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2016 Ocean 180 Video Challenge Finalists Named, Students Decide Winners Middle school students from 11 countries will judge scientists’ communication and video storytelling  skills to determine the winners; $9,000 to be awarded to top films.


MELBOURNE, FL- For the third consecutive year, the Florida Center for Ocean 

Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE Florida) has announced the finalists of its Ocean 

180 Video Challenge. The competition taps into the competitive spirit of scientists and encourages individuals and teams to submit short, 3-minute video abstracts communicating the key findings and implications of a recent peer-reviewed paper to non-scientists. Finalists’ videos are available at and include closed captioning in both English and Spanish.

The top entries, as selected by a panel of science and communication experts, will now go before a team of more than 35,000 highly critical student judges who will ultimately determine the winners. Over the next four weeks, students from 1,600 middle school classrooms in 11 countries and all 50 US states will screen the videos, provide feedback to the scientists, and cast their votes for their favorite films. Contest winners will be announced on February 23, 2016 during a special town hall session at the 2016 Ocean 

Sciences Meeting in New Orleans.The Ocean 180 Video Challenge helps scientists hone their video storytelling skills and explore novel approaches to communicating their latest discoveries with diverse audiences. “Far too often science is conducted in a bubble and researchers put little effort into engaging with general audiences.”, explained 2016 finalist John Burns of the University of Hawaii. “Developing media products for middle school students is a great way to educate them on scientific issues and also show that while scientific research is a lot of work, it is a fun and exciting career that allows you to make new discoveries about the world we live in.”

According to 2016 finalist Amber Thomas, whose video described her graduate research at the University of New England, the program offered her team an opportunity to inspire future scientists. “I remember being a middle school student and learning about the discoveries that scientists had made in the past and thinking that all the cool discoveries had already been made. I was in college before I realized how much there was still left to learn about the world!” said Ms. Thomas. “Talking about science with middle school students gives them a better idea of what scientists do and what things still need to be explored.”

The Ocean 180 Video Challenge is funded by a grant from the National Science 

Visit to see the finalist entries