sh1The idea of the superhero armed with their fantastical powers has served to mesmerize the world for nearly a century. The ability to fly, cling to walls with bare hands, and see with X-ray vision is popularly interpreted as a supposition based on no solid foundation. Often, superhero abilities appear magical rather than being grounded in science and technology. As we make advances in nanotechnology and materials research, we're discovering that superhero powers may not be that farfetched. Through nanotechnology applications like targeted drugs, self-assembled nanodevices, molecular motors, graphene in electrical supercapacitors, and artificial red blood cells, we may not have to wait until that fateful day we're bitten by a radioactive spider in order to become superhuman!

sh2The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) are excited to introduce "Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes!" a new competition that asks high school students to design a costume, gadget, vehicle or other gear for an original superhero that uses technology extrapolated from current nanotechnology research. This competition will help students learn about the potential and limitations of real world nanotechnology. Students will submit a written entry explaining their superhero and how they have incorporated nanotechnology research into their hero's gear, as well as either a short comic strip or video introducing the superhero.

super1Finalists will be required to attend and present their entry at the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., (April 16-17, 2016), a two-day STEM expo aimed at advancing STEM education and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. The biannual, award winning USA Science & Engineering Festival is the largest festival of its kind, and the only national science festival. The festival features speeches from inspirational scientists, exhibits from some of the biggest names in STEM, and interactive and informative demonstrations.

Students and their designated chaperone (one per student) will have all travel, room and board costs associated with attending the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival paid on their behalf.

Cash Prizes
1st place prize: $1500
2nd place prize: $1000
3rd place prize: $500

Submissions are now being accepted and will close on February 2, 2016.

Want to register or learn more?  Click here!

Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes! is a Skild supported competition.

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