Students take a moonshot as part of new Telescope competition

We all know UO students are stellar, and now they’re reaching for the stars to prove it.

Teams of students are taking part in a new competition to bring astrophysics down to earth by challenging their ability to convert a complex bit of research into an interesting, and understandable, digital presentation. Known as Telescope, the contest will bring together students from all sorts of backgrounds in a project aimed at bringing science to visual life.

The contest begins Thursday, April 16, when teams will be told what chunk of astrophysics they have to explain, known as the prompt. After that, they have four days to come up with a digital presentation that lays out that research in a visually compelling way.

The sky’s the limit in how they do that. Team members will have a range of expertise; their backgrounds might be in project development, digital design, videography, geographic information systems, creative writing or science.

Students with any major were invited to sign up. They will compete in five-person teams, and the winners will receive a cash prize.

Also, each team will have a science mentor and access to a design mentor. The four days are up April 19, when the teams will present their projects to a panel of judges.

The idea for the contest was a collaborative effort of the Venture Dept., the Emerald Media Group’s creative agency, and the UO physics department. Monica Sagowitz, Venture’s director of project management, said the idea ultimately came from Tyler Rogers, the group’s creative director, and he was inspired by his astronomy class.

“…[W]e created this four-day-long competition where interdisciplinary students would come together to then make something that would better the campus as a whole,” Sagowitz said.

For more information, visit the Telescope website.