1. Choose a scientific topic that interests you.

Check out this, this, and this list for inspiration (while these lists are not geared toward science video ideas, they are 100% adaptable!).

  • Your topic can be broad (What causes a black hole?) or more specific (How can luminous cells from jellyfish be used to diagnose cancer?). Any science-related topic is allowed as long as it can be adequately summarized in three minutes or less.​ A couple more examples: Why are honey bee colonies weakening and what can be done about it? Can peridotite mining be an effective solution to global warming?

​We want to hear your perspective on science and how science affects your life. We encourage you to share a story of your own experience with science or the real-world implications of your chosen topic.

Note: Your choice of topic will have no bearing on your score.

  • 2. Prepare a three minute speech about your topic.

  • Your speech can be structured any way you want. The only requirement is that you must at some point discuss the background and significance of your topic. A couple suggestions for other points to include:
  1. A discussion of a study related to your topic. Talk about the research methods, the actual data and findings, and the significance of those findings.
  2. An interesting fact about your topic the audience might not expect.
  3. How your topic relates to a broader picture that the audience might be able to relate more to/be more familiar with
  • These points are merely suggestions. You will not gain more points by virtue of including them. We want to emphasize that this is your speech, and you can talk about anything you'd like! Please check out the videos on the "April 2020 Results" page to see some successful examples.

  • Additional guidelines:
  1. To keep the playing field even, partner submissions are not allowed.
  2. Visual aids (pictures, graphs, etc.) are optional. Please use them only if they are necessary to the audience's understanding.
  3. Your speech should be digestible by the general public. Avoid excessive use of jargon and explain terminology you feel a civilian would not know.
  4. Organize your speech wisely; three minutes is not a lot of time! A speech that hits less points but discusses them thoroughly is better than a speech that hits more points but rushes through each one.

  • 3. Give your speech to a camera.

  • By now, you've done your research and you know your stuff. However, expertise is not enough; many times, it's only half the battle. Check out this great article about the importance of knowing how to effectively communicate your ideas as a scientist.

Your submission will also be judged on your communication and presentation skills. Points will be given for effective displays of confidence, body language, tone of voice, and overall perception. Eye contact is important! It allows your audience to connect with you and establishes trust, which is the foundation to an effective presentation.

  • Important guidelines to take note of:
  1. Voiceovers are not permitted.
  2. Your video should be recorded in landscape (horizontal) mode if possible.
  3. Points will be docked for significant background noise, unintelligible audio quality, and shaky or excessively blurry footage. Please support the camera on a stable surface; we do not recommend having someone hold it for you.
  4. Make sure you are standing up with at least the waist-up part of your body visible in the video.
  5. The suggested dress code for your video is business casual.
  6. Up to four props are allowed. If you have a meaningful reason for us to make an exception for more, please email us.
  7. Your speech must be delivered in English. ​Points will not be docked for influent English, as long as your ideas are conveyed clearly.
  8. You may not use a powerpoint presentation to guide the audience through your speech. We want the focus to be on you, not your slides! As stated previously, visual aids (pictures, graphs, etc.) are optional, but please use them only if they are necessary to the audience's understanding.
  9. Please maintain genuine eye contact with the camera. Unfortunately, it's quite obvious when participants are reading verbatim from a script placed next to the camera lens, and it seriously detracts from the authenticity and credibility of an otherwise wonderfully-executed video. You don't need to stare at the camera the whole time, and you are welcome to use a *very simplified* bullet-point list of notes to reference when needed, but make sure you know your talking points well enough to be mostly unreliant on notes. However, know that it's also possible to make too much or too intense eye contact :). Our previous competition winners did a great job at balancing eye contact, so feel free to reference their videos posted on our website.

  • 4. Submit your video before the deadline!

  • Stay tuned for our next competition deadline
  • If you are unable to access Youtube due to censorship restrictions, please email info@girlsthreeminutescience.org for further instructions.

Complete Judging Criteria

(in no particular order)

  1. The speaker demonstrated a strong understanding of her topic. The speech was informative and professional.
  2. The speaker made complex connections between the science topic presented to her own life and/or demonstrated the real-world implications of the topic.
  3. The speech followed a well-structured, logical sequence. It managed time well and delivered a good balance of breadth and depth.
  4. The language used was appropriate for a lay audience. The speaker explained terminology and avoided jargon.
  5. The speaker appeared confident, spoke loudly, and maintained genuine eye contact.
  6. The speaker appeared enthusiastic about her topic and spoke in an engaging way.
  7. Overall, the speech captured and maintained the viewer's attention.