How To Enter

Submission Information   –   Theme & Style   –   Video Examples  –  Project Checklist


Submission Information

What are the submission instructions and format?

1) Go to

2) In the top right corner of the page, click the "Upload" button.

3) Follow the instructions to upload your video. Be sure to name the video with its title and the name of your organization. 

The video should be exported and saved in a file format that is supported by YouTube. Click here to view acceptable YouTube formats.

4) Send email to and include the YouTube URL where you have posted your video.

Your video must include an end slate that contains a contact name, phone number and email address. If your video is selected, we will ask you to send a final version without the end slate.

To qualify, you must submit by the appropriate deadline: 

  • For school-year afterschool programs, submit by midnight, June 15, 2015
  • For summer learning programs, submit by midnight, August 1, 2015

What should I do about authorizations and copyrighted materials?

Only use authorized content, including, without limitation, music, images, film clips, and other intellectual property.

Ensure that everyone who appears in the final video has signed a release. If under 18, parents must sign. See attached releases.

If your video is selected for an award, you will be required to send by mail or by PDF, copies of all releases.

What are the technical elements my video should include?

Paying attention to all of the little details add up to a better production.

Be sure to capture good audio. Use a wireless microphone, an onboard microphone that is close enough to the subject, or a microphone on a boom pole or that you can move close to the subject.

Don’t shoot interviews against the light of a window unless you have your own lights to counteract that. It will cause your subject to be very dark.

If you interview people, choose a spot with a deep background, not up against a wall or bookshelf if possible. Choose a location with enough light. Natural light coming in from the outside gives a pleasant and natural look.

Frame the person’s head or body on one side of the frame and have them look at the interviewer on the other side of the frame.

Where can I find music for my video?

If you are looking for free music to include in your video, Incompetech offers a database of royalty-free music. Click here to visit the site. 

Theme & Style

What should the theme of my program’s video be?

From the young person who now has a new dream to the program leader who coordinates funding and curriculum to support their students’ ideas, we need to shine a spotlight on what’s happening in STEM afterschool. Uncover the great stories that happen every day in afterschool and summer learning, and tell us how your program sparks interests and fuels passions. 

What should the style of my video be?

Be a creative documentary filmmaker! Tell a story. Convince us that your program or project is a great example of STEM learning. 

All good stories have beginning, middle, and end. Begin with “I am a Scientist” (or mathematician, or engineer or technologist or some combination of these). Introduce your topic, explain it, then tell us about its impact. Include a title at the opening and credits at the end.

Choose a strategy to develop a narrative to tell the story. Be clear about what the program is, who participates in it, what the benefits are and why it is a great example of STEM and how you are a scientist, mathematician, engineer, technologist, etc. You can use an off camera narrator (called a “voiceover”), an on camera host, or tell the story by piecing together the commentary of the people you interview or who talk on camera.

There are two important ways that documentaries tell a story: 1) someone describes what's happening and; 2) someone shows you what’s happening.  For example, you might have someone introduce the project to the audience. That might be in the form of a voiceover or it might be someone talking to the camera or to an interviewer. Then you might cut away to people who are participating in the project and SHOW what they are doing. You will likely need to use both strategies to tell your story.

That might be in the form of a voiceover or it might be someone talking to the camera or to an interviewer.

Then, you might cut away to people who are participating in the project and SHOW what they are doing.

You will likely need to use both strategies to tell your story. 

You can use music (but only if you have permission or it’s your own music), transitions, graphics or other design elements to tell your story.

What should be the length of my video?

Your video must not be longer than 3 minutes including opening and closing credits.

Will technical assistance be provided to interested programs?

Yes, we will post a how-to PowerPoint and video on developing your STEM story. Check back soon.

Video Examples


Looking for some examples to get started? See below for more information and a few great videos focused around STEM learning.

Representing STEM in Video

Tips for effective storytelling. Discusses ways to identify video purpose, style and some great do's, don'ts and be's.

Maria Burritt: Biocom Video

Creative approach by a younger person in connecting STEM to her world. Uses music, pop culture, original lyrics, graphics.

Estephania's experience

This video is a great example of what motivation can do to inspire girls in the field of STEM.


This video gives a good idea of the kinds of real-world projects youth tackle. It has an intimate feel, since participants talk directly to the camera.

STEM VOICE competition

Deploys stop motion animation and has a clear, thoughtful narrative that explains STEM as part of a daily activity.

2013 Math-o-vision winners

This is a really good collection to go to for cool ideas for different ways to present STEM (in this case, Math). 

Adult role models in science

Wisconsin program example highlighting the power of mentorships.


Additional STEM Videos

I can do stem

Informational video showing elements of a quality afterschool STEM experience.


Video demonstrates importance of STEM learning in afterschool and summer programs through Vermont university and community partnerships.

2011 afterzone summer scholars

Examples from Rhode Island of linkage between summer learning and academic growth in a summer program.


Example from a Nebraska summer program demonstrating intergenerational learning.

youth foundation's 2014 pwrhrs academic summer stem camp

Highlights academic gains made through a Vail Valley Foundation-run summer learning program.

Stem and edgewood boys and girls club - hapPY

Fun motivational video from Maryland afterschool program.