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Science Zine-a-thon contest winners announced!

American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)
1444 I (Eye) Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 628-1500

For Immediate Release: 23 February 2010

For more information, contact:
Sheri Potter,
Judy Scotchmoor

More than 250 student submissions received from all over the world

Washington, DC – After three rounds of reading, laughing, and learning a lot of science, a panel of six judges selected the winners of the Year of Science 2009 Science Zine contest – a contest sponsored by the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS),, and the Small Science Collective. More than 250 submissions were received from all over the world – from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Marasthra, India; from Bellingham, Washington to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each mini-magaZINE combined science and art to tell a compact story about science. The subjects ranged from endosymbiosis to energy, from oceans to the solar system, and from thunder to mineralogy.

Thirty-two winners from three age categories (8-12, 13-17, and 18+) were selected by the judges based on four criteria: scientific content/fidelity to topic, visual appeal and communication, readability, and original perspective on the topic. The judges were three faculty members of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and three scientists from The Field Museum in Chicago, the University of Illinois Chicago, and the University of California, Berkeley. The submissions were extraordinary, reflecting creativity, talent, and enthusiasm, which made the judging very challenging.

The contest grand prize winner was Chen Dou (age group 13-17) from Gaithersburg, MD with the zine “Meeting a Giant Octopus.” Runners up to the grand prize were Lauren Hughes from Minneapolis, MI with “Dive Deep into the Lives of Freshwater Mussels,” Alex Chitty from Chicago, IL with “The Indomitable Water Bear,” Rishabh Tripathi from Nagpur, Maharashtra India with “Acids,” and Mary Allison Abad from Gaithersburg, MD with “Endosymbiosis.” The grand prize was a cash prize of $500 donated by Shodor, a nonprofit organization serving students and educators by providing materials and instruction for computational science.

Two $250 awards were given in the category of understanding the nature and process of science. The winners were Santino Chavez from Rockford, IL with “Scientific Methods in Earth Science” and Amy Schleser from Chicago, IL with “Perfect!”

The contest was a collaboration between COPUS and The Small Science Collective, a project initiated by Andrew Yang of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Jeff Oishi of the University of California Berkeley. They founded the Collective as a way for scientists, artists, students, and anyone invested in science to share their fascination with others. The zines are meant to be both educational and artistic – often humorous, sometimes questioning, and always readable. To learn more about The Small Science Collective, visit Prizes donated by the COPUS network will be sent to all winners. For a complete listing of winners, winning zines, prize donors, and details on the judges and judging process, please visit

COPUS, which began with a grant from the National Science Foundation – (Grant Nos. EAR-0606600, EAR-0628790, and EAR-0814048), has grown to be an inclusive grassroots endeavor spurring communication and collaboration in the scientific community while shining the spotlight on science in 2009. Still growing, Still growing, the COPUS network includes a broad and eclectic range of participants from large federal agencies and professional societies to small local groups using music and the arts to portray science. Major sponsors of the Year of Science 2009 include the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the University of California Museum of Paleontology, the Geological Society of America, and the National Science Teachers Association. To register as a participant or learn more, visit COPUS.

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