Four Georgia Regents University students have earned a national award in an American Physiological Society video competition.
The students won Best Video for "Hillbilly Hypoglycemia," an original video about a person suffering from hypoglycemia. Science majors Michael Ridlehoover, Alexis Wren and Zachary Minter starred in and produced the video, and Trent Arant, a freshman TV/cinema major, filmed, directed and edited the piece.
Ridlehoover, Wren and Minter will be recognized during the 2013 Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Boston from April 20-22. The team received a $750 prize and could win an additional $250 if their video captures the most online views.
Video entries had to present an aspect of physiology in a manner the general public could understand. The winning short film "Hillbilly Hypoglycemia" explains the cellular mechanism of insulin uptake in general terms.
"This video provides an insight to what actually occurs in the human body with the physiological disorder hypoglycemia," said Minter, a senior chemistry major. "The scenario represented the binding of insulin and the results of the insulin signal, along with some added humor to make an educational video enjoyable."
They decided to participate in the competition to earn extra credit in their Fall 2012 Endocrinology class, said Wren, a junior chemistry major.
"I had seen a ton of his (Trent Arant's) videos and knew how talented he was," Wren said. "I was pretty positive that if we could come up with a good concept and script, that Trent could make us an amazing video. Once we got together and started filming, Trent gave us a lot of great insight, such as what angles would look cool, what kind of shots would really make it stand out and how to act."
In the video, two "hillbillies" are fishing, and one of them loses consciousness and is taken to the hospital. He learns that he has hypoglycemia, and the doctor explains what the diagnosis means. Arant, an aspiring director of photography, has completed many music videos for local bands, football videos for local high schools and short films, which he posts on You Tube for ad revenue.
"I'm extremely excited. I've won a few awards before, but it was nothing nationally ranked," Arant said. "This is definitely one of the biggest things that I've done. This is definitely going to open up some doors for me, letting people know that I have won something nationally, especially something for educational purposes."
In addition, the science majors will have their work published by the American Physiological Society. They have been asked to write a classroom activity about the portion of the video that describes the mechanism of insulin uptake by cells. This written activity will be published in the peer-reviewed APS Archive of Teaching Resources for use by high-school science teachers across the country, allowing students to actively learn about how insulin works in the body, said Ridlehoover, a senior biology major.
"We are extremely excited about the opportunity to present our work in Boston. This video started out as a class project, and now we are being recognized nationally at a large research meeting. So it's definitely more than we expected, but I'm glad our work has paid off and that lots of people are going to see our video as a result," Ridlehoover said.
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