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Are Bacteria Bad?

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Wednesday Dec 11, 2013

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Image credit: Shutterstock

Bacteria? Yuck! That’s the stuff that makes you sick, right?

Wrong! Actually, while some bacteria are indeed responsible for making people sick, not all bacteria are bad. In fact there are many types of bacteria that actually help humans. Some forms of bacteria are even essential to human survival.

In this contest we need your help to correct the misconception that all bacteria are bad. We challenge you to create a video that identifies this misconception and helps viewers grasp why not all bacteria are bad, and that some are actually good for you!

What are bacteria anyway?

Bacteria are one of the simplest forms of living organisms. They consist of only one small cell, and come in one of three shapes: sphere, rod, or spiral. But don’t knock these tiny guys, they’ve been around for millions of years and some forms of bacteria can live in extreme heat or cold.

Are bacteria good or bad?

Bacteria come in many different forms, and have adapted to live in all kinds of different environments. Some forms of bacteria harm humans but lots of bacteria actually work to keep you healthy.

Lets take your gut for example. A whole host of bacteria live inside your digestive system, hard at work. These bacteria help you digest and fight invading organisms.

Dairy products also take advantage of good bacteria. That’s right, the holes in that Swiss cheese are brought to you by a special type of bacteria — bacteria even makes Greek yogurt possible.

Want another example? Bacteria also help clean up the environment. They’re great at decomposing things, from leaves to oil spills.

Here’s one more interesting fact about bacteria: Bacteria cells are much smaller than human cells and we pack a lot of them into our own bodies. In fact, bacteria are so small that the human body actually contains 10 times more bacteria cells than human cells.

Help us prove it!

Correcting misconceptions isn’t always easy. That’s why we need your filmmaking skills to take this critical (and accurate) knowledge to the masses. The first step in showing people the right answer is exposing the wrong one, so here are some guidelines to get you started:

  • Start by uncovering the misconception through an interaction between at least two characters.
    • At least one character should claim the misconception as fact and attempt to support it (e.g., “When I get sick, I take antibiotics, so therefore all bacteria is bad”)
  • Have another character question the misconception with an alternative understanding (the correct one)
  • Present a conflict between the characters by having the characters attempt to support their understandings
    • In this process at least one character should support the correct understanding with facts or by conducting an experiment (e.g., Examples of beneficial bacteria)
    • Present a resolution of the conflict by demonstrating change in understanding of the character who held the incorrect understanding.

Illustration credit: Shutterstock

Submission Criteria:

In a video no longer than 2 minutes you must:

  • First, clearly identify the belief held by some people that all bacteria are bad, and second, demonstrate that this is, in fact, scientifically incorrect.
  • Establish that not all bacteria are bad by including facts and details about bacteria and its non-harmful impacts.
  • Present and prove the correct understanding of bacteria in humans.
  • Entertain us!

Key Dates [EXTENDED]:

  • September 25, 2013 – Contest starts
  • November 13, 2013 – Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • December 11, 2013 – Winners announced on the Project ED website

Finalist and Winner Judging Criteria:

Videos will be evaluated based on the following criteria, weighed equally:

  • Educational merit and accuracy: Your video achieves the educational goals presented in the contest brief and viewers learn intended material from your video.
  • Creativity and engagement: Your video presents educational content in a memorable way. Viewers are compelled to watch the video to completion. Your video conveys its message in an artistic, creative, and innovative way.
  • Quality of video production: Your video has high resolution and audio quality, effectively employs visual aesthetics and cinematography, and demonstrates production skills.
  • Appropriate content: Your video does not contain indecent, obscene, hateful, defamatory, or offensive material.
  • In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken on the basis of the tied entrants’ scores in the “Educational merit and accuracy” criteria.

Prizes:

Prizes per contest vary. In most cases, a grand prize will be awarded to one video in the Under 18 category and one in the Over 18 category. Finalist videos will also receive a prize. Rules for each contest explain how and when we will notify you and the date the prizes will be announced. Prizes are awarded at Amplify’s discretion and are subject to the applicable district and school policies. Prizes for teachers may be awarded via DonorChoose.org.

Official Requirements:

  • The video’s creator must be at least 13 years old.
  • Minors must obtain a parent’s or guardian’s consent to enter the contest.
  • Your video cannot last more than 2 minute.
  • You must use appropriate language and content.
  • You must properly clear and credit any source music, film clips, images, or locations you use.
  • You can only submit one entry per contest.
  • If you are employed by a school you must ensure your entry into this contest is in compliance with your institution’s policies.
  • Please carefully read the complete rules listed in the General Terms and Conditions.

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