JPS students finalists in contest to design the next SC Johnson soap, sanitizer dispenser

SC Johnson, Wells APAC, Ari Perkins
SC Johnson, Wells APAC, Ari Perkins(SC Johnson, Wells APAC, Ari Perkins)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 2:45 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Imagine designing the nation’s next soap/sanitizer dispenser for SC Johnson Professional in elementary or middle school.

It’s a reality for three 5th graders and a high schooler at Wells Academic and Performing Arts Complex.

Students landed the opportunity after their art teacher, Renna Moore, ran across the Happy Hands Contest online.

“It looked interesting, and it’s a lot harder for us to find opportunities for the elementary level,” Moore smiled. “So, I was excited that this was one that could be for elementary.”

The objective - simple; use your creative skills and imagination to design a custom soap/sanitizer dispenser.

A 10th grader at Wells APAC, Ari Perkins wanted to focus on the most visual aspect of hand-washing.

“So, I decided to incorporate a sink because, you know, that’s what you use, and I also made sure to use brown hands because, well, most of the people that go to my school are brown,” Perkins said innocently.

“I wanted to focus on - like the phrase that you can wash the world,” 5th grader Alexis Gypson said. “Because like, in my design, it was a towel washing the world. It’s like, you can like stay clean and sanitize your area.”

JPS students finalists in contest to design the next SC Johnson soap, sanitizer dispenser
JPS students finalists in contest to design the next SC Johnson soap, sanitizer dispenser(Wells APAC, SC Johnson)

Thousands of entries were submitted nationwide, and only ten students made the cut - four students from this one Mississippi arts school.

Simms Powell, also in 5th grade, wanted vibrant colors to reflect cleanliness.

“I decided to do flowers. They have a fresh look, and they’re nice to look at,” Powell smiled.

Meanwhile, 5th grade, Griffin Ballard wanted a soap/sanitizer dispenser out of this world - literally.

“I went with, like, a space background with a hand squeezing a soap bottle, cleaning the Earth,” Ballard said.

The company evaluated the designs for visual appeal, creativity, and unique elements, something Moore said students focus on daily.

“Visual Arts are a core subject in Mississippi, and the arts are all around us,” Moore said. “We help students see that you can take that creativity that you’re learning and use it in other ways - to be problem solvers and creative forces of the world.”

And even though these students have found themselves in the same competition, they recognize that they all win if one of them wins.

“I will say vote for us because having these dispensers helps us to keep our COVID levels down,” Ari Perkins said. “I’m really proud of us, but I kind of expected it, to be honest, because, like, we’re really talented.”

Students compete in two categories for prize packages: elementary (grades K-5) and middle/high school (grades 6-12).

The winning design in each category will receive $1,000 for their schools, a $300 gift card for each winning student, and up to 1,000 manual soap/sanitizer dispensers featuring the winning design.

Vote for your favorite dispenser design here now until February 28.

The design in each category with the highest number of votes will win.

Winners will be announced by April 1, 2022.

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