Maine Student Web Design Awards

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The Official MSWDA Logo

The Maine Student Web Design Awards (MSWDA) is a website design contest open to any Maine student currently enrolled in a Maine Middle or High School, or who is a homeschooled student in grades 6-12. Students are encouraged to creatively express their interests and hobbies. Suggested themes of the students' websites should be related to education, community, history, the arts, philanthropy, school, the environment, wellness, business, sports, recreation, games, music, nature, animals, science, mathematics, family, the State of Maine, technology, etc.

MSWDA is a project of the Maine Organization for Students in Technology (MOST), a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging interest in technology among Maine students. This program is intended to encourage Maine High School and Middle School students to explore, experience, and one day enter, the "Creative Economy" in Maine.


Current Rules

  • Websites must not require the user to download a special plugin to view the content.
  • The website must not contain any explicit materials such as nudity, sexual material, violence, etc.
  • The student submitting the website must be a Maine student currently enrolled in a Maine Middle or High School (grades 6-12,) or who is a homeschooled student in grades 6-12.
  • Students under the age of 13 must have their parents permission to enter the contest.
  • Students are only allowed one entry per student or group (students may enter as a group).
  • Students must do the bulk of the work if they receive help from teachers or parents.
  • All sites must conform to all copyright standards.


There are over 15 judges that volunteer their time to participate in this program. They are an experienced group of Web Designers, Advertising and Marketing Professionals, and professionals from Commercial and Academic organizations. In 2005, they judged over 180 entries, using the judging criteria provided by MOST. They also participated in the awards ceremony, and offered constructive comments on improving the program. Their suggestions have been implemented.

The Maine Student Web Design Award Program recognizes outstanding websites in 22 categories. Students may nominate their website to be entered into a specific category, and will also be considered for Top Three Overall, and Best Home/Welcome Page. Each entrant’s website will be judged on design, creativity, usability, content, and functionality. Judges are asked to consider these factors as they rate each entrant:

  • Layout, Structure, Navigation and Technical Quality
  • Content, Subject Matter, Writing
  • Graphical Content, Use of Media, including Sound
  • Interactivity
  • Use of Flash
  • Best Home/Welcome Page

Students are asked to use these same factors for the Students' Choice Awards.

Award Categories

Each student or group can only win one award. There is a Middle School and High School winner for each of the following categories:

  • First Place Overall
  • Second Place Overall
  • Third Place Overall
  • Best Use of Flash
  • Best Interactive Site
  • Most Content-Rich Site
  • Best Group-Designed Site
  • Best Site with Maine Theme
  • Students' Choice Award
  • Best Home/Welcome Page
  • Special Recognition

Prizes and Sponsors

Prizes are always subject to change, but the current prize list is as follows.

First Place:

Second Place:

Third Place:

Ten "Best Of..." prizes:

Other prizes from the past range from gift certificates to desktop computers, such as an iMac from Apple. Along with prizes, winners receive a trophy, typically made from a thick, formed piece of transparent glass, with the winners name engraved on the back.

Current sponsors of MSWDA are Maine Hosting Solutions and The CW Portland

Previous Winners




High School Winners:

  • First Place: Matt LeBrun, Sanford High School (TriathlonTips)
  • Second Place: Annah Mueller, homeschooled (The Muellers)
  • Third Place: Brandon Koons, Camden Hills Regional High School

Middle School Winners:

  • First Place: Brandon Gauvin, Waterville Junior High School (Nerds Anonymous)
  • Second Place: Neil Pomerleau, Auburn Middle School (Rubik Online)
  • Third Place: Nicholas Marcisso, King Middle School (ABC Moving and Storage)
"Best Of..." Recipients:

High School Winners:

  • Use of Flash: (add)
  • Interactive Website: (add)
  • Content Rich Website: (add)
  • Group-Designed Website: (add)
  • Maine Theme: (add)
Middle School Winners:
  • Use of Flash: Joshua Plourde, Hichborn Middle School
  • Interactive Website: Joe Horgan and Bannus Van der Kloot, Falmouth Middle School (Boats of Portland)
  • Content Rich Website: Katie MacFarlane, Berwick Academy (Horses)
  • Group-Designed Website: Jenna Maddock, Sammy Kwok, and Whitney Pasternack, Berwick Academy (Food for Thought)
  • Maine Theme: Sammy Laverdiere, Auburn Middle School (Ski Areas of Maine)


High School Winners:

  • First Place: Christopher Davis, Hall-Dale High School (Maine Youth Outdoors)
  • Second Place: Gabe Baldwin, Maine School of Science & Mathematics (History of Maine)
  • Third Place: Ben Fisher, Camden Hills Regional High School (Maine Gold)

Middle School Winners:

"Best Of..." Recipients:

  • Use of Flash: Peter Wituszynki, Chase Martin, Nick Gary, Berwick Academy (Stained Images)
  • Interactive Website: Ian Riley, Liberty School (Fertile Turtle)
  • Content Rich Website: Nicholas Woodman, Saco Middle School (Scouting Around)
  • Group-Designed Website: Boothbay Region High School Web Design Class
  • Most Entries from a School: 59 entries, Lake Region Middle School


High School Winners:

Middle School Winners:

  • First Place: Christopher Davis, Hall-Dale Middle School (Mainely Syrup)
  • Second Place: Theodore Worcester, Waterville Junior High School (Maine Lighthouses)
  • Third Place: Peter, Duncan, Dustin, Stephen, and Chase, Berwick Academy (Maine Marine Life)

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