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

Process & Prizes

What's on this Page

This page describes how to submit an entry, the scoring process and judging criteria, the prizes, and the overall timeline of the event. Please carefully review.

To Submit an Entry

  • Register on the Generation Nano online platform (Registration closed January 31, 2017.)
    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 member can then submit the team's entry.
  • Complete entry information.
  • Upload required images, videos and forms.
  • Submit completed entry before deadline (11:59 p.m. EST January 31, 2017).

Scoring & Judging Criteria

  • All entries will first be screened for compliance with the rules.
  • Each entry will be anonymously evaluated based on the stated criteria and will be scored on a sliding scale by each judge.
  • NSF reserves the right to adjust the ratios of finalists based on the number and quality of submissions. Individuals and teams will be notified by E-mail if they have progressed to the next round.
  • Judges have expertise in nanotechnology or graphic design. They will convene separate panels for each judging round and will score each entry on the criteria described below.
  • Scoring is based on three categories for a total of 100 points:
    1. Use of nanotechnology (50 percent): How accurately did the entrant incorporate nanotechnology into their story to address the chosen societal mission?
    2. Creativity (25 percent): The originality and quality of both the superhero and his or her story, as well as the application of nanotechnology to address the societal goal chosen by the entrant.
    3. Artistic and technical quality (25 percent): The visual appeal and refined execution of the comic strip and video.


  • First place winner receives $1,500.
  • Second place winner receives $1,000.
  • People's choice award winner receives $750.


  • Submission window opens Oct. 5, 2016; closes Jan. 31, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
  • Preliminary round (semifinalists selected): Early Feb. 2017.
  • Semifinalist round (finalists selected): Mid-Feb 2017.
  • Finalists round (first and second place selected): Early March 2017.
  • People's Choice selected: April 2017. Each finalist's comic strip and video is posted on the competition website for public viewing and voting.
  • See the 2016-2017 results at this link.
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