so we could have taken that design in the past on a piece of paper,” Wilde said. “This year, we’re only accepting it being submitted electronically to that email address, so people can scan in their design, or they can take a photo.”

To organize the contest, Wilde works with Dr. Laurie Vondersaar, Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives and Communication, and the rest of the STEM marketing committee.

“[We] update the flyer each year and adjust any rules that are necessary, and then communicate through Dr. Vondersaar, who is the head of communications for the district,” Wilde said. “I communicate to her what the rules are and the flyer, and she distributes that out to the principals, and the superintendent, and also gets that information on all of the campus and  district websites.”

Rachael Merrick, a middle school assistant principal and STEM marketing committee member, works on sales and distribution of the t-shirts after the contest.

“I work with our bookkeepers, Julie Puckett and Karin Wortham, to set up our Revtrak for purchasing STEM Festival t-shirts,” Merrick said. “They really do all the work on that end to help us get it up and running. I send them the information, and they do the amazing work behind the scenes. Once the shirts are ordered, I help with their distribution.”

The t-shirts are used as marketing for the STEM festival and sold to community members.

“I look forward to seeing the creativity and the high level of excellence in the design,” Merrick said. “It is always so exciting to see, and I am in awe of the different directions students take it. I love working on the t-shirt design contest and hope this creativity will be contagious, and inspire the community to be a part of the STEM festival to see, learn and do.”