Winners of the Life at the Frontiers of Energy Research Video Contest

As part of the Science for Our Nation’s Energy Future: Energy Frontier Research Centers Summit & Forum,the 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) were invited to create short, engaging films that educate, inspire, and entertain an intelligent but not expert audience about the extraordinary science, innovation and people in their centers.

Twenty-six teams took up the challenge, and submitted highly creative and informative videos in a wide range of styles.  The Office of Science is pleased to announce the five winning videos:

“Excited About Excitons”for outstanding portrayal of young scientists
Center for Excitonics led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Heart of the Solution - Energy Frontiers” for exemplary explanation of the role of an Energy Frontier Research Center
Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion led by the University of Michigan
People's Choice Award Winner
“Light Matters” for striking photography and visual impact
Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion led by the California Institute of Technology
“Carbon in Underland” for entertaining animation and engaging explanations of carbon sequestration
Center for Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Battle against phonons” - Special Award: Best with popcorn
Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

You can see all of the entries here:


The video that received the most votes from the public between April 22, 2011 to 5:00 p.m. EST on May 24th 2011 was given the People’s Choice Award. All the winning videos were shown and the video teams honored on-stage by the judges at the EFRC Summit on May 25th 2011.  In addition, two members from each of the winning teams selected by the judges enjoyed a free trip to the EFRC Summit & Forum.

The five winning videos were selected by an illustrious panel of judges that included:

  • Paula Apsell, Senior Executive Producer, NOVA, and Director of the WGBH Science Unit
  • William Phillips, National Institutes of Standards and Technology Fellow and recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Ivan Amato, senior communications officer in the Pew Health Group of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and author of the books Stuff: The Materials The World Is Made Of and Super Vision: A New View of Nature.

For more information about the Energy Frontier Research Centers program, visit the official website. All the videos can be viewed at