Winners of the 2024 Utah High School Clean Air Marketing Contest were announced Feb. 10 at a ceremony at Utah State University’s Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) Community Art Day.
Maggie Hinkley of Carbon High School in Price, Utah, won first place with the $300 Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation Award.
Over 1,000 high school teens from southern Utah to southern Idaho participated in creating clean air public service announcements (PSAs) for the contest this year, and 57 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 36 judges evaluated all final entries, and 20 PSAs were recognized as state winners with two as honorable mentions; each award was named after its donor and included:
Maggie Hinkley, Carbon High School — $300 Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation Award
Yoselyn Zavala, Granger High School — $275 Healthy Human Habitat Award
Claire Turpin, Ridgeline High School — $250 Cache Valley Electric Award
Lily Pearce, Logan High School — $225 Utah Hospital Association Award
Maria Miranda Atencio, Preston High School — $200 Engel & Volkers Logan Award
Lexi Blackwell, Logan High School — $150 Campbell Scientific Award
Annika Juhasz, Westside High School — $150 David Cramer Memorial Award
Sophia Simiskey, Logan High School — $100 Cache Chamber of Commerce Award
Gabrielle Dance, Whitehorse High School — $100 Sorenson Award
Pisila Venus Malu, Granger High School — $100 Sorenson Award
Wybie Gruber, Granger High School — $100 Sorenson Award
Jacob Weachtler, Green Canyon High School — $100 Krado Award
Kamree Gunnell, Westside High School — $100 Wasatch Property Management Award
Jasmine Warburton, Preston High School — $100 Cache Valley Bank Award
Kylie Skousen, Granger High School — $100 Sorenson Award
Addie Davis, Ridgeline High School — $100 Lieutenant Colonel Edmund A. Banellis and Ann Banellis Memorial Award
Johnny Lopez Perez, Granger High School — $100 Sorenson Award
Cadence Kasperick, Grand County High School — $100 UCAIR Award
Jade Kennedy, Preston High School — $100 Utah League of Cities and Towns Award
Jennifer Bertho Diaz, Granger High School — $100 Aeden Anbesse Memorial Award
Rachel Austin, Logan High School – Patagonia Honorable Mention
Stephen Twitchell, Grand County High School – Patagonia Honorable Mention
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 to understand how their new driving privilege can impact air pollution. It also helps high school students learn ways to preserve air quality, especially during Utah’s polluted winter inversion season, such as refraining from idling and engaging in carpooling.
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 social 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 fun of learning and self-discovery that you just can’t replicate in the classroom.”