Students learning science communication skills. (Photos by Kelly Albus.)
Do you have a big idea to improve the environment? If you’re a teacher or a student between the ages of 13-18, the National Geographic Society wants to help you share it.
The National Geographic Slingshot Challenge is open for 2023-24 submissions, and student participants can receive up to $10,000 in funding by creating a one-minute video for the competition.
Kelly Hibbeler Albus, Ph.D., a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist for the Texas Water Resources Institute, TWRI, received National Geographic funding support to serve as the Slingshot Challenge Supporter for the entire state of Texas for 2023 and will continue to lead the Texas cohort in 2024.
Interested students and teachers can get started in the Texas cohort at bit.ly/txslingshot.
Videos must be submitted by Feb. 1, 2024.
“We are really excited to support Texas youth again this year for the Slingshot Challenge,” Albus said. “It’s a great opportunity for young people to share their ideas, and honestly, it’s been amazing for us supporters and educators too.”
In the 2023 Slingshot Challenge, hundreds of middle and high school students in Texas produced educational videos about environmental science. Albus trained teachers in how to use the challenge to complement state-mandated teaching objectives for science courses and advanced placement environmental sciences courses, and she helped teachers connect students to local environmental issues to feature in video projects.
“These videos allow us to feel their hope and enthusiasm and get inspired, too,” she said. “And when participants join our Texas “Lone Star” team, we can help connect them with scientists, data, video resources and tips and tricks along the way. We’ve learned a lot from last year and want to help our Texas youth succeed in the challenge.”
A Houston-area student received multiple Slingshot Challenge and People’s Choice Award recognitions last year for a video titled “The 15-Minute City.”
TWRI is a unit of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M.