The Ocean 180 Video Challenge: An Innovative Broader Impacts Strategy for Helping Scientists Share Discoveries and Connect with Classrooms

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Richard A Tankersley1, Mallory Watson1, John G Windsor1, Meghan Buckley2 and Laura Diederick3, (1)Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL, United States, (2)Indian River State College, Fort Pierce, FL, United States, (3)Smithsonian Marine Station, Ft. Pierce, FL, United States
Scientists conduct exciting, ground-breaking research that addresses many of world’s greatest challenges. Yet, far too often, the importance, meaning, and relevance of their discoveries are never shared with persons outside their discipline. Recognizing the need for scientists to communicate more effectively with the public, the Florida Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE Florida) saw an opportunity to connect the two through film. In the fall 2013, COSEE Florida launched the Ocean 180 Video Challenge to tap into the competitive spirit of scientists and inspire them to share their latest discoveries with the public. The competition encouraged scientists to submit short, 3-minute video abstracts summarizing the important findings of recent peer-reviewed papers and highlighting the relevance, meaning, and implications of the research to persons outside their discipline. Videos were initially screened and evaluated by a team of science and communication experts and the winners (from a field of ten finalists) were selected by more than 30,000 middle school students from 285 schools in 13 countries. Our presentation will review the outcomes and lessons learned from the 2014 competition and describe how contest videos are being used for professional development/training and educational purposes. We will also describe how video competitions can benefit both scientists and the target audience and be effective outreach strategies for encouraging scientists to share new discoveries and their enthusiasm for science with K-12 students and the public.