Published on 01/28/20

Gov. Kemp recognizes winners of UGA Extension Radon Education Poster Contest

By Merritt Melancon

Gov. Brian Kemp recognized three students from northeast Georgia for their efforts to spread the word about the dangers of radon as part of the 2020 University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Radon Education Program Poster Contest.

The contest, conducted by UGA Extension Radon Education Program, invites students from across the state to create posters highlighting the dangers of radon, an odorless, colorless, flavorless, radioactive gas present in some Georgia soils.

All three of this year’s finalists met with Kemp on Jan. 17 to present their posters and thank him for his proclamation recognizing January as National Radon Action Month.

Students submitted more than 200 posters to the state-level competition, with one selected to enter the National Radon Poster Contest, sponsored by the Conference of Radiation Control Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We had amazing entries from every corner of the state this year,” said Derek Manning, UGA Extension radon educator and contest coordinator. “These brilliant students made it hard for us to narrow it down to three winners”

Gia Hoang, a fifth-grade student at Puckett’s Mill Elementary in Gwinnett County, placed first with her poster imploring Georgians to be bold and test their homes for radon.

Caitlin Smith, a fifth-grade student in Athens-Clarke County 4-H, won second place with her poster of radon fighting superheroes.

Emi Hoang, also a fifth-grade student at Puckett’s Mill in Gwinnett County won third place with her poster featuring a home in danger of being infiltrated by radon rising from the ground.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can seep through home foundations and into homes, making the air unsafe for residents. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. In Georgia, homes in the northern counties are more likely to have high levels of radon, but all homes are susceptible.

Radon can be extracted from homes, but only if families know that they need remediation services. Radon testing is not a part of basic home inspections that home buyers order when purchasing a home, but simple home radon tests are available from UGA Extension. To get a test kit, contact your local UGA Extension office or visit

The UGA Extension Radon Education Program celebrates student artwork while educating Georgians about the program through each January's contest in honor of National Radon Action Month. Nine- to 14-year-olds across the state design posters to help alert the general public about the dangers of radon and how they can keep their families safe.

The deadline for entries is usually in November. Teachers and parents can learn more about the contest at


Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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