2021 Children's Science News - Gold

In the first of three award-winning segments, the Vox team uses the discovery of a bird’s nest on a porch swing as an opportunity to view hatchling robins closely and answer some important questions about bird life, including why the crowded nest is not eventually covered in bird poop. It turns out the newborns present their poop to their parents in convenient fecal sacs, which the adults gladly remove from the nest. The other segments on the secret history of dirt and the identification of clouds are equally captivating, the judges found. “These are engaging videos for adults as well as kids,” said judge Elizabeth Preston, a freelance science journalist. “I especially appreciated how observations of ordinary backyard robins became a broader investigation, and celebration, of bird behavior.” Geoffrey Kamadi, a science journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya, applauded the team’s “storytelling technique that will get any young mind interested in science.” Young viewers are asked, he said, “to take part in an activity, so they can experience and observe for themselves the difference between the humus-rich dirt and the opposite of that. And we all know how young people love to get involved in doing stuff.” The Vox team members said the award-winning videos “were part of an experiment for our team: to create explainers that are geared specifically toward kids ages 9 to 12. Focusing on tangible subjects that kids interact with across the globe—bird poop, dirt, and clouds—helped us keep our stories universal, educational, and fun.”