The Assignment

An Innovative Solution


We need to better understand the connections between growing enough food, meeting rising energy needs and providing ample clean water for people around the world. However, this isn’t just the responsibility of industry, corporations and governments. We, as individuals, have an important role to play. Our everyday food, water and energy choices have a profound effect on each other and the environment. The more we take these connections into consideration — the better our chances will be of achieving a sustainable future.

Prizes to Earn:

  • Submission Prizes:  Each person participating will earn a prize for a successful submission (described below).  All prizes were purchased from the Valencia bookstore thanks to a donation from the Valencia Foundation.  Possible prizes include: Padfolio, Bluetooth speaker, USB drives, notebooks/pencils, reusable water bottles, travel coffee mugs, UnderArmour Thermos, Tervis cups/mugs, and more.
  • Grand Prize:  There will be a judging panel of 3 faculty, using a rubric, to pick the top 3 submissions (using guidelines below). Based on quantity of people in groups, we will send as many as funding allows to a local conference on sustainability in the Spring Term (all expenses paid).


Video Entry Details:

A complete/successful entry consists of a 2-4 minute video submission that addresses the bullet points below:

  • The Problem. Clearly define the problem of interest. Provide some relevant background information and identify the context of the problem: who is affected, how long has the problem existed. Indicate why it is important that this problem be solved, as well as the impact if the problem were to continue without intervention; in other words “what would happen if the problem is not solved?”
  • The Solution. Describe your innovative solution. What science and/or technology underlie the solution? What challenges or barriers must be overcome to make the solution a reality?
  • Impacts and Benefits. Describe how your team would measure the impact and benefits of your solution, if implemented. The benefits for science, industry, society, the economy, national security and/or other applicable areas should be addressed.


The video entry should consist of a single video, between 2 and 4 minutes in length.  I strongly urge you to work in groups of 2 or 3, it makes this so much more fun! However, single-produced entries will be accepted.

As mentioned in the bullets above: the video should be used to clearly articulate a problem you are interested in, what could happen if the problem is not resolved, your proposed solution and the benefits of the solution. The video entry should be creative, have vitality and energy, and do your best to emphasize new methods and insights. The video should be a novel presentation while telling a compelling story. The video entry should also deliver a clear and understandable message using non-technical language as it would be intended to reach an audience of all ages and levels of knowledge.


Be Creative!

You should be creative in how you create the video. This does not have to be done with a professional camera and editing software. You can use a phone or table to record your video.  Some basic/free video editing software/apps are available: consider trying iMovie, PowerDirector, VivaVideo, KineMaster, Splice, or try one you already have.

  • QUALITY CONTROL: When done recording, you should watch your video and make sure it is of decent quality, and that all people speaking can be heard. Past video submission have been very creative but have had too much background noise and people speaking could not be heard.
  • The videos will be put on Professor Macon’s YouTube channel. The video format must be one of the following:  .MOV,  .MPEG4, .MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, .3GPP, .WebM
  • You will submit your finished videos to Professor Macon. The best way to share is to use your OneDrive account provided through Atlas or using a Dropbox account you may already have. Watch this tutorial video on how to share with OneDrive.
  • Submission Deadline for ALL topics is Friday November 4th

Keep in mind this is an opportunity for you and your friends to learn about current issues and explore them together.  Have fun, learn something, and be creative; and win some cool prizes!

If you have any questions, please contact Professor Brian Macon: