• Sept. 8, 2021

    Eighth graders place second in video contest

    Fort Couch teamA team of Fort Couch Middle School students recently placed second in the Take a Shot at Changing the World video contest. Eighth graders Kaia Petrick, Anoushka Barve and Sara Gillespie created a two-minute video to show the necessary link between science and creativity in coming up with vaccines for COVID, or in any other scientific breakthrough.

    Watch the video

    Take a Shot at Changing the World invites educators to use the half-hour program “Chasing Covid” in their classrooms to inspire conversations on the link between science and creativity and to encourage middle and high school students to make their own videos.

    According to the contest website, Chasing Covid is an “engaging and inspiring film that takes viewers inside the lab of The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research where Dr. Paul Duprex, Director and Jonas Salk Professor, and his team have been working collaboratively with scientists around the world to unlock the secrets of COVID-19 and find ways to defeat coronavirus. It also explores how today’s research builds on pioneering work of the Pitt Virus lab which developed the Salk polio vaccine and how changes in technology have led to a new ‘vaccine renaissance.’”

    Take a Shot at Changing the WorldKaia, Anoushka and Sara created their own video entry to help “good information about science go viral.”

    “Their video stresses the importance of creativity and teamwork in scientific research, generating new ideas and making scientific progress,” Connie Gibson, Upper St. Clair’s gifted coordinator for grades 7-12, said. “It also incorporates historic landmark figures who have come up with vaccines.”

    The deadline to enter the Take a Shot at Changing the World video contest was July 30. Winners were announced in mid-August. Cash prizes were awarded to the top four videos including Fan Favorite, $500; first place, $500; second place, $250; and third place, $100. 

    A panel of judges with backgrounds in science and filmmaking assessed the 10 most highly voted videos. Judging criteria included the quality of the content, the impact of the social message, as well as artistry and creativity.

    The videos, which were limited to between 30 seconds and two minutes, could be about one of the following topics: the science behind virology; the challenges posed by combatting a novel virus like Covid-19; the historic role of vaccines and the challenges of vaccinating a global population; or the links between scientific progress and creativity.

    View the Take a Shot at Changing the World video gallery.