Winners of the 2020 Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest will be announced at Utah State University’s Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) Saturday, Feb. 8, at 10:30 a.m.
Posters created by this year’s 50 finalists will be displayed at the museum as part of Community Art Day, a free event where people of all ages can create their own artwork inspired by the theme of Utah air quality.
The Utah High School Clean Air Poster 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. Posters designed by teens combine art, science and savvy marketing to encourage Utahns to help keep the air healthy by carpooling, using alternative transportation, limited idling and trip-chaining (completing multiple errands at a time to limit unnecessary driving). Posters are often provocative, funny, edgy and tied to teen pop culture. Winning posters are then displayed for education outreach across the state.
The poster contest raises Utahns’ awareness of air quality issues by engaging youth, who are learning to drive, to understand the air pollution implications of their new driving privilege and ways to preserve air quality, especially during Utah’s polluted winter inversion season. Stafford and McCann’s research indicates that contest participants also influence their parents to engage in clean air actions – in what the researchers call the “Inconvenient Youth” effect.
“Youth have significant influence on their parents,” McCann said. “Our research shows that the contest is having an impact beyond just teens in educating Utahns about how to help keep the air healthy.”
Over 800 teens participated in the 2020 contest, double the number from last year. Participating high schools include Logan, Ridgeline, Green Canyon, Fast Forward, Mountain Crest, West Side, Preston, Grand County (in Moab) and Granger (in West Valley City).
“We are excited to see the poster contest continue to expand and grow in popularity,” Stafford said.
Refreshments will be served at the event. Everyone is invited to participate in an art activity and to see the finalists’ posters. With the help of NEHMA’s education staff, participants will make their own design for a hang tag they can take home with them.
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