Metro announced this week that it will hold both an art and a naming contest for the Purple Line tunnel boring machines (TBMs), which will soon be digging the two tunnels to connect the three stations along Section 1 of the Purple Line subway extension.
The contests will be open to students in grades K-12.
K-5th graders can enter the art contest, with illustrations of “their ideal community with the Purple Line Extension.”
And 6th-12th graders are invited to submit names for the two TBMs. The suggestions must be in the form of a 200-word essay or two-minute video.
The prize bundle for the two contests is valued at more than $350, and includes a special commemorative Metro TAP card, personalized with the winning illustration and TBM names. The winning artwork and names will also be displayed on the side of the huge TBM machines at a ceremony during which they’re lowered into the tunnels, scheduled for next March. Metro will also recognize the winners and award the prizes at the ceremony.
According to Metro, naming the TBMs comes from a centuries-old mining tradition honoring Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners, who protects workers. As the tradition evolved, those workers began naming their tunneling machines machines with female names before they began digging.
The contest will be open to entries through October 15. Visit https://www.metro.net/projects/purple-line-extension-tbm/ for detailed rules, entry forms and submission information. (Oh, and one final note: we’re guessing “Diggy McDigFace” probably won’t be the winning name.)