URMC, Time Warner Cable Sponsor Video Contest for High School Science Students

Nov. 22, 2009

To spark students’ interest in the study of biomedical science and encourage future generations of researchers, the University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) Life Science Learning Center (LSLC) has joined forces with Time Warner Cable (TWC) to challenge area high school science classrooms to create a 30-second video message titled “What research means to me.” The winning entry will be broadcast as a public service announcement on Time Warner Cable channels, and first, second and third-place winners will receive cash and other prizes.

“Biomedical research is an exciting field for kids who like problem solving and are excited by finding answers to questions that can make a difference in saving and changing lives,” said Dina Markowitz, Ph.D., director of the LSLC and a professor of Environmental Medicine at URMC.

The LSLC is helping launch the contest by offering two free presentations to local high schools, “On the Road,” an 80-minute, hands-on activity where biology students solve a medical mystery, or a 40-minute program in which students learn about cancer vaccine research. Both presentations include all supplies.

Contest instructions can be found at What Research Means to Me (this site also provides a link for viewing a two-minute informational video on biomedical research, as helpful background). Entries are limited to one per science class and can be submitted in video format, by email, CD, DVD (to the LSLC at 575 Elmwood Avenue, Box EHSC, Rochester, NY 14642), or by posting on YouTube. Classrooms that do not have video access can submit their entries in storyboard format - samples can be found at What Research Means to Me. Prizes will be awarded based on cohesiveness of message, originality and creativity. Entries will be judged by experts from URMC. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 15, 2010 and winners will be announced March 1, 2010.

Contest prizes include:

First prize: Televised broadcast of video on TWC, and $1,000 toward the purchase of science equipment for the winning school; a VIP visit and tour of URMC and LSLC, including lunch and a question and answer session with scientists and LSLC faculty and staff.

Second prize: $500 toward the purchase of science equipment for their school and two complimentary class trips to participate in LSLC programs.

Third prize: $250 for toward the purchase of science equipment for their school and one complimentary class trip to participate in LSLC programs.

This contest represents a partnership aiming to further the mission of LSLC to promote science education through community outreach to area students and TWC’s recent initiative to address America’s continuing decline in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The contest format also challenges students to use technology to convey their message.

LSLC is part of the Center for Science Education and Outreach and the Department of Environmental Medicine at URMC and annually serves the needs of more than 2,600 area students and teachers with the goal to further science education and encourage science as a career choice. LSLC focuses on innovative science programming to engage students in hands-on, inquiry-based activities in real-world settings. Programs help teachers learn how to best motivate students, raise their confidence level, and erase misconceptions about science and biomedical research.

For further information and contest rules, visit What Research Means to Me, the Life Sciences Learning Center, or Time Warner Cable. To schedule a LSLC classroom visit, teachers should visit the Life Sciences Learning Center.