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Spotlite Design Challenge

Student production teams needed!
Gather your team, your creativity, and video recording devices.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wants your team to produce a video for the NASA eClips™ website.

One of NASA’s goals is to improve scientific literacy, or our understanding of science. The goal of the video is to engage students in doing activities that can help change their misconceptions about a topic in science.

Each tab provides the information and resources needed to produce a NASA Spotlite video.

Register here
Challenge opportunities are also available in cooperation with other virtual student experiences. Learn more about these select opportunities and join the Challenge!

What Is a NASA Spotlite?

These 90 to 120 second videos are written, filmed, edited, and produced by students using the engineering design process. Each video targets a science misconception.

Where Are NASA Spotlite Videos Used?

Approved videos that meet all criteria and constraints will be added to the NASA eClips website.

These videos will support science lessons and be used by classroom teachers across the United States.

Why Does NASA Want Videos?

One of NASA’s goals is to improve scientific literacy, or our understanding of science. The goal of the video is to change students' misconceptions about a topic in science.

How Can Spotlites Help?

A video that includes a demonstration and encourages others to try a related science activity can be used to help teach the correct science.

Who Can Participate?

This challenge is for students in grades 6 through 12. Students age 13 and older may appear on camera. Students under age 13 may still participate in all other aspects of the project.

Do You Need Special Equipment?

You don't need high tech recording and editing tools.  All steps for creating a Spotlite video can be accomplished using cell phones, tablets, and laptops.

An Adobe Spark template is available for teams to create a NASA Spotlite video.

Components of a NASA Spotlite Video

Include the following components to develop a NASA Spotlite video that will help others change their misconception about a science topic. Think of an appealing storyline to keep the target audience engaged throughout the video.

Responsive image

Criteria and Constraints

The video produced must:

  • Contains an ENGAGE section that identifies the science misconception.​
    • Presents the question to address the misconception through a real-world problem.
  • Contains an EXPLORE section that includes a demonstration to debunk the misconception.
    • The demonstration allows the viewer to see how to set up an activity to explore the science concept.
    • Whenever possible use NASA graphics, images, and animations.
  • Engage viewers and keep their attention.​
    • Use dialogue with more than one voice (conversation).
    • Viewer is engaged with questions to answer or instructions to follow.
  • Be of high quality in visual content.
  • Be of high quality in audio aspects.
  • Be between 90 and 120 seconds in length.
  • Contain closed captioning.

The following statements should be included on the last frame of the video.

  1. Produced and Edited by _________________
  2. NASA Disclaimer statement (required)

    This material is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under award No. NNX16AB91A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  3. NASA Resources Credit

    If you used NASA for graphics, images, and/or animations add this statement:​Graphics presented in this video were developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  4. Other Resource Credit

    If you used other graphics, please cite the source here. Photographer, F.M. (Photographer). (Year, Month Date of Publication). Title of Photograph [digital image]. Retrieved from URL

Download Spotlite Logo

Demonstration and Experimenting Ideas

Heating Earth’s Surfaces: Clouds (Lab Instructions )

View PDF

Science Information Links

  1. The Earth-Atmosphere Energy Balance https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/energy
  2. Earth’s Energy Budget: A Story https://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov
  3. Clouds and Climate https://psl.noaa.gov

Tips for Script Writing and Filming

2-Column Scripts

Write a 2-column script for your video. In the left-hand column of a two-column script you should include the visual aspects of the production. Here is where the content of each shot is identified. Use abbreviations to describe the type of shot, such as "CU" for "close-up," "MS" for "medium shot," and "WS" for "wide shot." Note any special effects in this column. Use GFX for graphic or image. Voice-over (V.O.) is used when someone is speaking while an image or animation is on screen.

The right-hand column contains the audio portions of the production. Write the dialogue, sound effects and music in this column.​

The content of the columns should be synchronized, so that the dialogue in the right column matches the shots in the left column.

Storyboards

The purpose of a storyboard is to plan how the video will unfold shot-by-shot. Here are some tips for designing a storyboard.​

  1. Establish a timeline for the events in the video.​
  2. Identify the scenes that will be needed to tell the story.
  3. Think about some key elements you want to include.
    • Audio
    • Graphics
    • Text
  4. Add relevant characters to each cell in the storyboard.
  5. Include the important statements the character or narrator needs to say to address the science misconception.

Consider these questions:

  • What is the setting/background for the scene? (Be sure your setting is not cluttered as this will distract from the video)
  • What actions are the characters performing?​
  • What props are in the scene?​
  • What is the size, color, and position of the text on screen?

Filming

Prior to filming, read the rubric that will be used to evaluate the video. The elements listed in the rubric should be used to guide your production of an effective video that addresses a science misconception.

Filming Grammar
www.khanacademy.org

Design Challenge Statement

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has asked your team to produce a video for the NASA eClips™ website. One of NASA’s goals is to improve scientific literacy, or our understanding of science. The goal of the video is to engage students in doing activities that can help change their misconceptions about a topic in science.

Identify the Problem

Problem Board
What do we need to know and do? What do we already know? What do we need to learn and where do we find it?
To help students explore this topic, do not explain the science to them. Get the students to explore the concept through demonstrations.

Brainstorm

Think of an interesting way to state the misconception and explain why it is wrong.

  • Brainstorm possible engaging storylines for the targeted audience.
  • Where will the story take place?
  • What characters will be in the story?
    • One character has the wrong information.
    • Another character notice that something is wrong.

Create

Visual
What will people see?

Audio
What will people hear?

Beginning
Present the question to address the misconception through a real-world problem.(30 seconds)
Middle
Show how to set up demonstrations to explore the science concept.(60 seconds)
End
Challenge the audience to try the demonstrations.(10-30 seconds)
Between 150-220 words are needed for a 2-minute script.

Evaluate - Peer Review

Share your script and storyboard with another team and science expert.

Film and Edit

Prepare the setting.

Make sure there is enough light.
Speak loudly and clearly into the microphone.

Before submitting use the rubric to make sure your team has produced the best NASA Spotlite video.
Video Production Rubric
The video produced: Exemplary
Contains an ENGAGE section that identifies the science misconception. Presents the question to address the misconception through a real-world problem.
Contains an EXPLORE section that includes a demonstration to debunk the misconception. Through the demonstration the viewer sees how to set up an activity to explore the science concept.
Keeps the viewers’ attention and engaged. Highly engaging through the entire video.Viewer is engaged with questions to answer or instructions to follow. Use dialogue with more than one voice (conversation).
Contains high quality visual content. The visual content is of high quality. Clear and crisp images clips are used throughout the video.
Contains high quality audio aspects. The audio is of high quality and is used throughout the video. Audio level is consistent throughout the video.
Ranges between 90 and 120 seconds. Falls within the time limit constraints.
Captures the speakers pronouncing words with clarity and appropriate inflection/expression. All speakers speak clearly and distinctly, facial expressions and body language generate a strong interest and enthusiasm.
Includes labels for ENGAGE and Explore sections, Spotlite intro, end credits, NASA disclaimer, and Spotlite outro. Video includes all required components with no errors.