Comvita® Science Challenge

Sociable science wins top prize - Students break down information barriers to natural health

New to YouTube, the winning Comvita® Science Challenge video entry, Omegamation, did what some would find surprising – it made an entertaining link between fish* and the human ability to form connections.

Challenged with creating a short video that explains the science behind some of nature’s healthiest foods, Jacob Monash, Tessa Monash, and Carlos Espinoza Tapia took out the $5,000 prize, successfully showing how Omega 3 promotes healthy brain activity in a fun clip relevant to all viewers – not just those in lab coats.

Click here to see the winning clip and runner-up:

One of the barriers to natural health is that the science is not understood.  Unfortunately, this means that people don’t benefit from the health enhancing properties of foods right at their fingertips,

said Dr. Ralf Schlothauer, Chief Technology Officer at Comvita®.

“That’s why we challenged Auckland University students to present a short clip that makes the science behind the wellness properties of natural foods relevant to general consumers.”

Omegamation was the clear winner with a 10 point margin.  Tapping into our human need to be sociable, the Omegamation clip highlighted the role Omega 3 plays in creating more connections in the brain and the health effects.

[FROM CLIP: Okay, so in your body there are cells called neurons that communicate information.  On these calls are little arms called neurites that pass messages from neuron to neuron.  The more neurites there are, the more messages can exchange and more sociable neurons lead to better functioning minds and bodies.  So keep those neurons sociable by giving them enough Omega 3 a day for a healthy and more active brain.]

“We were really impressed with the Omegamation clip.  It was professional, had a very clear message that was easy to understand and it grabs your attention.  It was snappy, catchy and cool,” said the judges.

Winner Jacob Monash and his team were looking for an opportunity like the challenge when calls for entries went out: “We really enjoyed the challenge of presenting information in a way that everyone can grasp it.   With Omegamation we took a solid analogy that everyone could get and made that the basis of our story.”

About the Science Challenge:

The Science Challenge was a joint initiative run by Comvita®, the University of Auckland, and the student initiative CHIASMA, and judged by Nikki Bezzant (food writer and founding editor of the Healthy Food Guide); Peter Griffin (founding manager of the Science Media Centre and former Technology Editor of the New Zealand Herald); Brett Hewlett (CEO of Comvita®); Dr Ralf Schlothauer (Chief Technology Officer of Comvita®);  Kerry Loomes (Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry within the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland) and Dick Bellamy (microbiologist and molecular biologist and the former Dean of Science at the University of Auckland).

Entrants could choose from Manuka Honey, Broccoli, Propolis, Omega 3, Olive Leaf Complex and  GreenTea as the Natural food subject for their clip.

* Fish refers to Omega 3
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