The place for high school scientists & filmmakers to shine

GreenSparks aims to spark high school students’ interest around environmental issues. It brings Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned environmental science to classrooms to understand first-hand what themes, topics and ideas excite them. GreenShorts encourages students to tell environmental stories through short films.

Students get creative with our annual short film competition and learn environmental science. Teachers get ready. We’re launching free educational web modules soon.


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High school students showcase environmental short films in virtual contest

Dave Farina of “Professor Dave Explains,” a YouTube channel that aims to increase science literacy and has a following of 812k subscribers, moderated the ceremony. “You persisted through the transition to online learning and the civil unrest we are experiencing in our country right now.” Farina said in his opening remarks. “You have all become…

The Intersection of Environmental Science and Filmmaking

Students get creative with our annual short film competition, GreenShorts, showcasing the best student-produced environmental films from southern California and Louisiana.  This year, we hosted the fourth annual GreenShorts competition, June 11, 2020.   To get a sense of the spectacular films young students submit, check out this year’s winning films on YouTube.

Submitted films are judged by a distinguished panel of film industry experts including: 

Mark Cappellano, Director, Skyscrape Foundation

Wendy Milette: Director, Media Arts Education at The MY HERO Project

Janice Min, Media Executive

Ted Richane, Director, Engagement & Impact at Vulcan Productions

Jesse Sisgold, President and COO, Skydance Media

Whitney Weibel, Expert in Environmental Education and Communication


Southern California

Southern California

An environmental short film contest for high school students in Southern California

Learn more


An environmental short film contest for high school students in Louisiana

Learn more

Greenshorts Mentor Program: Pairing UCLA and high school students

High School students are invited to join the GreenShorts mentoring project. Get paired with a UCLA mentor and work with experts on developing your film. Students will expand their science network and improve their skills in filmmaking. Students can sign up individually or as a group. All group members must submit an application. Groups will be partners with one UCLA mentor. Our first event is November 16th from 9am-2pm at UCLA. Deadline is November 8th, 2019.

Call for Submissions

Video by 2018 winner Harlow Schuman

Learn Science

Curriculum modules on environmental science

Over the next two years, we will be drafting, refining and filming these modules, which will be presented on this website, free and accessible to anyone with internet access.

Coming in May 2020.

GreenSparks in the IoES magazine

greenshorts awards high school environmental filmmakers

GreenShorts awards high school environmental filmmakers

The event, which was held at the James Bridges Theater on campus in Westwood, recognized top short films in five categories out of more than than 70 entries from high school students from across Southern California.  Winners were chosen by an all-star panel of judges including Netflix director of content acquisition Colin Morawski, Rachel Kropa,…

l.a. students get an environmental filmmaking debut

L.A. students get an environmental filmmaking debut

It might be time for an update. In 2016, two-thirds of Americans wield video-equipped smartphones capable of telling vivid stories, from street protests to Snapchat. And 15 minutes may be more attention than people can spare, as an explosion of digital information fills our social media feeds each day. Enter GreenShorts, an environmental film contest…