Graduate Students Embrace Video to Foster Public Understanding of Science

May 21, 2013



CAMBRIDGE, MA– More than 240 graduate students enrolled in 119 National Science Foundation-funded interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs present their cutting-edge research online in the 2013 IGERT Online Video and Poster Competition, May 21- 24. With a three-minute video and poster students are challenged to engage peers and the public in scientific research, providing a glimpse of future innovations.

The public along with 50 college faculty and IGERT colleagues judge the competition. Faculty judges select 20 winning presentations; 4 winners are selected by the IGERT community and a Public Choice award goes to the presentation that receives the most .likes. on Facebook.

The public can interact with the young scientists and engineers through an online social media platform designed by TERC. At viewers learn about promising new developments in fields such as nanotechnology, computer science, biology, and physics that can lead to advances in medicine, energy storage and delivery, water resource management, and telecommunications. The public is invited to comment on the presentations and vote for their favorites through Facebook.

.The IGERT competition leverages the power of social media to further the public understanding of science while also providing an effective platform for mentoring and rich collegial exchange,. says Principal Investigator Joni Falk. .The students have embraced the challenge, producing videos that are broadly accessible to the public, as well as inspiring to the next generation of budding young scientists..

2013 marks the second year that video has been part of the IGERT competition and past participants and winners extol the benefits of learning to communicate their research through video and social media.

In advice to this year.s participants, 2012 winner Matthew Cooper cautioned against viewing the competition as a one-time exercise, .We live in a world that is increasingly visual, we get our content online.. As scientists, if you can encapsulate your project and results into a 3-minute video that.s accessible to a broader community, to funding agencies, and people that need to see your results.that.s a tool that will take you a long way in your career..

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program is the National Science Foundation.s flagship interdisciplinary training program, educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers by building on the foundations of their disciplinary knowledge with interdisciplinary training.