BETHESDA, MD – The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is pleased to announce May Kyaw and Virginia Sun, seniors at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., as the first-place winners of its inaugural Teen Genes Video Challenge. Dhanya Mahesh, a junior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif.; Allie Evans, a senior at Marion County High School in Lebanon, Ky.; and Amee Kapadia, Selina Cheng, and Aaron Gu, juniors at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology received honorable mentions.
"The Teen Genes Video Challenge provides high school students an opportunity to choose a genetics topic that interests them and explore its significance, both in their own lives and for society more broadly," said Michael Dougherty, PhD, Director of Education for ASHG. "Much like our annual DNA Day Essay Contest, this contest allows students to show their creative side while celebrating the impact of science."
Entrants were asked to submit a 3-5 minute video describing any current application of genetics and explaining how it works. After the videos were reviewed for appropriateness, ASHG members were invited to view the entries and use a predetermined set of judging criteria to vote for a winner.
First-place winners Kyaw and Sun, whose video described research into the human microbiome and potential implications for health, will share a $1,500 monetary prize. In addition, they will participate in a video chat with Rick Guidotti, an award-winning former fashion photographer and founder of Positive Exposure. Honorable mention recipients, whose videos described varied topics such as crime scene investigation and approaches to ancestry testing, will each receive a $150 monetary prize.