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2024 Middle School Winners

Invasive Species

An Ancient Invasion

Daniel Taich

Hawken Middle School Lyndhurst, OH

Daniel Taich is in the 8th grade at Hawken Middle School in Lyndhurst, Ohio. He learned about the World of 8 Billion video contest in his science class, and decided to submit his video because he “wanted to share what [he] learned with others” beyond his class. Before he created his video, Daniel didn’t know much about how invasive species and a growing human population were connected. As he researched, he found that invasive species, dispersed by human travel, do a lot of damage to the ecosystems they are introduced to.

He got the idea to do a stop motion video because he has experience making a lot of videos with LEGO sets for fun. Daniel wanted to combine this technique with a presentation format in order to create a unique approach to getting his message across. Daniel started his video by writing a script. Then he developed a plan of what each of the characters would do, set up the lighting, and built each scene by scratch using the LEGO set. After recording he used Adobe Premiere Pro to animate and edit his recording. Daniel shared that the most challenging part in creating his video was lip syncing all of the voice overs for his characters. He advises future contest participants to “plan and prepare everything before you start filming to help organize what you want to say.”

Even though Daniel has experience creating videos, this was the first time he has participated in a video competition. Recently, he won an award at summer camp in Woodshop and placed second in the Cleveland Model Show for his Vought F4U-1A Corsair model of a World War II plane. When he is not creating videos and models, Daniel runs cross country, swims, plays tennis, and practices the guitar. His Dad is one of the people who inspires him most because he helps a lot of people in his profession as a doctor. Daniel will save his prize money for the future where he is planning on going to college and becoming a software engineer.

An Ancient Invasion

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