STEMfest Explain It! Video Competition Rules

Stay tuned for details about the 2015 competition!

Your video…

  • Must explain a concept, topic, idea, phenomena, or theory in any of the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math). Feel free to be creative. No ‘talking head’ videos, please. Don’t just tell us – show us!
  • Should be between 2 – 4 minutes long.
  • Must contain only your own or your group’s original work – including music, sound effects, photography. See Resource Guide for a list of creative tools you can use.
  • Can be any production type including but not limited to live action video, animation, or animated photo essay. (An animated photo essay is a series of still images that have been strung together using video editing software and set to music, narration, or both.)
  • Must not be boring.

Have Fun!

Entry Guidelines - Coming Soon!

Entries will be divided into groups based on age/grade level. Entries must be completed by groups of 4 or fewer students playing a central role. Categories are

  • Individual/Small Group: K-2
  • Individual/Small Group: 3-5
  • Individual/Small Group: 6-8
  • Individual/Small Group: 9-12

Judging will be based on the following criteria.

  • Accuracy – Was your explanation correct?
  • Creativity/Originality
  • Technical Quality (i.e. focused images, clear sound, interesting graphics)
  • Overall Effectiveness


Winners will be announced and publicly screened on October 17th at STEMfest. Additional honors may be awarded at the judges’ discretion. 

STEM Saturdays

  • 1st place winner(s) will receive one voucher for the entry toward their choice of one STEM Saturday class each not to exceed $125.00 in value and one t-shirt each.
  • 2nd place winner(s) will receive a voucher toward for the entry their choice of one STEM Saturday class each not to exceed $80.00 in value and one t-shirt each.
  • 3rd place winner(s) will receive a voucher for the entry toward their choice of one STEM Saturday class each not to exceed $40.00 in value and one t-shirt each.

Workshop topics and dates will be provided by STEM Outreach and vary based on the prize bestowed. .

Resources and Tools

You don’t have the right software to create your video? Don’t worry! Here is a list of just a few easy and free tools you can use to create your video. There are lots more available online.

Video/Animated Slideshow Editing


  • Aviary – Online music creator
  • Audacity – Record and mix your own music or voice
  • Hobnox – Create your own high energy tracks
  • JamStudio – Create your own music online


  • SAM Animation – Watch the intro video on this one. There are some great ideas!!
  • Scratch – Create and program your own animation

Mailing Address for Video Submissions

STEMfest Video Competition
C/O STEM Outreach
Lowden Hall 307
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Additional Questions?

Contact Kristin Brynteson at or (815) 753-0928 or Debbie Pixton at or (815) 753-1898.