UW Student Film Contest

Past Contests

2019- Enjoy the videos! Second annual STEM film contest

May 29, 2020

You can call it the Oscars of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) or the second annual Student Film Contest— either way, there are some blossoming videographers in the science field.

Student Film Contest logo

Open to students around the globe who are earning degrees in STEM, this year’s film contest saw a total of 169 submissions. Of this number, 15 films advanced to the final phase, where they were judged by a panel of film critics that included UW faculty. Due to COVID-19, the planned screening of the award-winning films on campus had to be cancelled.

To highlight the importance of arts in the science realm, the theme of this year’s contest was STEAM, which is an evolution of the STEM term that includes arts. In order for STEM majors to be able to communicate the importance of their work and innovative ideas, education in the arts and humanities is essential, according to CEE professor Faisal Hossain, who founded and organized the contest.

“There is a need to dispel a myth that STEM majors cannot tell stories about how engineering and science make a difference to the fabric of our lives through personal experiences that matter,” says Hossain.

The first Student Film Contest for STEM majors was held in 2017, which was open to CEE students. Building on the success of the inaugural competition, this year’s event also entailed securing sponsorships from The Beavers Charitable Trust, UW EarthLab and more. A third contest is planned for 2021.

View the films

Domestic (US Universities) category films

  • Best in Cinematography: Provision for Advisory on Necessary Irrigation | watch the video
  • Public Messaging and Engagement: Sustainability Satellites Water and Environment | watch the video
  • Creativity: Healthy Rice for a Growing World | watch the video
  • Planet Earth (sponsored by UW EarthLab): Ocean State of Debris | watch the video

International category films

2017 Student Film Contest Awards

Best in Creativity winners Ronda Strauch and Sai Siddhartha Nudurupati; Best in Cinematography winner Molly Grear; and honorable mention recipients Begum Birsoz and Wenxin Lin, from left.

Perhaps it’s their problem-solving mindset or technical skills, but it turns out that engineers are naturals at film making. This was evidenced at UW CEE’s inaugural student film contest on March 16. A panel of judges evaluated six student-made films and selected the following winners:

  • Best in Cinematography: Ph.D. student Molly Grear  I  Watch the Video
  • Best in Public Communication: Ph.D. students Ronda Strauch and Sai Siddhartha Nudurupati  I  Watch the Video
  • Best in Creativity: Undergraduate student Veronica Wang  I  Watch the Video
  • Honorable Mentions:
    Undergraduate student Begum Birsoz  I  Watch the Video
    Graduate student Wenxin Lin  I  Watch the Video

Students began working on their videos in fall 2016. As several students had no prior filmmaking experience, UW Video hosted several sessions to provide technical help. The contest was organized by associate professor Faisal Hossain, a filmmaker in his spare time.

Hossain’s motivation to found the contest stems from his passion to share information about the important work of civil and environmental engineers, which is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and diverse, he said. He also hopes to inspire and teach students about the importance of being skilled communicators.

“It’s a very important process for our students to become master communicators,” Hossain said. “The work of civil and environmental engineers permeates life and society not only through the usual notions of buildings, construction, highway and clean water, but also through energy, resources, the environment and more.

Hossain hopes to organize another film contest again in two years. Building upon the success of this year’s contest, he hopes to eventually open it up to students from engineering schools across the U.S.

“We want this to evolve into the nation’s first engineering film festival open to all engineering majors in the U.S.” Hossain said.

Congratulations to the winners!

See Also:

CEE Film Contest promo video

https://uw.useed.net/projects/1003/home (Fundraising for 2019 Contest via USEED)