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The Nano Innovation Student Challenge: Using Tiny Science to Solve Wicked Problems

Thank you to all who participated in The Nano Innovation Challenge. We were impressed with the number of innovative nanotechnology solutions students created to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Congratulations to high school winners from Athens Drive High School on their project, BioStill, and our middle school winners from WSFCS Virtual Academy on their project, Nanotechnology Takes Flight! See below for the two winning videos.



Grab your lab coat and goggles and help scientists address the UN Sustainable Development Goals using nanotechnology. Your idea might be the next great solution to providing people across the globe with clean water, better medicines or making solar energy more economical.


The Task: Create a 3-minute multimedia presentation in the format of a video to pitch your idea for using nanotechnology to address one of the Sustainable Development Goals. Presentations will be judged on these criteria: 1) application of scientific content, 2) creativity/innovation and 3) presentation quality.

Who Can Participate? Middle and high school student teams of up to 5 students

Judging: There are 2 levels of judging: 1) Each school will judge the projects and select one winning team to go forth to the state level. 2) At the state level competition, scientists and science educators from the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network will judge the Nano Innovation presentations and will select the winning teams. Note: The state competition is limited to the first 25 schools to register.


Learn about nanoscale science and apply that knowledge to help address one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, then create a 3-minute video featuring your ideas.

Submissions Due: April 1, 2021

Teachers must register your school by February 15, 2021. After registering your class you will receive additional information. Registration is limited to 25 North Carolina schools.

PRIZES: Teams will win prizes that include Amazon gift cards: 1st place $100; 2nd place $50; 3rd place $25. The 1st place winners also will have an hour of scanning electron microscope time to conduct a class investigation. Teachers of winning state-level teams will receive a $50 gift card.

View and share the Nano Innovation Challenge Flyer here.

Register Your School Today


  • Eastman Company Eastman Company
  • Friday Institute for Educational Innovation Friday Institute for Educational Innovation
  • NC State College of Education NC State College of Education
  • Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network
  • Teams

  • Innovations in STEM Education Research Innovations in STEM Education Research