Grand County High School is sending six finalists to the Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest. Christa Green’s art and advertising class submitted entries on behalf of the school for the first time since the competition was created in 2013.
The contest was developed as a collaboration between Dr. Edwin Stafford of Utah State University’s Huntsman School of Business and Dr. Roslynn McCann of USU’s Department of Environment and Society in response to the fact that the Wasatch Front experiences some of the worst air quality in the United States.
“A colleague and I decided we wanted to take action to improve our air quality, and one of our best target audiences is high schoolers because they’re learning to drive,” McCann said. “Vehicle emissions are one of the largest sources of pollution in our state.”
McCann believes that if high schoolers are made aware of alternative forms of transportation at the same time as they are beginning to drive, they will produce fewer emissions as they grow up.
“The contest engages teens learning to drive to understand Utah’s and Grand County’s air pollution and discover strategies for helping to preserve air quality, especially during our inversions … refrain from idling, trip-chaining, carpooling, biking,” McCann explained.
“Grand County experiences poor air as well during certain times of the year, and I think a lot of residents don’t realize that,” McCann added. ”I contacted a few of the teachers at the high school and Christa Green got back to me and was interested in having her students participate.”
More than 400 students throughout the state competed for 30 finalist spots, six of which were awarded to students from GCHS.
“To have six posters entered from Grand County is pretty impressive,” McCann said. Moab finalists Ridge Murdock, Kylece Bartosh, Jaidyn Thomas, Ruth Dominquez, Kori Wagner and Aliyah Eddy will be advancing to the finals competition. Winners at the high school level received prizes of $50 gift cards donated by local businesses, and are eligible to win cash awards ranging from $100 to $250, also donated by local businesses.
“I prepped the students on doing a poster project before, and gave them a topic to research for their design, instead of just drawing something random,” said Green of the students’ submissions.
McCann also taught the class about air quality before they began to work on their posters. This way, the students created informed and artistic posters.
“I think a lot of kids were talking about idling their cars,” Green said. “Some of them were thinking about riding their bikes.”
The posters are judged on their artistic merits, marketing message and environmental message. Winning posters from the state finals will be displayed at participating businesses in Cache Valley, Salt Lake City and Grand County.
The final winners will be announced in Logan at the Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest finalist awards ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 17 at noon at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art’s “Family Art Day” in Room 101. Grand County finalists will use Zoom video conferencing to attend.
ByBy Jacque Garcia