2023 High School Winners
St Paul's Girls' School London, England
Lara Orlandi is in the 11th grade (year 12) at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in London, England. She was looking for a contest about sustainability since environmental science is not a subject offered to high school students in the UK. She became interested in responsible production and consumption with a growing global population after doing a project on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Lara had an overall picture of the social and environmental impacts of population growth, but did not know how it related to food waste in particular. When talking about the research for creating her video she said, “it made me more hopeful by watching other people’s solutions and how to mitigate challenges and create solutions to impact the future.”
Lara had some exposure to making videos in class, but she has never created a video with animation before this contest. She navigated a lot of tutorials on YouTube and said it was extremely rewarding to create a video using the new skills she acquired. Lara also read a lot of literature to get an overall picture of the issue and any current solutions before she began writing and filming her script. She found it difficult to communicate ideas within the time limit, in a way that was clear and understandable to a broad audience, but with the depth that was necessary to give the topic justice. Lara’s advice to future contest participants is to not “underestimate how much time the entire process will take. Spend more time up front creating the foundation and script and then the animation and other pieces will come together easier.” She also recommended focusing on something you are passionate about which will be helpful when you are explaining your topic.
After high school, Lara would like to attend university somewhere in the United States. She is interested in environmental science and art/art history, with a focus on addressing critical challenges for change. She loves art and science, and the role of technology and art. Lara was a 2022 finalist for the Science Without Borders contest that uses art to raise awareness for the need for ocean conservation. She shared that the artist Olafur Eliasson, who combines climate activism with beauty, inspires her because his work makes us “confront the way we treat the natural environment. We have a lot to learn from his art.” She plans on using some of her prize money to fund a future environmental project, get some new art supplies for the students in the art club that she runs, and save some of it for college.