SPARK Video Contest

SPARK Video Awards Ignite Students’ Excitement About Science

  • Schools from Massachusetts and North Carolina challenged to make creative science videos
  • What can you say about genetic mutation in under 3 minutes? A lot!
  • Six winning schools each received a $10,000 Biogen Foundation award and winning students won GoPros

Motivated by their love of science, the chance to be creative – and maybe the prizes too – middle and high school students in Massachusetts and North Carolina created short science videos for the Biogen Foundation’s inaugural SPARK Video Awards. The students pulled teams together, conducted experiments, wrote scripts and let their excitement about science shine through while competing for a GoPro camera for themselves and $10,000 for their school. 

In all, there were 86 entries from 60 schools in the two states from which 20 finalists were chosen by Biogen employees. Winners were selected by a combination of crowd-sourced public voting and input from Biogen employees – using a process open to all employees across the company.

The six winners – three from each state – each submitted a short, creative video on the topic of genetic mutation. The winning entries from Massachusetts included a talking puppet that used DNA sequencing to explain why a quarter of all people hate grapefruit, vanishing teens explaining the roots of color-blindness and one video asking, “What’s wrong with my chromosomes?” 

North Carolina winners included a skit that asked, “Dude, what even is genetic mutation?” – and received a surprisingly expert reply.  Another, Mutation Station, used a copier to illustrate mitosis and the team behind Project DNA proved that you can rap about anything, including genetics.

All six winners earned their schools a $10,000 award from the Biogen Foundation. Congratulations to all those who participated. We can’t wait to see what SPARKS fly in 2019!

PCR Taster Lab

PCR Taster Lab, Medford Vocational Technical High School, Medford, MA

What's Wrong with My Chromosomes?

What's Wrong with my Chromosomes? Robert Adams Middle School, Holliston, MA

Perception: Genetics vs Color Blindness

Perception: Genetics Vs. Color Blindness, Community Charter School of Cambridge, MA

Project DNA

Project DNA, Smithfield-Selma High School, Smithfield, NC

Mutation Station

Mutation Station, Gates County High School, Gatesville, NC

Genetic Mutation

Genetic Mutation, GR Whitfield School, Grimesland, NC