Fort Couch students

Students at Upper St. Clair's Fort Couch Middle School produced an award-winning video for ake a Shot at Changing the World.

A team of Fort Couch Middle School students recently placed second in the Take a Shot at Changing the World video contest.

Eighth-graders Kaia Petrick, Anoushka Barve and Sara Gillespie created a two-minute video to show the necessary link between science and creativity in coming up with vaccines for COVID-19, or in any other scientific breakthrough.

Take a Shot at Changing the World invites educators to use the half-hour program “Chasing COVID” in their classrooms to inspire conversations on the link between science and creativity and to encourage middle and high school students to make their own videos.

Kaia, Anoushka and Sara created their own video entry to help “good information about science go viral.”

“Their video stresses the importance of creativity and teamwork in scientific research, generating new ideas and making scientific progress,” Connie Gibson, Upper St. Clair’s gifted coordinator for seventh through 12th grades, said. “It also incorporates historic landmark figures who have come up with vaccines.”

Cash prizes in the contest were awarded to the top four videos including Fan Favorite, $500; first place, $500; second place, $250; and third place, $100.

A panel of judges with backgrounds in science and filmmaking assessed the 10 most highly voted videos. Judging criteria included the quality of the content, the impact of the social message, as well as artistry and creativity.

The videos, which were limited to between 30 seconds and two minutes, could be about one of the following topics: the science behind virology; the challenges posed by combating a novel virus like COVID-19; the historic role of vaccines and the challenges of vaccinating a global population; or the links between scientific progress and creativity.

View the Fort Couch students’ video at