Nanovation Competition 2024

The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA is proud to present its annual Nanovation Competition. Ten teams of 4-5 middle and high school students with a teacher leader and UCLA graduate student mentors will create cutting-edge design and technology business proposals based off of CNSI’s Nanoscience Institute workshop series.

The top 3 winning teams will be awarded science classroom supplies, and will be selected by a jury of UCLA professors and Los Angeles business professionals.

  • First place: $2000 in classroom supplies.
  • Second place: $1000 in classroom supplies.
  • Third place: $500 in classroom supplies.

All ten finalist teams will receive an award for completing the pitch and final business proposal submissions.

Questions? Visit our Office Hours:

Wednesday – December 13, Noon – 2pm
Friday- December 15, 3pm – 4pm
Wednesday – January 17, Noon – 1pm
Friday – January 19, 3pm – 4pm
Tuesday – January 23, 3pm – 4pm
Thursday – January 25, Noon – 1pm

Timeline of events

  • Monday, December 18, 2023 – Call for submissions is officially open (online)
  • Friday, January 26, 2024  – Submission deadline (online)
  • Friday, February 9, 2024 – Finalists announced (online)
  • Friday, March 8, 2024 – Kick-off meeting (CNSI auditorium and lobby)
  • Friday, May 17, 2024 – Final presentation video submission deadline (CNSI auditorium and lobby)


When are submissions open?

See the timeline of events on our website for the most up-to-date information. No submissions will be accepted prior to the submission period.

Who can participate?

We accept submissions from any middle and high school teacher who can lead a team with the correct number of team members. All participating teams must be able to attend our kick-off and final events.

I have a lot of interested students! Can I submit multiple teams?

There is a maximum of 8 submissions per teacher per school, and a maximum of three teams from one school will be accepted as finalists. Each student may only be a part of one team.

I’ve never taken a workshop with CNSI / I’ve done a lot of research on nanoscience and want to submit about a different topic. Can I still submit?

We welcome submissions related to any nanoscience topic. They do not have to relate to topics offered by our Nanoscience Institute series.

I’m in the competition now! How do I get in touch with my mentor?

All mentor meetings will occur virtually, either by phone or online chat for 30 minutes with each mentor per week. It is the responsibility of the teams and teacher leader to establish the meetings with their mentors.

My question wasn’t answered here. Who can I contact?

Additional questions can be mailed to


Click here to apply!