Winners of the 2023 Utah High School Clean Air Marketing Contest were announced Feb. 11 at a ceremony at Utah State University’s Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) Community Art Day.
Over 800 high school teens from southern Utah to southern Idaho participated in creating clean air public service announcements (PSAs) for the contest this year, and 60 entries were selected by their respective high schools as finalists. All the finalists’ PSAs are on display at NEHMA through the end of February.
A panel of 35 judges evaluated all final entries, and 18 PSAs were recognized as state winners with two as honorable mentions. Each award is named after its donor and included:
- Ingrid Payne, Grand County High School, Moab – $300 Utah Clean Cities Award
- Cole Yoklavich, Carbon High School, Price – $275 Utah Hospital Association Award
- Gaia Hemvej, Ridgeline High School, Millville – $250 Cache Valley Electric Award
- Sam Toledo, Logan High School, Logan – $225 Utah Hospital Association Award
- Annie Scarber, Granger High School, West Valley City – $200 Cache Valley Electric Award
- Gabrielle Vasquez, Carbon High School, Price – $200 Conservice Award
- Jaydon Peterson, Preston High School, Preston – $150 Campbell Scientific Award
- Claire Turpin, Ridgeline High School, Millville – $100 Utah League of Cities and Towns Award
- Narayan Rao, Westside High School, Dayton – $100 Schreiber Award
- Sebastian Lopez, Logan High School, Logan – $100 Smart Rain Award
- Bria Dean, Ridgeline High School, Millville – $100 Krado Award
- Belle & Lyti Weed, Logan High School, Logan – $100 Ace Recycling & Disposal Award
- Charlotte McKeown, Ridgeline High School, Millville – $100 Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce Award
- Olivia Madrid, Ridgeline High School, Millville – $100 Zions Bank Award
- Alivia Parker, Ridgeline High School, Millville – $100 Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art Award
- Caroline Zollinger, Fast Forward Charter High School – $100 Utah PaperBox Award
- Tea Nyitrai-Dulo, Granger High School – $100 Ivory Homes Award
- Samantha Michels, Preston High School, Preston – $100 Juniper Systems Award
- Gloria Triana, Logan High School, Logan – Boondocks Honorable Mention Prize
- Finn Beland, Logan High School, Logan – Sunrise Cyclery Honorable Mention Prize
The Utah High School Clean Air Marketing Contest was created in 2015 by USU professors Roslynn Brain McCann of USU Extension Sustainability and Edwin Stafford of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. PSAs designed by teens combine art, science and savvy marketing to encourage Utahns to help keep the air healthy through carpooling, using alternative transportation, limiting idling and trip chaining (completing multiple errands at a time to limit unnecessary driving). The messaging and artwork are often provocative, funny, edgy and tied to teen pop culture. The winning PSAs will be displayed for educational outreach across the state and on social media.
The contest is intended to raise Utahns’ awareness of air quality issues by helping youth who are learning to drive understand the implications their new driving privilege can have on air pollution. It also helps them engage in ways to preserve air quality, especially during Utah’s polluted winter inversion season.
Stafford and McCann’s research finds that for many participants, the contest is the only formal education they receive about local air pollution. As they engage with their families and friends, they then become air quality influencers in their own local networks.
McCann said that contestants report becoming more committed to clean air actions, such as refraining from idling, engaging in carpooling and trip chaining, and that parents also report being influenced by their teens to engage in clean air actions.
“Our research shows that the contest is having an impact beyond the teens in educating Utahns about how to help keep the air healthy,” she said.
“The entries seem to get better and more ingenious every year,” Stafford said. “Creative competitions are important vehicles for educating youth as they spark the joy of learning and self-discovery that you just can’t replicate in the classroom.
For more information, see cleanaircontest.usu.edu. For copies of the winning PSAs for display, contact Edwin Stafford at firstname.lastname@example.org.