Staff Photo: Heather Darenberg<br> Meadowcreek High School students Erick Salgado, left, Valeria Cervantes, second from left, Caejawn Williams, second from right, and Yessica Trinidad, right, created a website that won the grand prize in a national competition. The website focused on explaining the team's idea to create biodegradable bags and cans in order to reduce litter. All are students in a Web design class taught by Pintu Thaker, middle.
NORCROSS -- Meadowcreek High School students Erick Salgado, Valeria Cervantes, Yessica Trinidad and Caejawn Williams have a vision for the future.
The team envisioned the creation of biodegradable bags and cans that would eventually decompose in a landfill, reducing the amount of hazardous waste that is produced and kept within the Earth for hundreds of years.
A website communicating this idea recently won the grand prize in a national competition. Salgado, Cervantes, Trinidad and Williams created the site for the Microsoft bliink Web design contest. Salgado is a sophomore, and the rest of the students are seniors.
"I didn't think we were going to win at first," Williams said. "We were all thinking about different ideas ... and then we picked one and started working on it."
In the end, collaboration was the key to the team's success, Williams said.
The four students, who are enrolled in Pintu Thaker's Web design class, entered the contest at the request of their teacher. They had a relatively short amount of time to complete the project, as they started three days before the contest deadline, Cervantes said.
The contest featured separate entry categories for students in California, MESA California, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, MESA New Mexico and Texas. The Meadowcreek team won in the category of all other states.
The website contained an explanation of the biodegradable bags and cans, facts that supported the need for them, and images of what the product might look like, Salgado said.
"What intrigued us to do it was we wanted to get our voice out," Salgado said. "We had a new idea of how we could help the Earth in the upcoming years."
Cervantes said she thinks the team's innovation led them to win the grand prize. As winners, each team member will receive an Xbox 360 console with Kinect, along with two games.
Salgado and Cervantes were the veteran designers on the team. The two participate in Future Business Leaders of America and have entered similar contests before. While Trinidad and Williams are taking the Web design class, they haven't had much experience.
"I think it was fun," Trinidad said. "I didn't think I would like Web design, but I did."
Salgado and Cervantes both said they plan to pursue careers in graphic or Web design.
"I really like Web design, because ... it's a form of art," Salgado said. "But it's way easier than drawing from scratch."