Youth Making Ripples


YMR-11The Beneath the Waves – Youth Making Ripples Film Competition – is an opportunity  for K-12 students (< 18 years of age) to use their creative talents and serve as a voice for our oceans. We encourage elementary, middle and high school students to create their own marine related film on a topic of their interest. All submission must be less than 5 minutes. The message of your film can focus on an interesting marine topic, a specific marine related problem or issue, or a call to action for conservation.

The Youth Making Ripples Competition student films debuted to the public in 2014. The competition was held at Florida Institute of Technology’s Gleason Performing arts center. Winners were selected by both 1) panel of scientific judges and 2) viewer’s choice award. We awarded many prizes to the winners!


Check out our call for submissions for 2015 HERE.


The 2014 middle-school winners for the best scientific message

The 2014 middle-school winners for the best scientific message


How to Submit Your Film:

All films must be on a marine related topic and must be less than 5 minutes in length. There is NO submission fee for the Youth Making Ripples Competition. Films for our 2016 festival should be submitted by December 5th, 2015 . Films may be submitted to or by sending a DVD, or flash drive with the movie file to:


Philip Gravinese and Dr. Lauren Toth
Department of Biology
Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901


All Youth Making Ripples applications should include:

  • .The student’s name and address
  • Student’s school of attendance
  • Student’s and legal guardian’s email address
  • Student’s and legal guardian’s phone number.
  • Teacher’s email address
  • The Beneath the Waves film release form, which must be signed by a legal guardian if under the age of 18.
  • We encourage submissions to use open access media or to take their own footage
  • Media (i.e., images, music, etc.) used from the internet MUST adhere to copyright laws to be considered for submission to the film festival
  • For the full details please see our call for submissions document.
  • Please review copyright issues prior to submission
  • If submissions are submitted via email they must include the authors last names and grade level category in the subject heading (for example: Smith and Johnson middle school YMR submission)
  • Again, there is NO submission fee for the Youth Making Ripples Competition.


For Educators:

Film can be a powerful hands-on strategy to help students retain content knowledge and increase learning gains. Incorporate Ocean Literacy standards into your lessons, and challenge your students to link their films to Ocean Literacy Principles.

Check out our filmmaker resources on tips and tricks to get your students started.


Opportunities for Youth Making Ripples Finalists:
2014 was the inaugural year for our Youth Making Ripples program and we received 110 submissions from students nationwide. We selected 17 finalists using a rubric to evaluate each submission. The top finalists were then judged for scientific accuracy by our scientific review panel. In 2014, we awarded $200 cash awards to the winners for the best scientific message for both the elementary-middle school, and high school categories. We also awarded a $150 cash prize to the viewer choice winners (chosen by audience votes).

In addition to cash prizes, we are excited to announce that in 2015, Beneath the Waves is being sponsored by Scuba Pro, who has graciously donated snorkeling equipment for our winners. We also established a partnership with the Marine Litter in Europe Seas – Social Awareness and Co-Responsibility (MARLISCO) project. The MARLISCO group is dedicated to stopping marine litter and also has a youth film festival that premieres throughout the European Union. The Youth Making Ripples finalists will have the opportunity to debut before international audiences at select MARLISCO film festivals. Finally, the finalist’s will be stored in our on-line database for use in classrooms across the country. If you have additional questions please email us at




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