Advanced Video Camera and Editing

The Emmy-winning (NATAS-Heartland Chapter)

science video podcast series produced by CMCI students.

CU Science Update serves to make science learning fun and inspiring. The series fosters Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education efforts on the CU campus and in the Boulder community. We serve to support scientific literacy in people of all ages.

Take a look at the trailer that explains what CU Science Update is all about

Click to see episodes of CU Science Update on our YouTube channel:

What we do

To promote science literacy and foster Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education efforts; showcase scientific research and education on the CU Boulder campus and surrounding Boulder community. Make science fun and inspiring to a broad audience. 

Show Format:

 ~15-minute (averages about 20 minutes) a video podcast shot entirely in the field, consisting of a host(s) and packages that are combined with animations. The show structure typically includes following elements:

  • Opening Title
  • Host segment – introduces the topic, provides background
  • Video package about topics that feed into the main topic
  • More of the host tossing to new packages
  • Final host segment with final thoughts about the topic
  • End credits


Some positions may be shared, for example, 2 reporters, 2 hosts.

  • Producer – researches subject, writes, sets and enforces deadlines
  • Host – researches and writes scripts, appears on camera in relevant locations.
  • Field Reporter – researchers, sets up interviews, acquires supplemental video, scripts
  • Field Photographer – assists the reporter, gathers coverage and additional footage, lights and shoots interviews, edits.
  • Editor(s) – assembles segments, adds effects and graphics, music (faculty adviser may lend a hand in helping to create the final version of the show). 


Background Need

Scientific and technological issues dominate the national discourse, but many people are incapable of understanding beyond the headlines. The number of Americans who are scientifically literate is distressingly low. Scholars estimate the numbers to be fewer than 7% of adults, 22% of college graduates, and 26% of those with graduate degrees.

Even with a college degree the average American is not scientifically literate. At George Mason University, fully half of the seniors who filled out a scientific literacy survey couldn't correctly identify the difference between an atom and a molecule. According to the National Science Foundation's annual polling, 50 percent of the general public don't know that Earth moves around the Sun. There's a similar 50 percent who think Earth is 6,000 years old.

People ask what the practical application is for scientific research. The most fascinating things about science are the ideas, and the uplifting spirit of discovery. Reaching out to the public involves trying to generate a sense of awe and wonder about the Universe. But to get people receptive to that awe involves a bit of work.

Make it Relevant

The big mistake science educators make is to assume that students are interested in what they have to say. One has to find a hook. For example, the big interest in biology is evolution. However, half of Americans don't believe in evolution. Evolution may baffle people because it's not within their direct experience, such as grasping the immensity of geological time.

Another example includes the theories of Einstein and quantum mechanics, which seems much further from what the human brain is set up to comprehend. There are certain things people will never have an intuitive understanding about because it's so counter-intuitive and one-step removed from our direct experience.