West Side News

Business Professionals of America

Two SWCA students heading to design contest


Two students enrolled in the Interactive Media Design program at the South-Western Career Academy have qualified for the national competition for Business Professionals of America.

Shane Richardson and Ethan Olson earned their places by their strong showing March 13-14 in the state competition. The pair were among 15 SWCA students who participated in that event.

Richardson won first place in graphic design promotion and earned a $2,500 scholarship to the School of Advertising Art in Kettering.

In his competition, he developed and presented a flier and logo promoting the 2015 BPA National Leadership Conference, which will be held in Anaheim, Calif.

"I wanted to come up with an idea that not only promoted the conference but also focused on what will attract people to want to come to Anaheim," Richardson said.

"I researched the history of Anaheim and its climate," he said. "The community was settled in part by people who were looking for land to grow grapes and produce wine."

Later, the area became a haven for orange-growers, Richardson said.

The flier he created depicts an orange tree as well as its roots under the earth with a logo that reads, "Your future is growing."

Richardson won a regional competition in February to qualify for the state event. In winning the state competition, he earned an almost perfect score of 79.5 out of 80 on his presentation to the judges.

"It was scary because they announced the top 10 finishers and then they announced who the winner was by first naming the runners-up," he said. "It was nerve-wracking standing up there. I thought, 'either I'm going to win or I'm not going to get anything at all.' "

Olson was runner-up in the computer modeling competition. For his event, he had to design a race car prototype to be driven in a futuristic Indianapolis 500 race.

"It was fun because the design process was so open-ended," Olson said.

He decided to create a car design that was futuristic but still based on a realistic prediction of the type of car that might be driven in the Indianapolis 500 of 2034, he said.

"Some people came up with ideas that were more science fiction than based on reality," he said.

Olson created a video presentation showing the design and research process he undertook and made a 3D model of the race car. His car won first place in the regional competition.

The national competition will be held April 30 through May 4 in Indianapolis.