For 11-year-old Ben Johnson, winning a national poster contest puts him one step closer to becoming an architect. Or painter. Or sculptor.
Ben and other fifth-grade students gathered Friday morning in the library at Shadow Hills Elementary School to recognize his second-place win in the “One Nation on the Move, National Transportation Week 5th Grade Poster Contest.”
Joining Ben for the ceremony were his mother Arlene and father Eric, and siblings David, Hannah and Rachel. Ben received a $100 savings bond and a plaque recognizing his achievement. Shadow Hills also received a $200 award.
Transportation officials also participated in the presentation. Idaho Transportation Department Director Pam Lowe, Assistant Chief Engineer for Highway Operations Greg Laragan and Pete Hartman, Federal Highway Administration Idaho Division Administrator, joined Shadow Hills Principal Brett Forrey and other fifth-grade students for the ceremony.
Ben has some time to decide what he’ll do with the savings bond.
“I have to wait until I’m 18,” he said. “The interest (on the bond) may change by then.”
Ben’s poster features cartoon drawings of several states on a highway. Idaho, colored purple, is sporting a pair of sunglasses as it rides a bike. Other states are skateboarding, rollerblading or using a scooter. And they’re wearing gloves.
“Most cartoon guys have gloves, so I drew some on them,” he said.
Ben, who likes to sketch and paint, said his goal was to create something different.
“I saw last year’s winners and saw that they were the same in using the whole United States,” he said. “I decided to draw individual states.”
Among the careers he is considering is architecture.
“I have seen some pretty cool houses,” he said. “I want to design some that are wacky, but still safe to live in.”
At this point, he’s considering a range of options.
“There are a lot of possibilities,” Ben said. “I might be a sculptor or a painter.”