Students turn biotech knowledge into winning videos

This piece is presented by South Dakota Biotech.

Students at West Central High School in Hartford turned their discoveries about the biotechnology industry into creative videos that led some to win scholarships.

It’s part of the new Breakthrough Biotech Video Scholarship Program sponsored by South Dakota Biotech, Sanford PROMISE and SD EPSCoR.

The competition earlier this year was open to students in high school and the first two years of undergraduate study. It encouraged students to be creative in depicting how biotechnology is feeding, fueling or healing their community to make a better world. Participants competed for a chance to win scholarship funding to be applied toward the undergraduate institution of their choice in South Dakota.

The participating students created three-minute YouTube videos individually or in teams of two. The videos were reviewed by a panel of industry members and ranked according to creativity, level of engagement by community members and ability to communicate science concepts to audiences of diverse ages and science background. Another factor was a public vote through the SD Biotech Association Facebook page. Scores from the two components were added, and the top two highest scores were awarded first and second place. Winning entries were announced April 27 during morning announcements at West Central.

The first-place finisher in the video competition, receiving a $750 scholarship, was Trinity Atkins for her video “Biotechnology Used in Animals.”

The runner-up was a joint video submission titled “Biotechnology in Medicine” created by Braden Peters and Jordan Traub-Jensen. The team received a $250 scholarship.

“We were so impressed by the quality and thought the students put into their videos,” said Joni Johnson, executive director of South Dakota Biotech. “It’s obvious this approach helped them learn more about what a broad and diverse industry biotech is, and hopefully it’s encouraged them to considered becoming more involved in some way. There are so many opportunities for students in this field.”

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Students turn biotech knowledge into winning videos

The Breakthrough Biotech Video Scholarship Program sponsored by South Dakota Biotech, Sanford PROMISE and SD EPSCoR has presented its first awards.

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