Youth Making Ripples Film Competition is an opportunity  for K-12 students (< 18 years of age) to use their creative talents and serve as a voice for our oceans. We encourage elementary, middle and high school students to create their own marine related film on a topic of their interest. All submission must be less than 5 minutes. The message of your film can focus on an interesting marine topic, a specific marine related problem or issue, or a call to action for conservation.

The Youth Making Ripples Competition student films debuted to the public in 2014. The competition was held at Florida Institute of Technology’s Gleason Performing arts center. Winners were selected by both 1) panel of scientific judges and 2) viewer’s choice award. We awarded many prizes to the winners!

Meet The Team


Phil Gravinese

Co-Founder & President

Phil is a postdoctoral fellow at the Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Florida, where he brings 10+ years of teaching experience to Mote. He earned his Ph.D. from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2016 with his primary research question focused on determining how anthropogenic changes like elevated seawater temperatures and ocean acidification impact crustacean’s larval development, survival, and behavior. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D. in 2011, Phil spent five years teaching in Florida’s public schools and as an adjunct professor for Eastern Florida State College. He still teaches as an adjunct for St. Petersburg College. Phil has coupled his passion for science and outreach by creating films and publishing educational lessons. In 2012, he co-founded Youth Making Ripples to promote ocean conservation to the next generation of ocean enthusiasts using film and 21st century technology.


Lauren Toth

Co-Founder & Treasurer

Lauren is a coral-reef ecologist who uses the geologic record to answer important questions about the future of coral-reef ecosystems. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology, where she studied controls on coral-reef development in Pacific Panama over the last 7000 years. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey in Saint Petersburg, FL studying the causes of the historic collapse of coral reefs in the Florida Keys. Lauren also holds an undergraduate degree in film production from the University of Miami, which she is leveraging along with her science background to develop the Youth Making Ripples initiative. She is dedicated to education and outreach and believes that our work as scientists can only reach its true potential when it is effectively communicated to the next generation of scientists and the general public.

Veronica Frehm


Coming Soon…

Adriene Tynes

Board Member

Coming soon…


Vince Gravinese

Digital & Marketing

Coming soon…