WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2009 — A video contest launched by the American Chemical Society’s community Web site, ACS Nanotation, has morphed into the nano-world’s version of an American Idol event, with entries originally submitted to the ACS Nanotation video gallery popping up all over the Internet, giving celebrity to entrants even before a winner has been picked.
With the contest deadline still more than two weeks away (March 15), “nano videos” are playing away on popular blogs, such as Boing Boing, Scientific American, Nature, and Wired Science, to the tune of more than 31,000 hits so far.
The “What is Nano?” contest is soliciting short videos to describe the concept of “nano” in a creative and original way. The videos are voted on by the online community, with winners to be announced at the upcoming ACS annual meeting in Salt Lake City, March 22 -26. Two cash prizes of $500 USD will be awarded. ACS Nanotation is a community-based site targeted to both scientists and the general public.
Why the contest? Organizers say that the concept of "nano" has captured the interest and excitement of researchers and science-enthusiasts alike, but the questions remain –– What is nanotechnology? How is “nano” best visualized? Where is "nano" headed? The contest asks that entrants answer the questions with their creative videos.
Nanotechnology is a field of science and technology focusing on the use of sub-microscopic materials and molecules to constructs motors, sensors, drug delivery systems, and other devices so tiny that thousands would fit across the width of a human hair.
Video submissions should be limited to three minutes or less, and will be judged on creativity, scientific clarity of explanation, originality, and quality of the video. Entrants are encouraged to submit their videos as soon as possible, since early submissions will have the best chance to accumulate a greater number of votes, according to ACS Nanotation contest organizers.
One entry, “The Nano Song,” features a young woman singing a song of nano to a cheerful handful of Muppet-like puppets. Another entry, “The Adventures of Nano Man” is a stop animation film demonstrating the importance of safety when working with nanomaterials. It features a caped Lego man.
— Michael Bernstein