Three Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science (HAAS) students have won the National Radon Awareness Poster Competition, marking the first year in the contest’s history that one school has taken the entire competition categories.
Alexei K. won first place with his poster “Don’t Let Radon Be In Your Shadow.” The second place winner, Maria K., won with her poster, “Don’t Go Down That Road.” Third place was awarded to Leticia C. with her poster, “Home Is Where the Heart Is.”
The contest began when HAAS art teacher Hilary Fine assigned an art, science and health collaborative project that focused on the health issues of radon, a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, radon is found all over the United States and is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. About 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-induced lung cancer.
Fine said students were introduced to the topic of radon in their 8th grade science class and began researching, analyzing and developing their ideas on how to visually portray and raise awareness for the dangerous gas.
The project, Fine said, helped students develop their artistic and critical thinking skills, integrating the arts and sciences.
“It provided students with a valuable life skill as well as an opportunity to have a voice pertaining to an important global health issue,” she said.
The winning students will be honored during a special ceremony on April 2 at ArtsPark Professional Gallery located at Young Circle’s Visual Arts Pavilion in Hollywood, Florida. Florida Department of Health representatives will recognize the winners, and all of the school’s participating art pieces will be on display.