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Making Documentary: Videos from 2018 science writing graduate students

Billiard balls in waves like quantum particles

Learn about how the earth got its oxygen, about supercooling atoms…and how to dye eggs.

Each spring, the students in our graduate program in science writing take part in 21W.752 “Making Documentary: Audio, Video, and More”. In it, they collaborate to produce short non-linear documentaries, of the kind you would see in everything from NOVA segments to online how-to’s to a research hospital’s announcement of a breakthrough treatment.

This semester, students in the course (including a few students from elsewhere at MIT) produced the five videos below with the help of Boston-based videographer Stephen McCarthy. We hope you enjoy them, and you can check out other recent videos from “Making Documentary” on the Graduate Program in Science Writing’s Youtube channel.

A “process” video produced by Ashley Junger, Kelsey Tsipsis, Fatima Husain, and Heather Mongilio.

Produced by Ashley Junger, Heather Mongilio, Kelsey Tsipis, and Fatima Husain.

Written and directed by Michael Greshko, Sarah Schwartz and Mohammed Ghassemi.

Studying the quantum world of subatomic particles and the forces that govern their behavior has proven difficult for even our most powerful supercomputers. But at Harvard University’s Greiner Lab, a team of physicists have come up with a way to simulate these particles with ultra-cold atoms. Step inside their lab to see the organized chaos of their quantum simulator up close and understand how their work could help us to unlock new, better materials by understanding the physics of the world around us.

Written and produced by Ying Gao, Anzet du Plessis, and Frankie Schembri.

Robots are the best tools we have to explore the unknown depths of our oceans, though they lack the smarts to discover things on their own. But what if you could build a whole fleet of curious robots? Writing, directed, and produced by Laura Castañón, Timothy James Dimacali, Lochie Ferrier, and Tristan Honscheid.

Andrew Whitacre
Written by
Andrew Whitacre

Andrew directs the communications efforts for CMS/W and Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College.

This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.

Andrew Whitacre Written by Andrew Whitacre