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!

Lauren Toth

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 Beneath the Waves 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.

Phil Gravinese

Phil graduated from The Florida Institute of Technology with his M.S. in marine biology in 2007. He then taught for Brevard Public Schools and Eastern Florida State College for several years before he returned to pursue his Ph.D. in 2011. Phil brings over 8 years of teaching experience at the K-12 level to the Beneath the Waves team. Phil 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. During his career, Phil has coupled his passion for science and outreach by creating films, publishing educational lessons based on his research, and more recently, promoting ocean conservation to the next generation of ocean enthusiasts by serving as the Co-director of our Youth Making Ripples program. Phil hopes that his work through Beneath the Waves and the Youth Making Ripples program will help promote ocean education and dismantle communication barriers between the scientific community and the public