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American Fork Junior High science teacher John Moon is ready for the state's annual radon poster contest.

Last year his eighth-grade student Tucker Nixon had already entered his poster when Moon learned about the contest. And when Nixon's entry was judged the state's best, the teacher was able to accompany his student to meet Gov. Gary Herbert at an awards ceremony.

"Radon gas is very common in Utah and very deadly," said Moon, noting the gas is odorless and colorless.

"Our best defense is proper new construction and continuing education," the teacher said. "By getting our youth involved in this state contest we will be doing our part to protect their future."

This year's contest is underway, and the Utah Radon Program is looking for entries through Oct. 15. Online voting is set for Oct. 21-28.

Children ages 9-14 are eligible, either through school or a club, such as 4-H or an art club. Each child is permitted just one entry. To learn more, see the or call the state radon hotline at 1-800-458-0145.

The winning entrant's school will receive $500 and the artist will get $300. Second- and third-place winners will be awarded $100 apiece. All three will be eligible to compete for the $1,000 national award.