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Eye on the Future Teen Video Contest

We created the Eye on the Future Teen Video Contest because we want to hear from the next generation of scientists (that’s you!) about why science is so important. And we want to encourage high school students from all backgrounds to learn more about science.

Check out the info below to learn more and enter the contest!

Eye on the Future "Contest is Closed" graphic.

The 2024 Eye on the Future teen video contest is closed!

Please keep an eye out for announcements about this year’s winners and the 2025 contest!  

What are the contest rules?

You can submit a video from January 8 to April 14, 2024. Keep in mind:

  • Submissions must come from students in grades 9 through 12 currently living in the United States  
  • Videos must be between 30 seconds and 3 minutes long (excluding credits)
  • You can work on your own or team up with a couple of friends — If you’re working in a group, include up to 3 people max and pick 1 person to be your group leader
  • Be sure to submit a signed video release and registration form (for an individual submission or a group submission) with your video

What can I win?

There are 3 video contest categories for video submissions. For each category, we’ll choose a first-place winner who will receive $2,000 cash! We’ll also cover the cost for winners and a parent or guardian to come to the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, for a day of science, networking, and fun.

If you’re working in a group and you win, the prize money will be split among your team — and NEI may limit visitors to 1 group leader and an adult companion.

How do I submit a video?

The Eye On the Future process: Choose, Create, Submit.

1. Choose a video category. We have 3 categories you can pick from:

  • Science in your world. Teach us what science means to you and how it plays a role in some aspect of your life.
  • Science in the field or lab. Share some science you’ve learned by doing a demo or teaching us about its importance.
  • Science in your future. Describe how science or science outcomes will affect the future — and what role science will play in our lives.

2. Create your video. We suggest starting with an outline and then filling it in to make a video script. Once you have a script, practice to make sure what you’re saying is clear. Then it’s time to record using your phone, laptop, or tablet!

Keep these tips in mind while you create your video:

  • It can help to start with an outline — then you can fill it in to create your video script
  • Choose a quiet location with a plain background to record
  • Try to wear solid-color clothing that won’t be distracting on camera — and avoid wearing anything with very visible brands or logos
  • Make sure the shot is well-lit with natural light or a lamp
  • If you use your phone, place it sideways — and use a tripod or flat surface for a steady shot
  • Keep track of sources used and include them in your registration form or add them as credits in your video, if possible. Video credits shown during the video will not count towards the 3-minute submission limit.

3. Submit your video! Upload your video to YouTube and set the visibility to “unlisted.” Send the link to your video to along with the following required forms by April 14, 2024 11:59 p.m. ET: 

How will NEI score the videos?

NEI judges will review all submissions to make sure they follow contest rules. Then we’ll score each video using the following guidelines:

  • Scientific context and accuracy

    The submission seeks to understand a scientific question and connects content to existing scientific knowledge. 

  • Relevance

    The submission has a clear articulation of why the topic matters and its impact on teens’ lives, their communities, or the world. 

  • Engaging

    The submission thoughtfully presents information and grabs the audience’s attention.

  • Creativity

    The submission approaches a challenge in a creative or innovative way.

Bonus points will be awarded to videos that are eye-health or vision science related or focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA).

You may reach out to Ph.D. student Kiam Preston, Jr., at for tips on creating your video — including how to communicate the science and how to edit the video. For any other contest questions, please email

Video category details

Graphic of two children standing in a river pointing to the words "Science in your world".

Category 1: Science in your world

All of us are born scientists — just think of how kids observe the world with all their senses, asking questions, and doing their own experiments. What about you? What fills you with wonder? Science is everywhere around you (and on you and in you, too!). Teach us what science means to you and how it plays a role in some aspect of your life. 

Ideas to get you started:

  • Think of a scientific discovery that makes your life easier. What is it and how does it impact your daily life?   
  • What have you learned in a science class (or outside a science class) that made you realize how science impacts your life or the people and things you care about? 
  • Describe a challenge that impacts you or a community you identify with. How would you use science to find solutions? 
Graphic of student in a science lab with the words "Science in the field or the lab."

Category 2: Science in the field or lab

Science is discovery in action! A scientist is not a person who memorizes facts in a science textbook. Rather, a scientist is someone who asks questions about the world and does research in a systematic way to test those questions though controlled experiments — to generate data, to form conclusions about those results, and ultimately to pose new questions. Research happens in many settings: in a lab, out in nature or by comparing health in populations of people. Share some science you’ve learned by doing a demo or teaching us about its importance.

Ideas to get you started: 

  • What’s your favorite scientific discovery or invention? Explain its impact.
  • How has research in a lab led to health discoveries?
  • Describe how people from diverse backgrounds make a difference as doctors or scientists.
Graphic of child looking into a telescope at the words "Science in your future".

Category 3: Science in your future

The future of science is in your hands. For your generation, it will be important for everyone to learn about science — even people not actively involved in research. We know that now and, in the future, science will play a vital role in problem-solving related to issues like pollution and climate change. From your perspective, describe how science or science outcomes will affect the future — and what role science will play in our lives. 

Ideas to get you started: 

  • What’s the impact you’d like to make on the science world in 20 years? What steps will it take to get there?
  • What do you think the next big breakthrough in science will be? Or what future breakthrough are you most excited for?
  • NEI is committed to working toward health equity — meaning a world where everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as they possibly can be. What role can science play in a better, healthier future for all people?

Last updated: April 17, 2024