ACerS PCSA Creativity and Microstory Competition | The American Ceramic Society

ACerS PCSA Creativity and Microstory Competition

Get your creative juices flowing!  Compete in the Annual ACerS PCSA Creativity and Microstory Competition!



Combining both science and art into any one individual's skill set is important because it can help nurture creativity in research and cultivate innovation in the workplace. For this reason, ACerS President's Council of Student Advisors (PCSA) organizes innovative-artistic initiative in the form of a creativity and microstory competition for students.

This year for the first time we are introducing ceramics in - writing stories based on your microstructure. This competition serves to encourage the harmonious coexistence of art and science in the ceramics and glass community. Students who dabble in ceramic and glass-related arts either for their research or just for fun are encouraged to share their talent!

2017's Artistic Creativity Award, "Blue Planet" by Laura Aalto-Setälä, juxtaposes blue glass globe with ice floe, making it look like ice is melting (indicating global warming). (Credit: Laura Aalto-Setälä)


Possible Art Categories:

  • Glassblowing
  • Stained glass
  • Pottery
  • Ceramic 3-D printing
  • Glass 3-D printing
  • Artistic painting of a ceramic-related image
  • Digital 3-D rendering of a ceramic-related process
  • Other ceramic or glass-related forms of art

Possible Microstories Categories:

  • Optical Microstructure
  • SEM Microstructure
  • TEM Microstructure
  • AFM Microstructure

2017's Scientific Creativity and Viewer's Choice Award winner, Catalina Young's "UHTC" (Credit: Catalina Young)

How to apply and send submissions:

The following items are required to compete in the contest. Send each to

  1. Application form with pledge of original work (fillable PDF)
  2. For Creativity competition - submit your artwork/creative piece in one of the following two ways:
    • For physical art pieces: submit a picture of the artwork
    • For digital art pieces: submit a short (30 sec.) video of the digital rendering or modeling
  3. For Microstories competition - submit an original work of creative writing with your micrograph
    • Entries must be 300 words or less
    • All entries must be original works written by the submitter

Example of Microstory (Credit: Sarah Whipkey, Alfred University)

Winning categories: Creativity Competition

  1. Artistic Creativity:  We’re looking for unique ceramics or glass inspired art that is attention grabbing and thought invoking!
  2. Viewer’s Choice:  We’ll be showing off your art through PCSA social media! The submission with the most likes will win the Viewer's Choice Award.

Winning category: Microstory Competition

  1. Scientific Creativity:  We’re looking for entries based on originality, style, creativity inspired from your micrograph, and/or illustrating technically difficult characterization technique!

The winning art pieces will be recognized and displayed in the ACerS booth during the MS&T18 Conference in Columbus, OH, USA.

Please contact PCSA Delegate and Programming Liaison, Surendra B. Anantharaman, for more information.

Take a peek at past year's winners!