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The Winners Have Been Chosen!!

The Year of Science 2009 Science Zine-a-thon Contest WINNERS have been selected!

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 the ocean to the solar system, and from thunder to mineralogy.

The zines displayed amazing creativity, talent, and enthusiasm for science - which made the judging very challenging! A panel of six judges - composed of scientists and artists - read and re-read the zines. After much debate, they decided on a winner in each age and topic category, two winners in the Understanding the Nature and Process of Science category, one Grand Prize Winner, and four honorable mentions. Every winner will receive a $25 gift card from the COPUS Coalition, plus additional prizes donated by the COPUS community.

Giant Octopus (Chen Dou).jpg

And the Winners are...

Zine Judging 1.jpg

Choosing the top zines was not an easy task! Over the course of seven hours, six judges, fueled by coffee and pretzels, carefully read and re-read the zines, choosing their top 100.

The judges were looking for 1) scientific content, 2) visual appeal and communication of content, 3) readability, and 4) original perspective on the topic. After much deliberation -- winners for each age and topic category were selected.

Grand Prize Winner:

Chen Dou (Age category 13-17) from Gaithersburg, MD

Meeting a Giant Octopus

The judges commented: "This zine shows great imagination and really helps the reader to connect with the science in a personal way. Yes, the facts about the giant octopus are pretty cool by themselves, but it was also so compelling to imagine what it might be like to have an octopus as a best friend. The front cover is especially inviting and the drawings throughout were so well done."

Honorable Mentions:

Rishabh Tripathi (Age category 13-17) from Nagpur,Maharashtra India


The judges shared: "This zine was so much fun to read! It showed how acids are not just a concept from chemistry class, but they're all around us every day. It definitely made acids exciting. The presentation was clear and the humor was fantastic -we loved the last page."


Lauren Hughes (Age category 18+) from Minneapolis, MI

Dive Deep...into the Secret Lives of Freshwater Mussels

The judges praised: "This was flawlessly presented introduction on mussels and their important ecology. We never realized they were so interesting! I particularly appreciated the connections to human climate disruption, with the 'you can help' back page."


Alex Chitty (Age category 18+) from Chicago, IL

The Indomitable Water Bear

The judges thought: "The artwork in this zine is simply beautiful. The humorous touches were engaging, and the subject matter was fascinating. It opened our eyes to something so ordinary, but also so extraordinary at the same time!"


Mary Allison Abad (Age category 13-17) from Gaithersburg, MD


The judges shared: "The most well-crafted zine imaginable! Beautiful pop-up pages illustrated the dynamic concepts of endosymbiosis with compelling drawing, colors and layout. We ended up reading this one again and again."

Understanding the Nature and Process of Science:


Amy Schleser (Age category 18+) from Chicago, IL


The judges shared: "A perfect example of a very elegant zine. It gets at some subtle forces that can be at work in the formation of scientific theories, such as a preference for aesthetic "perfection" and for simplicity. The emphasis on mathematical accuracy helps to explain how science ultimately is able to progress towards better theories."


Santino Chavez (Age category 8-12) from Rockford, IL

Scientific Methods in Earth Science

The judges thought: "This zine captures one of the most essential things about the practice of science: that it is a continual process of asking deeper and deeper questions about the things we discover. It also makes the science exciting and immediate by inviting the reader to imagine experiencing the time of the dinosaurs."

More Winners!!

Thirty-two additional winners were selected for contributions from all of the Year of Science themes, based on three age categories:

About the Judges

The six judges were: Christa Donner, Dr. Kathryn Schaffer, and Dr. Andrew Yang, from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Dr. Boris Igic from the University of Illinois Chicago; Dr. Corrie S. Moreau from the Field Museum of Natural History; and Dr. Jeff Oishi from the University of California Berkeley. Click here to read the judges' bios and hear about the highlights of the judging process!

About the contest...

The contest was a collaboration between COPUS and The Small Science Collective, a project initiated by Andrew Yang of The School of 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 humoring, sometimes questioning, and always readable. To learn more about The Small Science Collective, visit http://smallsciencezines.blogspot.com/.

Thank you to our awesome Zine-a-thon Contest sponsors!


The following organizations generously donated prizes for this contest.

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Institute of Biological Sciences
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Society for Photobiology
  • Banana Slug String Band
  • Deep Earth Academy - Consortium for Ocean Leadership
  • Encyclopedia of Life
  • Entomological Foundation
  • Geological Society of America
  • The Intersection
  • Made With Molecules
  • National Center for Science Education
  • NESCent
  • Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT)
  • ScienceCheerleader.com
  • Seven Oaks
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers (Energy4me program)
  • University of California Museum of Paleontology
  • University of California Press
  • WGBH Educational Foundation
  • WhaleTimes, Inc.
  • Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy