Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Generation Nano: Presented by the National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative

Entry Guidelines

Review the Entry Form

Entrants should review the entry form on the online platform for more details about the submission requirements and process. The platform is where entrants will register and submit their entry and is accessible through A complete entry has three components: a written entry, a two-three page comic strip and a 90-second video entry, as described below.

Teams must choose a team leader who must initially register their team and invite all team members to join. All team members must then join and provide the required personal information. Any team member can then submit the team's entry.

A successful entry is original, creative and visually appealing. No gratuitous violence or other inappropriate content will be permitted.

Written Entry

Each section has a 1,600-character limit including spaces (about 250 words). Your written entry should address the questions below. In addition, each entrant will be asked to write a short (140 character) tagline for their hero and a 200-word summary describing your superhero's story and nanotechnology-enabled societal mission.

  1. Who is your superhero? Name your superhero. Who are they and what is their story? Clearly and succinctly describe the main attributes of your hero and provide any necessary background information, including abilities, accessories, strengths and weaknesses.
  2. What is your superhero's societal mission? Why did you choose this mission? Why is it important? What are the potential societal impacts of the hero accomplishing the mission?
  3. How does your superhero use nanotechnology for their mission? Describe your superhero's nanotechnology-enabled accessory or gear. Is it something to wear, or use to travel, a gadget or something else? Make sure the description focuses on the attributes of the gear: What can it do and why? How does it help the superhero? Describe how your superhero incorporates nanotechnology to address the societal mission. Give a background of the research behind your chosen technology. How does current research make your solution possible? What further reasonable advances are needed to make the solution a reality?

    This section does not need to be overly technical, but you should include at least two references to current nanotechnology research either in the form of popular news articles or scholarly journal articles (not Wikipedia), to support your explanation of the technology. The technology doesn't have to be currently possible, but there must be research to support that it may be in the future. Extra space will be given for references.

Comic Strip and Video Entries

Each element should:

  • Clearly introduce the superhero, the nanotechnology used and tell a story; and
    • Have a unified voice, vitality and energy.
    • Emphasize how the nanotechnology is useful in overcoming the story's conflict.
    • Give insights not provided in the written entry to create a novel presentation.
  • A successful entry will be visually striking and edited to a high standard and should deliver clear and understandable messages using nontechnical language.
  • The comic strip and video should have enough detail that it could stand alone and tell the hero's story and how he or she uses nanotechnology.
  • Provide a short caption to be displayed with each.
  • Not include any copyrighted imagery or items (resources for non-copyrighted images here).

Comic Strip Entry:

  • Should be composed either by hand or using a digital comic strip generator or drawing program.
  • Should be two to three pages in length.
  • Should be a JPEG type file.

Video Entry:

  • Should be a 90-second single video.
  • Should complement your comic and written entry. The video does not have to be an animated version of your comic and can be in whatever style you choose.
  • Does not have to include credits but if it does, these will be included in the 90-second time limit.
  • Must be uploaded to YouTube and entrants must provide a link to the video on the entry form AND submit their video file (an MOV file recorded in HD at a minimum).
  • Should have a resolution of 1280 x 720 and be submitted via the entry form.
Generation Nano Competition
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230 USA

Follow the competition #GenNano

Who: High-school students — individuals or teams of two to three

What: A written entry, 2–3 page comic strip and 90-second video introducing the hero and story • Explains importance and potential impact of societal mission • Describes nanotechnology usage

When: Competition opens October 5, 2016; submissions due by 11:59 p.m. EST, January 31, 2017. Public voting in April, 2017.

Where: Learn more and submit your entry online at

Why: To promote early interest in nanoscale science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

More Questions? Contact the Generation Nano team at