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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION:
INTO THE RIFT

Science from Africa’s Rift Valley in your living room.


WHAT WE DID

Strategy

Custom Website

Video Direction & Production

Fundraising

The Challenge
Cutting edge science is taking place all around, largely out of sight to the public. It’s no surprise then that the average citizen is unsure what it means to do science. Opportunities for students to interact with scientists first hand are limited. But does that mean we can’t expose young people to science in action in the far corners of the world? We don’t think so.

The Solution
With funding from the National Science Foundation we partnered with scientists at Wright State University to create a web-based experience ‘transporting’ viewers to the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Viewers direct their own exploration of the research site, joining scientists as they make discoveries related to climate change, ecology, and evolution. Along the way they witness how the discoveries make a difference for the well-being of local people who rely on the lake. 

“RENALDA’S JOB LOOKS REALLY COOL. SHE HAS SWIM FINS AND A CLIPBOARD. I DIDN’T KNOW THAT WAS A JOB A SCIENTIST CAN HAVE. MAKES ME WANT TO BE HER.”

-Middle school student

THE WEBSITE

We built a multi-layered, interactive documentary website that transforms the largely passive experience of absorbing video into an active one. Viewers can opt to dive deep into content layers via hotspots in the overarching documentary. We took a modern approach to the storytelling, design, and technology to elevate the way we teach young people about science in the real world. And it paid of. A student tester told evaluators: “I would welcome doing this in class. As soon as you see it you know it’s going to be fun.” Right on.

THE WEBSITE

We built a multi-layered, interactive documentary website that transforms the largely passive experience of absorbing video into an active one. Viewers can opt to dive deep into content layers via hotspots in the overarching documentary. We took a modern approach to the storytelling, design, and technology to elevate the way we teach young people about science in the real world. And it paid of. A student tester told evaluators: “I would welcome doing this in class. As soon as you see it you know it’s going to be fun.” Right on.

VIDEO PRODUCTION

We took advantage of our up-close access to scientists to create an intimate portrait of it’s like to be a field scientist. Underwater footage highlights the beauty of the unique lake and the exhausting efforts that take place to better understand it. Visuals of local communities gives a face to the many people who depend on the lake for their livelihoods.

VIDEO PRODUCTION

We took advantage of our up-close access to scientists to create an intimate portrait of it’s like to be a field scientist. Underwater footage highlights the beauty of the unique lake and the exhausting efforts that take place to better understand it. Visuals of local communities gives a face to the many people who depend on the lake for their livelihoods.

SPREADING THE WORD

To promote the Into the Rift website we produced a short introductory video that was highlighted in the 2016 National Science Foundation STEM For All Video Showcase.

SPREADING THE WORD

To promote the Into the Rift website we produced a short introductory video that was highlighted in the 2016 National Science Foundation STEM For All Video Showcase.


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