A local middle school student has won a national design contest aimed at thanking veterans who visit the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus. Eden Beal, an eighth grade student at Orange Middle School (OMS), was announced as the winner of Future Engineers’ We Love Veterans pin design challenge on Feb. 4.
Ten submissions were selected as finalists in the fourth through eighth grade contest, with Beal’s “Soaring Stars” design receiving the grand prize of a 3D printer that will be donated to her school. In addition to her school receiving the printer, Beal’s pin will be printed and distributed to veterans visiting the museum.
Each eighth grade student at OMS participated in the interdisciplinary project, which began with students learning about veterans and their sacrifices before working on their designs in history class. Students also completed a lesson on scaling in their math classes and a science lesson on 3D programming. Finally, each student wrote a paragraph accompanying their pin submission in English class.
In addition to Beal receiving the top award, OMS students Lauren Davis and Kaleb Houston’s designs were also selected among the 10 finalists. For their efforts, Davis and Houston’s designs will also be printed and distributed to veterans at the museum. Both will also receive a $100 gift card for a 3D print of their design.
Participants’ designs were judged on a 100-point scale comprised of three categories. Up to 50 points were awarded based on the design’s ability to help a veteran feel appreciated, while a total of 25 points each were awarded based on the quality of the 3D design and the creativity and originality of the design.
Beal’s winning design features a red, white, and blue theme with a shooting star accompanied by a gold star meant to represent the sacrifice veterans have made for their country and to honor the fallen veterans. Beal said of her idea for the design, “I knew that the stars and stripes represented the United States flag, and I thought a shooting star would be a fun design.”
The shooting star blazing across the pin is a nod to all of who have left their normal lives in the United States behind to defend the country on foreign grounds.
“It represents the veterans who leave their country to go fight in other places,” Beal told The Gazette.
Beal said she saw the contest as a “fun opportunity,” and she drew inspiration from her grandfather, who served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
“I just think they’ve all given up so much for our country, and they really deserve to be honored,” Beal went on to say. “It really means a lot that we can do these things to help show them that we really appreciate them.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.