First Place Winner in Video Contest on Mass Extinction

Katherine Selley and Catherine Knox’s “What Will Happen to Us?” won first place in the World of 7 Billion student video contest. The pair chose to connect population to the global challenge: “The world is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction.”

The video’s strength comes from its stellar script. Katherine and Catherine make a strong connection between population growth and species loss. Right away we hear that “as population skyrockets, so does our use of fossil fuels and our use of land.” The narrator explains that habitat destruction – due to ocean acidification, air pollution, toxic wastes, and more – is a major cause of the sixth mass extinction because many species cannot adapt to the changing landscapes. Arguably the most powerful part of the video is when we’re asked, “what will happen to us,” as images of individual people pop onto the screen. The video resonates with the audience as a result of this personal connection.

Both Katherine S. and Catherine K. are juniors at Broadneck High School in Annapolis, MD where they are also members of the Science National Honor Society. And while they created a video to fulfill an SNHS requirement, both were interested in biodiversity and extinction from their AP Environmental Science course when they learned about carrying capacity and ecological overshoot. To create the montage of photos and film clips the include everything from a spice market in Eritrea to urban areas of China to exotic animals of Costa Rica, they didn’t need to search too far. All of the images used in the film were originals from friends and family.

Want to see the other top videos on this topic?
Second Place – “The Sixth Mass Extinction” by Michael Kuroda
Honorable Mention – “Sixth Mass Extinction” by Angel Nkwonta
Honorable Mention – “Time to Change” by Prerana Pai
Honorable Mention – “We Did This to Ourselves” by Elizabeth Hwang

Want to participate in a future contest?
Interested in staying informed about next year’s contest? Visit the contest website today and download our free lesson plan to guide you.