The National Science Foundation awarded The HistoryMakers a 3-year grant to interview 180 of the nation's top African American scientists, create curriculum based on the interviews and hold public programs featuring the scientists. The goal of the ScienceMakers initiative is to create positive role models and use their life stories as a way to encourage others to enter scientific professions.

How We Choose the Winner, Prizes and Schedule

How We Choose The Winner, Prizes And Schedule 

The video oral history contest entries will be judged by a panel including: The HistoryMakers Executive Director and the Science Producer, representatives from each of the featured science centers (3-4 individuals) and a professional science association member and scientist - so make sure your science is correct! 

The winning video from each year of the contest will be featured on the ScienceMakers website, YouTube, Teacher Tube and will be shown at a public event at each of the ScienceMakers featured science centers. The top three videos will also each be awarded cash prizes of $300 (first place), $200 (second place) and $100 (third place). 

The video oral history contest will be held in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Each year, entries must be uploaded to YouTube or email to by January 2, 2012. Judging will occur from January 3 through January 12, 2012. All valid entries will be judged by the Judging Panel (described above). Winners will be notified and winning videos posted on the website after the public programs at the end of February.


Things To Keep In Mind
• Sound is the most important part of any video. If we can’t hear you, we can’t judge your video!
• Make a schedule and “cast list” for your video shoot. What day will you write the script? Make the costumes? Set up the scenery? When will you practice? Who will be the cameraperson? Who will interview you?
• When shooting your video, make sure the camera isn’t too far away. Look at the ScienceMakers website for good examples of a close-up face shot.
• Test out your equipment before shooting.
• Edit the video once you have completed videotaping with the Flip camera. Note: Some videos do not require editing. Special effects and animation are welcome, if you have experience with them, but don’t go overboard! Make sure that the special effects don’t overpower the scientific and biographical content of your video.
• Pay attention to lighting. If we can’t see you, we can’t judge you, either! Don’t shoot your video into a light source or in front of windows.
• We invite background music, but it should not be so loud or distracting that it detracts from the content of your video. Background music must be appropriate—no curse words or otherwise inappropriate language is permitted, from the contestant or from the background music.
• Film at eye level, unless you have a special effect in mind (like filming birds up in a tree).
• Take your time! Remember, this video will be on YouTube for the entire world to see.