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NSF announces 2017 winners for Generation Nano

Competition inspires high school students to learn the science behind nanotechnology

June 6, 2017: Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), named the first- and second-place winners, as well as the People's Choice winner, for the second annual Generation Nano competition.

Generation Nano challenges high school students to imagine novel superheroes who use the power of nanotechnology -- technology on the scale of a nanometer, or 1 billionth of a meter -- to solve crimes or tackle a societal challenge. Read more.

2016-2017 Winners


First Place: Dilatant
See comic  Dilatant finds himself up against two armed and cop-harassing goons! How will he use his nanotechnology-enhanced super-suit to stop these hooligans from wreaking havoc?
Authors: Hannah Kim and Daniel Kim, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Mia Kei

Second Place: Mia Kei
See comic The scientists at nanoworld have designed a suit with nanotech features to create the cop of the future. Mia Kei was selected to be that cop. On the first day Mia is allowed access to the suit, there is a bank robbery!
Author: Symone Crowder, Northside High School

Agent X

People's Choice: Agent X
See comic  'X' Marks the Spot for Agent X: A superhero who uses nanosensors and nanobots to fight Leukos Leukemia. Can she eliminate corrupt cells while keeping the healthy ones safe?
Author: Ramona Park, Santa Fe High School

Big winners in small science challenge take center stage

Award-winning students attract attention of crowd and celebrities Wil Wheaton and Stan Lee at USA Science and Engineering Festival

April 18, 2016: On behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF), actor Wil Wheaton and legendary superhero creator Stan Lee announced the winners of the Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes competition, sponsored by NSF and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).

The competition challenged high school students to think big -- or, in this case, small -- to create superheroes that harness their powers from nanotechnology. Read more.

2015-2016 Winners

First Place: Nanoman
See comic Nanoman, developed by a medical researcher, treats cancer patients by fighting Cancer, the malignant crab-monster.
Author: Eric Liu, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Second Place: Radio Blitz
See comic  Radio Blitz casually disposes of local waste.
Author: Madeleine Chang, Bergen County Academies

Third Place: Nine
See comic  A little girl becomes the next victim of two notorious kidnappers. Nine, a rising superhero, takes this as an opportunity to test his new Nanosuit.
Author: Vuong Mai, Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts

Generation Nano Competition
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Ave
Alexandria, VA 22314

Follow the competition #GenNano

Who: 6-12 grade -- individuals or teams of 2-3

What: A short comic OR video to tell a story and describe how your hero uses science on their mission or quest

When: Enter between Sept. 18, 2017-Jan. 10, 2018, 11:59 p.m. EST

Where: Learn more and enter at

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

Questions? Contact the Generation Nano Team at

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