Join ACT Scientist of the Year - Dr Ceridwen Fraser - and compete in the ACT High School Science Film Competition

Tuesday 4 April 2017

1st prize winners in each level will receive GoPro HERO+ action cameras (one for each team member). Winners will also be invited to attend a special one-day Film-Making Masterclass.

Dr Ceridwen Fraser - ACT Scientist of the Year

Entries are now open for the ACT High School Science Film Competition

The competition closes on Sunday 14 May 2017 (midnight) and winners will announced in June 2017, at a gala award ceremony at Questacon.

If you have any questions email us at

Watch a short video of Dr Fraser  

Create a short film about science

Students attending ACT or nearby* high schools (years 7-10) are invited to create short films (maximum 3 minutes) answering the question: Why is science important? You can work as you like within this broad theme – for example, your film could be about what the world would be like without science, how science has influenced global politics, what science means to you, etc.

Your film does not need to be of high production quality – you can shoot and edit using simple devices such as mobile phones. However, we encourage you to read the tips for creating your video on this page, and ensure you have permission to use footage and audio and credit appropriately.


The competition is open to ACT and nearby* secondary school students (at both government and private schools) in years 7-10. There are two entry levels: Junior (years 7-8) and Senior (years 9-10). Students can work alone or in groups of up to four, so long as all students within each group are in the same year entry level.


Entries must be submitted via the online form here by midnight on 14 May 2017. Winners will be announced in June 2017. Entries will need to be uploaded to a private file-sharing server such as Dropbox or Google Drive. A link to access the file must be provided on the entry form.


Entries will be judged by a panel of award-winning scientists and film and radio personalities from across ANU, ABC and the National Film and Sound Archive. Selection criteria will include:

  • How engaging and entertaining is the film?
  • How accurate is the information?
  • How thought-provoking is the film?
  • Quality of editing.
  • Creativity and originality.

Judges' decisions will be final.


1st prize winners in each level will receive GoPro HERO+ action cameras (one for each team member). Winners will also be invited to attend a special one-day Film-Making Masterclass.

2nd prize winners in each level will receive items of their choice to the value of $200 from the Questacon shop (one prize per team). All second-place team members will also be invited to attend a special one-day Film-Making Masterclass.

3rd prize winner team members will be invited to attend a special one-day Film-Making Masterclass.

All winning students will be given a certificate. Winning films will be screened online (ANU TV), and some will also be screened on television.

*students attending high schools within 50 km of the ACT border are also eligible to apply. For example, students from schools in Yass, Queanbeyan and Bungendore can enter the competition.

Tips for creating your video

Have a quick scroll through any of your social media news feeds. These days we see video across almost every channel. And for good reason: videos are an effective way of communicating information. So how do you make sure that your video stands out amongst the other videos online?

We want to help. In this article we have come up with a list of 5 hot tips which should help you:

  1. Improve the quality of your video
  2. Get more eyeballs on your video
  3. Win the comp ;-)

Here is what we recommend:

1. Use whatever gear you have

You don’t need a professional video camera to make a great video. You can make a high-quality video using a smart phone.

Learn how to get the best from the equipment you have. You can maximise the quality of your video by paying attention to the small details. This brings us to tip #2

2. Sound it out

Have you ever watched a video with really bad audio? It’s painful, right? That’s why you should pay close attention to the quality of your audio. In many cases, the quality of your audio is more important than the visuals. So how do we improve audio? You can:

  1. Record audio in a location without background noise. Avoid chainsaws, cockatoos and busy freeways. Rooms with lots of furniture are usually best.
  2. If you’re recording with a smartphone, use the mic on your headphones. And get it close to your subject. This is better than the regular mic on your smartphone.
  3. Add some music: music can cover a myriad of video-making sins. Just be careful about licensing. Choosing some creative commons music is usually safest.

3. Make your visuals work

Video is a visual medium so make your visuals stand out. Think hard about what visuals are going to communicate your ideas best. Also, think about what techniques YOU like to see in videos. Would a time-lapse capture your viewers’ attention? Or maybe slow motion? Your smartphone has a range of functions which can help you add visual interest to your video.

4. See the light

It sounds obvious, but light is important. Think about where and when the light is best for your video. Check the difference between shooting at midday and sunset. Or try shooting under the shade of a tree. The angle and the colour of light will affect the quality of your final product.

5. Edit. Edit. Edit.

Are you using editing software to create your video? There are lots of free programs available for video editing. You should edit your video thoroughly. Ask yourself:

  • Does your video have a logical flow?
  • Will your viewers lose attention at any point of the video?
  • Can you add interest with some more interesting visuals?
  • How smooth are the transitions between shots?
  • Can you add text to better communicate your ideas?
  • Show the video to your friends/family/cat. Ask for feedback/ meows.

6. Be original

On the internet, you can find some outstanding videos which communicate science creatively and effectively. A simple google search will help you find them. Watch and learn from the masters. Feel free to use this as inspiration but don’t copy their work – (that’s plagiarism) and make sure all the imagery is captured by you.

Updated:  23 July 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School