Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014

Safety in Color: Caltrans Kids Unleash Creativity in Poster Contest
by  Kelly Markham
Issue Date: 05/2010

“Slow for the Cone Zone” was the theme. Eighteen kids took on the challenge and produced some amazing works of art.

 [Click on photos to read captions.]

Freeways are 16 lanes wide. Orange cones loom two stories high. Alien creatures with bulbous bodies roam the right of way. A “Rescue-Bot” saves workers from a maniacal crane operator.

These are just some of the striking images featured in artwork created by 18 children who participated in the “Slow for the Cone Zone” Poster Contest, held in March. The young artists, aged 5 to 16, are children and grandchildren of District 7 employees.

The Poster Contest was sponsored by Caltrans Headquarters, replacing the calendar contest, which was discontinued due to budgetary issues. The contest was intended to allow children to share their thoughts about the importance of driving safely in or near a work zone.

Poster contest submissions were judged on three criteria: reflection of theme, originality, and use of color. A panel of judges from District 7 selected one finalist in each of four age groups: 0 to 8 years, 9 to 11 years, 12 to 14 years, and 15 to 17 years. The poster contest finalists, respectively, were Katherine Lee, Rukti Islam, Megan Maniago and Audrey Yue.

“What amazed me most about the posters was the creativity of the children and how aware they are of everything we do,” said Supervising Transportation Engineer Abdi Saghafi, who served on the judging panel. “All of them were so good. It was very difficult to choose the finalists.”

Difficult, indeed. Many of the entries included a remarkable level of detail, powerful use of color, complex composition, and tremendous originality. The 9 to 11 age group, which had the most entries, was particularly competitive.

When the judging was complete, the District 7 finalist posters were sent to Sacramento, where they were judged against posters from other districts. Megan Maniago, the 13-year-old daughter of Associate Information Systems Analyst Ted Maniago, was selected as a winner. Megan’s poster and winning entries from other districts were featured in the 2010 Workers Memorial program and will be posted on Caltrans’ “Slow for the Cone Zone” website as well.

District 7 Poster Contest submissions were on display in the Museum as part of a “Slow for the Cone Zone” exhibit that ran April 19 through 23.

All Poster Contest participants received certificates of recognition. Thanks to all of our young artists for helping to raise awareness about cone zone safety!

This poster by Katherine Lee, 7, was a Poster Contest finalist in the 0 to 8 years group. This poster by Rukti Islam, 11, was a Poster Contest finalist in the 9 to 11 years group. This poster by Megan Maniago, 13, was a Poster Contest finalist in the 12 to 14 years group. This poster by Audrey Yue, 16, was a Poster Contest finalist in the 15 to 17 years group.