University of Leicester Medical students’ finger puppet video wins national award

Posted by pt91 at May 21, 2012 10:05 AM |
Top prize for students’ digital video

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 May 2012

A team of medical students from the University of Leicester have walked away with top prize in a national competition.

The team from the University took part in the inaugural Box Office Bioethics competition run by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.  The competition invited teams of students in three age categories (School years 11 and below, Yrs 12 and 13, and undergraduate) to submit short videos on a bioethical theme. A Leicester team consisting of Sunjay Parmar, Dhawal Patel, Lewis Peake, Charlie Strachan and Jamie Thomson won in the undergraduate category for their film about Ethics and Public Health.

Using a combination of knitted finger puppets, vox pop interviews and questions via twitter, the students constructed their video around a current affairs programme called “Ethical debates”. Using this engaging format they tackled the ethics of public health interventions, such as the offering of financial incentives to smokers to help them quit and whether it is ever appropriate to make vaccination compulsory. Their winning film can be viewed by clicking here.

The video was originally produced in 2011 as an assessed task for the second year module Targeting Biochemical Knowledge to Medical Problems. The module is core for Medical Biochemists as well as being offered as an optional Student Selected Component (SSC) for medics.

Dr Chris Willmott, convenor of the module, introduced the video production task in 2008. “We wanted an assessed activity that would offer more opportunity for students to express their creativity than was afforded by more traditional essay writing” he said. “The students are only given minimal advice on film production and are provided with fairly basic equipment, so I am delighted that one of our teams has managed to win the Nuffield competition.”

Some of the videos and clips from previous years are also available by clicking here, including Dr Willmott’s favourite SCI: Scene of Crime Investigation Leicester about the forensic uses of DNA evidence.

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