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Jessica Burns, a junior at Central Columbia High School, won the 1st prize and $250 for the 1st Annual Clarion University of Pennsylvania Nanotechnology Digital Art Contest with her entry, "Up, Up, and Away with Nanotechnology."
In order to assist high school students think about the future with nanotechnology, Clarion University's Nanotechnology Program and Art Department sponsored the digital art contest with a theme, "Nanotechnology and the Environment."
Nanotechnology is any technology related to features of nanometer scale (1 billionth of a meter): thin films, fine particles, chemical synthesis, advanced micro-lithography, and atomic/molecular engineering. A true scientific revolution has begun that is based upon our ability to systematically organize and manipulate matter on the nanometer length scale.
Burns wanted to, "Demonstrate how we as a society can make a better tomorrow with the power of science. Through new and exciting innovations such as thin films, clothing fibers, and so forth, we can change the way the world functions by implementing them in everyday essentials like phones, makeup, cars, clothes, and cameras. Eventually, with the power of nanotechnology at our disposal, the environment may be improved and revitalized for the good of all."
The second place winner was Nicholas Marcelli, a senior at Hickory High School, for his piece "Global Warning." He explains, "In recent years, scientists have discovered that global warming is a serious issue that must be dealt with quickly and effectively. To solve this problem, scientists have devised new "greener" machines and fuels that can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases which cause global warming that are expelled into our atmosphere.
What if all this technology doesn't work in time and the polar icecaps do melt, and the ocean level rises? Would we become an underwater race with underwater cities and transportation? Of course this piece is an exaggeration of the potential devastation caused by global warming, but it serves as a reminder of what could be in our near future.
Dr. Joshua Pearce, coordinator of nanotechnology at Clarion said, "We are extremely pleased by the high quality of both artistic skill but also depth of thought put into the effects of nanotechnology on our environment by the students entering the contest. Young people are not only acutely aware of the danger of the worsening global environment, but also are knowledgeable of rapidly evolving scientific solutions such as nanotechnology. This is made graphically clear when comparing the two top entries: one of hope that nanotechnology can solve our problems and one of warning that we will not heed the signs and act quickly enough to protect the global environment."
"The threat is urgent enough that we must devote our collective resources to solving the world's challenges such as deploying renewable energy on the mass scale and finding ways to provide clean drinking water for the world's poorest people."
The third place piece, "Tiny Destructors" by David Flowers from North Clarion High School, addresses this problem, which is currently the focus on significant interest in the scientific community. Flowers explained, "I made this picture to represent how nanotechnology can help us take out water pollution. This picture shows how Nano devices can be introduced to a body of water to help eliminate any harmful bacteria or pollution that may be in it."
The contest asked students to digitally illustrate what they think the future of nanotechnology and the environment hold. Pearce and Jim Rose, assistant professor of art, selected the winners.
Rose said, "The high quality of the imagery and thoughtfulness of content was a pleasure to review. I congratulate all who entered, especially the winners. I see great promise in these young people for their stewardship of the world's future."
The entries can be viewed at http://www.clarion.edu/nano/
For more information on this contest or nanotechnology at Clarion University contact: Dr. Joshua Pearce, coordinator of nanotechnology, www.clarion.edu/nano.
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