Sol3 Tech. Web Design & Development Students

Sol3 Tech

Last fall, the Best Class on Campus (which is Web Design and Development, in case you were unaware) was asked to participate in a web design competition for Business Professionals of America.  After a few of days of bonding and battling, the team was eventually brought together. Initially it included Rick Shaw, Derek Viars, and Kena Pechacek, with Heather Jones joining a few days later.

During the initial team meeting, specific roles were given to each member. Rick was chosen as the project manager, Derek as the designer, Kena the content specialist, and Heather as the developer. The team began braining storming, scouring Pinterest, and googling about everything under the sun about “green energy”, in order to come up with the initial design, logo, and brand. The theme for the competition was green energy, so they created the company name of “Sol 3 Tech”, meaning Earth as the 3rd rock from the Sun, focusing on technology that shows what can and is being done for the world to utilize and promote green energy. Kena and Derek worked together by creating the design format and content implementation, respectively, through November and into mid December, after which Heather and Rick began coding the website. Various technologies were used from start to finish when developing the site. The Sol 3 Tech team wanted to showcase what individual states in our country were doing to promote and generate green, clean energy, what you could utilize in your own home to help live a more eco-friendly life, as well as display a certain amount of basic information about the company itself, and the team who created it. With these goals in mind, began to grow.

In March, the team went to Tulsa where they were to compete at the state level. However, due to a weather situation at the time, they were unable to present the site, and were thus judged only by the technical aspects of the site itself. They went on to attend the awards session a few days later where, they took 1st place in the state, beating the team at Moore Norman Technology Center. After the victory in April, the team made a few tweaks to the site to prepare for Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the end of April, the Sol 3 Tech crew traveled to Indianapolis to take their website to compete against the rest of the nation. Fun was had, many practice sessions were drilled, and eventually the team presented the site like they never had before (which they actually hadn’t) and attempted to impress the judges as best they could. After that, they could only sit back and hope for the best. Finally, on the day of the awards ceremony, they nervously and excitedly awaited their results. After waiting what seemed like an eternity, their category was called so they were brought up on stage. The winners began to be announced, and finally their name was called for 3rd place. It wasn’t 1st or 2nd, but the simple fact that they placed at all, having bested numerous other teams from across the nation, nevertheless left them with a proud sense of accomplishment for all the time and hard work they’d poured into the project over the past few months. They’re all proud of what they accomplished as individuals, and as a team.

Rick own his own web design company called 2PM Studios ( and you can find his professional portfolio at (, Derek can be found at @derekviars on Twitter or, Kena’s current work can be seen on her development site ( and finally Heather is found on her site ((