Students design logos for panda foundation

Updated: 2016-03-29 11:28

By LINDA DENG in Seattle(

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"The only thing I know about China is that it is a very big country and she has pandas."

Those were the words of Annika Carlson, whose logo design was selected as one of three finalists in a contest by the Washington State Panda Foundation, at a press conference in Seattle on Monday afternoon.

Annika is a sixth grader at Carthcart Elementary School in Snohomish. The other two finalists are Jennifer Chun from Alki Middle School in Vancouver, Washington, and Stefan Zucktriegel from Cascade High School in Leavenworth, Washington.

Randy Dorn, Washington state superintendent of public instruction, invited K–12 students from around the state to submit artwork to be considered for a logo for the panda foundation.

A total of 360 logo-design applications were submitted by students from 259 school districts in the state.

Last week, members of the panda foundation, the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) staff, and Washington state Representative Dick Muri of the 28th District met at OSPI in Olympia and selected three logos as finalists.

Nathan Olson, OSPI communications manager and a big fan of pandas, said that OSPI actively promoted the logo contest to create a positive educational opportunity for the students of the state and "not to mention that the giant panda is one of the cutest animals in the world".

The three finalists and an adult chaperon will be traveling to the panda preserve in Chengdu, Sichuan province, at the end of the year, with all expanses paid by the foundation.

"I like Chinese culture, and I am really excited about the trip to China," Stefan said.

The panda foundation was created by a group of enthusiasts who want to bring giant pandas to the state, and they were encouraged by a favorable response from President Xi Jinping in November on future steps for bringing pandas to the state.

Rob McKenna, former Washington state attorney general, and Mayor Ron Lucas of Steilacoom, both of whom have supported the foundation's efforts, also attended the press conference.