West Teays Elementary’s Scarlett Ward Wins 3rd Annual Student Design Challenge

We are thrilled to announce that Scarlett Ward, an 8-year-old second grader at West Teays Elementary, has won the 3rd Annual Student Design Challenge! 🚀 Out of 144 entries from across West Virginia, Scarlett’s imaginative design, submitted by her teacher Lisa Alford, was chosen and will be transformed into a stunning piece of Blenko Glass Company art.

“We are incredibly proud of Scarlett and her achievement,” said Tracy Straub, Strategic Marketing Manager at the WVU Industrial Extension. “This competition not only highlights the remarkable talent of West Virginia students, but also emphasizes the importance of encouraging young minds to explore the dynamic field of manufacturing.”

“As we congratulate this year’s winner of the Student Design Challenge, we celebrate not only their exceptional creativity but also the enduring tradition of glassmaking that the Blenko Glass Company has upheld for generations,” said Dave Wertz, Vice President of Manufacturing at Blenko Glass. “It’s thrilling to see these young artists bring their creativity to life through the molten magic of glass. We are thankful for this opportunity and for partners like WVU’s Industrial Extension for helping us ensure that the future of glass blowing remains as vibrant and dynamic as its storied past.”

Scarlett’s original Blenko Glass artwork will be unveiled at the 2024 WV Manufacturing Conference on September 25th, kicking off Manufacturing Day activities scheduled in October.

The Student Design Challenge is part of the larger Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) initiative, which aims to showcase the reality of modern manufacturing careers. By partnering with local companies like Blenko Glass, MFG Day seeks to address the collective challenges of the manufacturing sector and inspire future generations.

Honorable Mention Awardees for the 3rd Annual Student Design Challenge

This year, we received so many outstanding and creative entries that the WVU Industrial Extension team selected 10 Honorable Mentions in addition to the winner. Congratulations to these talented students whose exceptional designs were chosen from 144 entries across West Virginia:

  • Joshua Bonigala, 2nd Grade, North Elementary School, Morgantown, WV
  • Tyler Bowman, 1st Grade, Bridgeport United Methodist After School/Simpson Elementary School, Bridgeport, WV
  • Sophie Ethridge, 7th Grade, Winfield Middle School, Winfield, WV
  • Paisley Henderson, 9th Grade, South Charleston High School, South Charleston, WV
  • Adelyn King, 3rd Grade, Southside Elementary School, Huntington, WV
  • Arya Marsh, Kindergarten, Buckhannon Academy Elementary School, Buckhannon, WV
  • Lexi Penczek, 9th Grade, South Charleston High School, South Charleston, WV
  • Bryce Robinson, 2nd Grade, West Teays Elementary School, Hurricane, WV
  • Nelson Sparks, Kindergarten, Brooke Primary North, Wellsburg, WV
  • Roxson West, 3rd Grade, Peterson Central Elementary School, Weston, WV

The original Blenko Glass artwork, inspired by Scarlett’s winning design, will be unveiled at the 2024 WV Manufacturing Conference on September 25th, thus kicking off MFG Day activities scheduled for October.

To learn more about WVU Industrial Extension visit: www.wvmep.com