UW News

March 11, 2016

Video contest challenges students to creatively define climate change

UW News

The UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is hosting its second-annual contest for undergraduate and high school students in Washington to create videos about what climate change means to them, in three minutes or less.contest logo

The top five entries in each age group will be critiqued and judged by a panel of climate scientists, artists and filmmakers and screened in a public viewing at Seattle’s Town Hall this spring.

First-place teams in both age categories will win $5,000, second-place finishers will get $1,000 and third-place contestants will win $500. The contest runs until April 4, and is open to any student in the state who wants to enter as an individual or as part of a team.

Contest organizers encourage creativity, originality and a powerful message for each submission. Videos can take many different forms — claymation, music video, stand-up comedy routine and mini documentary, to name a few. The contest creators write:

“Climate change is already shaping the world you’ll inherit. It will impact all aspects of society and the environment, affecting each of us in a variety of ways.”

To that end, students are challenged to express how they feel about a changing climate, and the impacts, challenges and solutions associated with climate change in their neighborhoods, cities, state, nation and world.

Last spring, in the contest’s inaugural year, organizers received more than 90 video submissions, mostly from high school students around the state. In some cases, entire classrooms were involved in filming and editing the short videos. Some of the winning ideas included accurate presentations of science, thoughtful and creative plots and scripts, and attention to details like audio volume and clarity.

The top 10 videos were screened at Town Hall and four judges, including College of the Environment Dean Lisa Graumlich, picked the winners. (See photos from last year’s screening event.)

Visit the contest webpage for entry information, including acceptable video file formats. The contest is funded by the Denman Endowment for Student Excellence in Forest Resources.

Watch last year’s first-place videos in the high school and college categories: