Assignment: Education – G-E-T Students Design Vans Shoes

G-E-T High School students compete in a nation-wide shoe design contest

Most high school students try to make sure they’re always steppin out in style.

“I think appearance is important to everybody and everybody loves shoes,” said Crystal Helmers,G-E-T High School art student.

So when these G-E-T High School art students were told about their newest art project…

“I said I’ve got this really cool thing we’re going to do,” said Jenny Johnson, G-E-T High School art teacher.

The kids were ready to step up to the challenge.

“It’s called Vans Custom Culture,” said Johnson. “It’s a cutomization of Vans shoes.”

To take part in this nation-wide shoe design contest, these art students traded their traditional canvas for a canvas shoe.

“We got the shoes and we stared at them for a week going I don’t want to start,” said Johnson. “Nobody wanted to touch the shoes.”

“It was kind of scary at first because the shoes were pure white when we got them,” said Haley Scherr, G-E-T High School art student.

“Finally I just walked up and put a pencil mark on the shoes and said now they’re dirty,” said Johnson. “Now we can go.”


A team of eight students poured over design ideas and sketches submitted by students from all of Ms. Johnson’s classes to come up with the final designs.

“There’s four different themes,” said Johnson. “There’s art.”

“Our favorite thing about this was probably we took hot glue so it has a 3-d effect,” said Helmers. “So it’s dripping down.”

“Music,” said Johnson.

“I really like the look of this one,” said Helmers. “And we actually have actual music pieces that we actually had donated.”

“Action sports,” said Johnson.

“This one is the skateboard one,” said Helmers. “This is probably the one we were most excited about from the get-go.”

“And local flavor,” said Johnson.

“This one probably made us sweat the most,” said Helmers.

“Sometimes we’d just have to take a step back and take a deep breath because it would get overwhelming,” said Scherr.

But in the end all of their hard work and collaboration taught them some important life skills.

“We really had to trust each other and our ideas,” said Helmers.

“The attention to detail and the creative problem solving,” said Johnson. “These are employability skills. You guys are learning some of the best employability skills.”

And it just so happens, out of the 1,500 schools who took part in the design contest they already have some of the best artistic skills.

“I told them, ‘I don’t know if you guys know, but we made the top 50.’ And they’re like, ‘oh my goodness.’ It was pretty cool.”

“It didn’t really sink in at first ’cause I was like… What,” said Helmers.

“We didn’t think we’d get as far as we did,” said Scherr.

But they did. And they can go farther.

“Right now we’re relying on online votes,” said Johnson.

And they’ll get those votes if enough people feel the G-E-T art students have put their best foot forward.

“Ours are good,” said Johnson. “Our shoes deserve it. And our kids deserve it.”