The most exceptional student projects in Lee County will be on display in May at the Digital Lee design and technology showcase.
The third-annual exhibit will debut on May 3, at the Art of the Olympians Center for Excellence in the Fort Myers River District, and it coincides with the Fort Myers Art Walk events, providing an opportunity for individuals to experience the most innovative student work in the region.
The competition is open to Lee County's middle school, high school, and post-secondary programs in graphic design, animation, video game development, and web design. The works will be judged by professionals, with the winners named on May 3. The winning submissions will be on display throughout the month of May.
According to Christina McDaniel, who runs the event, Digital Lee has gotten bigger each year, to where every high school in the region, along with eight middle school and both high-tech schools are taking part.
"The goal is to encourage the kids to excel in these fields, but also to bridge the connection between education and the industry," McDaniel said. "We can be a feeder for the kids to transition into the work force."
McDaniel said last year's winner works at 312 Creative and that several participants have earned internships at other local companies.
The event started when McDaniel and two other teachers thought they had talented students, but were more work-place driven than artists, whose work is shown all the time.
"There was nothing to showcase the others. One of the teachers got in touch with the Sydney Byrne Davis Art Center and they had an opening," McDaniel said. "We pulled it together and we've moved it to Art of the Olympians."
As for the rules, middle-schoolers will be allowed to use any software within their cirriculum. The others will use industry-approved software for graphic design, Web design and other applications.
Another requirement is that 80 percent of the content has to be student derived, so they have to take the photos and edit them, with no clip art allowed.
McDaniel said it's nice that these people get recognition.
"At large, the community isn't aware this happens in our schools. Everyone knows math, science and history happens," McDaniel said. "But these kids are getting industry certification and skills to put them in the work force."
The Art Walk takes place takes palce the firstFriay of each month from 6-10 p.m.
For more information, contact McDaniel at 939-6310.