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Generation Nano Superhero Winners

A solar-powered, high-flying hero named Heliora and a peppy polymer that transforms into a cell-size, chain-welding warrior to battle an antibiotic-resistant superbug are among the winners of 2018  Generation Nano challenge.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), the competition asked middle and high school students to create comics or short videos about a science-powered superhero that tackles society’s problems, such as fighting disease or solving crimes.

Entries were judged on use of science and technology, creativity, and artistic or technical quality.

High school winners

  • First Place
    Joy from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland for “Heliora.”
  • Second Place
    Anna and Emily from Clarke County High School in Berryville, Virginia for “Hemea.”
  • Honorable Mentions
    Nicole from Jericho High School in Jericho, New York for “Vilmaris.”
    Aisha, Saisanjana and Vidhya from East Brunswick High School in East Brunswick, New Jersey for “Dr. A.”

Middle school winners

  • First Place
    Hannah from Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown, Maryland for “Peppy T. Polymer.”
  • Second Place
    Kathryn from Robert Cook Edwards Middle School in Clemson, South Carolina for “Doctor DNA.”
    Julie from Pennichuck Middle School in Nashua, New Hampshire, for “Estron.”
  • Honorable Mentions
    Michelle and Gina from Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown, Maryland for “Bellator.”
    Dhruv and Priya from Takoma Park Middle School in Takoma Park, Maryland for “HydroPIT.”

Each first-place winner will exhibit their superhero at the 2018 USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., April 6-8, 2018. The festival, the only national science festival, features speeches by inspirational scientists, exhibits from some of the biggest names in STEM, and interactive and informative demonstrations.

Generation Nano also recognized two teachers this year for playing pivotal roles in mentoring young STEM artists.

  • Lauren Cook from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School worked with Joy, the high school first-place winner.
  • James Dempsey from Roberto Clemente Middle School worked with Hannah, the middle school first-place winner.


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