Science, Action! Students seek campus support for their science videos

By Costa Maragos Posted: February 8, 2018 6:00 a.m.

Alyssa Stulberg and Nicole Lerminiaux have produced one minute, easy to understand videos highlighting their research.
Alyssa Stulberg and Nicole Lerminiaux have produced one minute, easy to understand videos highlighting their research. Photo - External Relations

It’s science and……action for two U of R students, hoping to find a bigger audience for their insightful research as well as some cash prizes.  

Nicole Lerminiaux and Alyssa Stulberg have survived the first round of a national video contest called Science, Action! hosted by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Science students from across Canada are asked to submit a one-minute video explaining their research.

There are 75 student videos still competing. Of those, 25 students will advance to the next round, with an opportunity to win impressive prize money. Advancing depends on the number of video views each student receives – and that’s how you can help.

Each view gets Lerminiaux and Stulberg closer to the final round where students have an opportunity to earn prize money ranging from $2,000 to $3,500.

Lerminiaux’s video is titled Bacterial Community Culture.



Lerminiaux completed her Bachelor of Science Honours at the U of R. She’s currently working on her Master of Science in Biology under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Cameron, studying bacterial communities. Her research background ranges from nocturnal birds to pathogenic bacteria.
 
“I was inspired to make this video after seeing last year's submissions. It's a fun challenge to describe a research topic you're really invested in without technical jargon, in a short amount of time,” says Lerminiaux. “I think science communication is a really important part of being a scientist. What’s the point of doing science if the public who funds the research is unable to access and benefit from it? Short videos are great for this, as it's a manageable amount of time to listen to someone talk when paired with strong visuals.”

Stulberg’s video is titled Flying After Dark and focusses on bat research.


Stulberg is a Bachelor of Science Biology student, supervised by Dr. Mark Brigham at the U of R. They are working in conjunction with the Dr. Smit Lab of Rhodes University, South Africa.   

“Science communication is really important. This video contest is great because it allows the public to hear about a lot of cool research in a short amount of time,” says Stulberg. “It forces me to take my entire project, and figure out how to properly convey that to the public in a minute”

The first round of the video competition runs until March 2.

The U of R has a history of success in this competition.

In 2017, student Shelby Bohn finished runner-up, collecting $2,500.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is Canada’s federal funding agency for university-based research and student training in natural sciences and engineering.