Worldwide Student Poster Contest Rules

Theme - How Tribology Can Affect the Future World

Contest is Open to Four Age Groups:
4 – 8 years
9 – 11 years
12 – 14 years
15 – 18 years


Ages 4 - 8:  Your challenge is to do an experiment that shows how a lubricant works and show the results on your poster.   

Ages 9-18: 
Your challenge is to do an experiment that shows ways to reduce friction and how this can be used to improve our lives in the future.   

Two Poster Categories:
Technical Poster – Show results from experimental work (3 winners for each age group. 12 winners total)

Artistic Poster
– Draw a picture as you imagine the future world where reduced friction makes the world better. (1 winner for each age group. 4 winners total)

What is tribology?
Tribology is the study of surfaces moving relative to one another.  Generally, tribology includes three key topics: friction, wear and lubrication. Friction is the resistance to relative motion, wear is the loss of material due to that motion, and lubrication is the use of a fluid (or in some cases a solid) to minimize friction and wear. In addition, Tribology also deals with energy consumption in the areas of transportation (cars, buses, planes, trains, roller coasters), manufacturing (machines and robots), power generation (reduced energy and cost), and residential (homes).   

Research areas also include:

  • Biotribology (hip and knee joints)
  • Green tribology (reduce friction and wear for longer life equipment)
  • Geotribology (glaciers and faults)
  • Nanotribology (very small devices and machines)
  • Space tribology (machines for the harsh conditions of outer space) 

Tribology is everywhere. Not only in machines, vehicles, bearings, lubricants and train wheels. When you slip on the ice, light a match or slide in the water park, it's friction that you are experiencing... or missing. Your shoes or car tires have worn out? Due to tribological processes. You don't like the texture of the fat-free yogurt? Hey, that's tribology! In sports and cosmetics, inside your body and in the natural world. It's everywhere. Just look around. Gain more insight on the science of tribology 

Poster Sizes:
Technical Posters

24” x 36” Poster board  (for age groups 4 - 11)
36” x 48” Tri-fold Poster board (for age groups 12 - 18)

Artistic Posters
24" x 36" Poster board only (for all age groups 4 - 18)

Deadline for Submission: 
Tuesday, December 31, 2019 11:59 PM (EST) 

How to Submit Your Poster: 
  • Submit a high resolution photo of your poster at It must be legible.
  • Multiple entries are allowed, but only one poster will be counted for a prize.
  • By submitting you agree that your poster becomes the property of STLE and may be used in publications, advertising, and any other manner deemed appropriate.
  • Required information includes:
    • Title of Poster
    • Name
    • Age
    • Address
    • Email
    • Phone (used to notify winners)
Ages 4-8:  Explain how a lubricant works and show the results on your poster.

Ages 9-18:
Explain your experiment and results. Show ways to reduce friction and how this can be used to improve our lives in the future. 

Poster Contest Prizes

There will be 12 winners in total!  Each age group will have 3 winners – 1st, 2nd & 3rd Places.
  • 1st Place wins $500
  • 2nd Place wins $300
  • 3rd Place wins $150
Each age group for the Artistic Poster Category will have 1 winner
  • 1st Place wins $250
All winning posters will be displayed at the 75th Annual STLE Conference to be held in Chicago, IL from May 3-7, 2020. In addition all winners will be featured in STLE's monthly magazine, TLT.

Note: Prize will be received upon STLE receiving the actual winning poster (not just the photo.)
    Contact Dr. Maureen Hunter at