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TechTV launches with 'Tech Video Showcase'

Images of the 2.007 design contest, working on a housing redevelopment plan for New Orleans or building a nacho-cheese fountain in a dorm could all be winners among videos MIT students will enter in the Tech Video Showcase, a contest that will use a new offering at the Institute: MIT TechTV, a YouTube-like pilot web site currently under development.

Students should submit short videos about science and engineering that are fun, informative or inspiring. The first 100 contestants who submit a video will receive a $5 coupon to Anna's Taqueria or Dunkin' Donuts. Any enrolled MIT student may enter the contest by registering at the contest web site,

Dean of Engineering Thomas L. Magnanti will present "TechAdemy Awards" to the contest winners on May 17. Individuals and teams that submit the top-placing entries will receive prizes, along with others who will receive honorable mentions.

Magnanti stressed that the contest is more about fun than production values. "Students shouldn't be concerned with making their videos look polished--they can use their digital cameras and even their cell phones to shoot video. It's the quality of the content that is important."

Also under development is the first web "channel" on MIT TechTV. That channel will focus on generating interest in science and engineering among seventh- through ninth-graders nationwide, particularly girls and underrepresented minorities.

Sponsored by the School of Engineering, the contest began on April 10 with a kickoff event in the Mezzanine Lounge. Contestants will be able to upload their videos to the TechTV web site as soon as it goes into "soft launch" on April 20; the deadline for submissions is midnight on Monday, May 14. MIT TechTV will be an interactive web site for uploading and viewing multimedia by students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the MIT community--particularly videos about science, engineering and technology.

The MIT community is invited to go to the MIT TechTV web site to view and vote on the contest entries. These votes, along with those of a panel of judges, will determine the winners, who will be announced at the TechAdemy Awards ceremony.

The School of Engineering, in partnership with Academic Media Production Services, is sponsoring the Tech Video Showcase. For more information on the contest, go to

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 11, 2007 (download PDF).

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