Annual Youth Festival:
2016 was the 3rd year for the Youth Making Ripples program. We continue to award our winners small scholarships that range in value from $200-$250. This year, we continued to partner with the International SeaKeepers Society and launched our first shark tagging expedition in which our high school winners were able to spend a day tagging hammerhead sharks with Florida shark biologists. This years finalists were inducted into our film database and many of the students films debuted to public audiences around the country as part of our traveling film festival. This year’s winning high school film, “Little Hope Spots” went on to receive additional accolades in the National Ocean Science Bowl’s film contest, and several other of our youth film makers were featured in Time magazine for kids for their shark conservation efforts.
2015 Youth Festival
In 2015, Beneath the Waves was sponsored by Scuba Pro, who has graciously donated snorkeling equipment for our winners. Additionally, over $1500 in prizes were awarded, plus a yacht expedition to a local reef in south FL courtesy our collaboration with The International SeaKeepers Society and Global Oceans. We also established a partnership with the Marine Litter in Europe Seas – Social Awareness and Co-Responsibility (MARLISCO) project. The MARLISCO group is dedicated to stopping marine litter and also has a youth film festival that premieres throughout the European Union. The Youth Making Ripples finalists will have the opportunity to debut before international audiences at select MARLISCO film festivals. Finally, the finalists will be stored in our on-line database for use in classrooms across the country.
2014 Youth Festival
2014 was the inaugural year for our Youth Making Ripples program and we received 110 submissions from students nationwide. We selected 17 finalists using a rubric to evaluate each submission. The top finalists were then judged for scientific accuracy by our scientific review panel. In 2014, we awarded $200 cash awards to the winners for the best scientific message for both the elementary-middle school, and high school categories. We also awarded a $150 cash prize to the viewer choice winners (chosen by audience votes).