Jan Takamatsu, a 12th grade student at Campbell High School, won first place in the computer-generated artwork division of GEICO's national poster contest.
A different kind of poster child
A Hawaii girl is one of only five national winners in GEICO
's 21st annual Safety Belt Poster Contest.
Jan Takamatsu, a 17-year-old Campbell High School senior, took the top honor in the computer-generated poster category.
Her work shows a boy -- buckled up, of course -- and a car on a highway that ends at a safety belt buckle.
She is something of a serial art contest winner. This is her first national win, but she has won or been a finalist locally at least four other times.
So what does she do with her winnings? "Um, it depends," she said. One prize, a savings bond, she has kept, and another, an iPod, has gotten plenty of use. She was surprised to learn the GEICO prize was $650 cash. "I didn't realize it was so much."
Takamatsu has been accepted at UH-Manoa and seems well on her way toward the career she plans in graphic design.
Her attendance at an American Institute of Graphic Arts-Honolulu chapter workshop gave her a taste of the profession. She got to think about the assignment overnight, "but you had a time limit, like what you would experience in a real job."
Other winners, including two Virginia siblings, topped four age-group categories. In addition to the winners' cash, each winner's school receives $500 for art supplies and reproductions of the posters. The 88 regional winners get cash ranging from $50 to $150.
Winning posters will be displayed at www.geico.com and at GEICO locations, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Rouse.
And because "you have to have copies of your winning poster," each national winner gets a bunch of copies of their own poster, plus a copy of other winning posters, said Rouse.
Entry details for the next contest will be posted online in the fall.
Tech directory, a click away
The days of merely listing the players in Hawaii's technology industry are long over.
It "is no longer a list. It's a grid," said Lisa Gibson, president of the Hawaii Science and Technology Council. "You have to view it holistically across all sectors," as depicted by the council's new, year-in-the-making online directory at www.hiscitech.org.
The grid shows a clickable company name and its areas of practice, which may include Agricultural Biotechnology; Astronomy; Biotechnology/Life Sciences; Defense/Aerospace; Energy; Environmental; Film/Digital Media; Information/Communication Technology; Ocean Sciences or Other(s).
"We have nine different sectors, not one, and that is cutting edge. That is the trend that's happening," as collaboration grows between sectors that have increasing need for a workforce versed in so-called "STEM" skill-sets, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Some company listings also reflect a need for better word-related skills, but let's just keep that between us.
The directory is for employers, for businesses needing service providers and for "young people who don't think there are any companies to work for in Hawaii. Here they are," Gibson said.
It is growing, however organically, as its existence was only announced yesterday, as was the organization's rebranding to HISciTech.
HISciTech estimates 1,500 tech companies are operating in the islands and each can upload a listing for free. Submissions are subject to HISciTech approval prior to posting.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com