ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2017 Topics

  • Design Your Future
  • Engineering the Body
  • How Things Work
  • Incredible Life
  • Our Amazing Planet
  • Science and Me
  • Science in Space
  • The Power of Science


Preparing your Video

  1. Discuss the topics with the group to see what sparks some interest. Any aspect of the main topics may be communicated by your video – be creative and original! This curiosity may be based on what has been covered already in class, something interesting they have seen on TV, or perhaps by knowing somebody who works in Science or Medicine.
  2. Once you’ve selected your topic don’t try to cover too much! Brainstorm the chosen topic to find a manageable subject for your video. You only have 3 minutes to communicate a topic, so perhaps pick one aspect of the chosen topic and tell a story!
  3. Remember you have the advantage of using a visual medium, so feel free to dress up, draw, demonstrate, animate, sing, experiment, interview, visit a local site, build, recruit friends or whatever you need to tell your story. Using a storyboard can be a great idea, to plan what will be seen at all stages of the film.
  4. Get parental consent for all students appearing or participating in the video, ensuring that the students’ parents or guardians are fully aware of the nature of the competition and subsequent use and display (including online) of the video entries by ReelLIFE SCIENCE, NUI Galway, our partners and potentially the media and general public (e.g. sharing the YouTube video links via Twitter, Facebook etc.).
  5. Discuss how they would like to spend the €1000 prizemoney if they win first prize! This can be spent on scientific resources or a science project, trip or event.




Making your Video

  1. Film the video using whatever video equipment you can get your hands on, whether it’s specialist recording equipment, a digital camera, tablet or a smartphone. Just make sure you film it in landscape orientation, rather than portrait, so it looks well on the screen. If you can film it all in one take, then you don’t even need to worry about editing. However, most PCs and laptops come with free, easy-to-use video editing software (to join together your clips, add titles, music, voiceover and even special effects), such as Windows Movie Maker or Apple’s iMovie, while video cameras, tablets and smartphones are often bundled with software or have apps available to download.
  2. Sound quality can often be poor if filming is carried out outdoors, particularly on windy days, and can negatively impact otherwise excellent video footage. If you think the sound quality is poor or inaudible, please consider recording a separate voiceover indoors using your video camera or phone voice recorder and adding it to the video afterwards.Videos with particularly poor sound quality may be penalised.
  3. If you prefer, you can submit an animated video. There are lots of free animation software packages online, or you could use stopmotion techniques to animate modelling clay, toys, puppets or images/drawings. We try to discourage the use of slideshow-type videos, where images are shown with a voiceover, as we favour original video footage, both live-action and animation.
  4. Please don’t use any copyrighted material in your film without permission, such as video clips (TV, movies, online videos), music, sound recordings, etc. YouTube may even remove the audio from your movie or even the entire video, if copyrighted material is detected. For more on YouTube’s Copyright policy, read here. You can find lots of ‘royalty free music’ online  or or you may even like to compose an original song for ReelLIFE SCIENCE!
  5. Remember to keep the video length between one and three minutes as your video will be penalised during judging, or may not be considered if too long. This is where the use of a storyboard in the planning phase can really help!




Submitting your Video

  1. Upload your video to YouTube. You can find lots of information in the YouTube Help Centre about how to upload videos, supported file formats, etc. Video privacy settings should be ‘Public’ so they can be viewed by our judges.
  2. Fill out our Application Form with the necessary information before the submission deadline of October 14th 2016. Some things to help you fill it out:
    • When you select your school’s ‘Level’, i.e. Primary School or Secondary School, the corresponding dropdown menu will be available for you to select your topic choice.
    • Please tell us how many students participated in any and all stages of making the video and which classes/years were involved.
    • Please give your video an original name, to differentiate it from the other videos in the same category/topic.
    • Copy and paste your video’s YouTube link created when you uploaded your video in Step 1. After all of your hard working making the video, please ensure the link is working and that the video privacy settings are set to ‘Public’ so the judges can view it!
    • Videos can be submitted in English or Irish. If your video is in Irish, like 2013’s primary school winners from Rosmuc, you may wish to consider including English subtitles to appeal to a wider audience. However, this is not obligatory and all videos will be considered equally.
    • If your school has a website, you may wish to include the address on the form, so we can link to it from our website if necessary, e.g. in the event of you winning the competition.
    • Likewise, if your school or class has a Twitter account, you may like to include it in the application form. We have found that Twitter can be extremely useful in getting exposure for the videos, and the school’s science programme in general and we like to reference the relevant school or class, where possible, in our tweets.
    • Please tell us how you first heard about ReelLIFE SCIENCE, whether it was via the poster we mailed to your school, on Facebook or Twitter, or via some other method. If ‘Other’ it would really help us out if you could tell us how and where, e.g. if in a newspaper article, please tell us which newspaper, or if online, please tell us which website. Thanks!
  3. Click the ‘Parental Consent received‘ tickbox, to acknowledge that consent has been received for all participants, as outlined above. Your school’s Parental Consent forms do not need to be sent to ReelLIFE SCIENCE, but you must acknowledge that they have been completed and received to complete the application process.
  4. Click the ‘Agree to Terms & Conditions‘ tickbox, to acknowledge that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions.
  5. After you click submit, you should receive the following message “Thank you! Your ReelLIFE SCIENCE video submission has been saved” with some additional information about keeping up-to-date via our Twitter (@ReelLifeScience) and Facebook pages. You should also receive an email to the address provided, with the information you entered in the application form for your records.



3 thoughts on “How To Take Part

  1. I was trying to register my school which is The Holy Family School for the Deaf Cabra. I was unable to register it for two reasons. It is a special school and I haven’t the utube link yet. So I would like to express our interest in this.

    1. Hi Geraldine

      Thank you for your interest in the competition. You don’t need to fill out the application form until you are submitting your video (along with the YouTube link) and all schools (primary, special, post-primary) are invited to take part. Your school (pre-amalgamation) actually took part in 2014, and were shortlisted with this fantastic video about Alexander Fleming ( so we’re really looking forward to your video this year!

      Best of luck

  2. Hi Enda
    I have just uploaded our video with the utube link. Firstly Can you confirm that it has been received. Secondly our video is in English and ISL which is Irish Sign Language with subtitles also.
    Thank you
    Geraldine Lewis.

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