Food Science in Action Competition

The Journal of Food Science Education (JFSE) aims to develop a rich video library of foundational food science resources for K–12 STEM educators through its Food Science in Action competition.

The Journal of Food Science Education (JFSE) aims to develop a rich video library of foundational food science resources for K–12 STEM educators through its Food Science in Action competition. Each year, they invite food science professionals to make a short video around a specific theme, and the winners receive a cash prize and recognition at the IFT Annual Event and Food Expo.  
Studies show that children who learn about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at a young age tend to pursue these fields as their profession. Video can be a great teaching tool in today’s classroom, enhancing an educator’s repertoire by engaging students to show them how food science and technology work. 

Congratulations to the 2020 Winners!

  • First place: “Natural Color Conundrum” by Nicholas F. Reitz, PhD candidate at University of California, Davis
  • Second place: “Best if Used Before, Sell By, Use By—What's the Difference?” by Morgan Whitecotton, R&D Scientist at General Mills
  • Third place: “Understanding the New Nutrition Facts Label” by Meera Patel, Leila Shinn, Nick Hamdi, and Shatabdi Goon, from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The 2020 theme was “Serious Ink: Know What's on Your Food Label!” Watch all 11 accepted videos from this year’s contest below or on our YouTube Channel.


The Food Science In Action contest ended in 2020. Thanks to all who participated over the 6 years of the contest. We encourage you to keep making creative, educational, multimedia content about the science of food!

About the Contest

Videos should be 1–5 minutes in length and show an experiment or demonstration teaching science through food. A complete materials and equipment list must be included at the end of the video. 

Submission deadline: Monday, May 11th, 2020.

Creativity: Video submissions should use creative and original approaches to convey the message. Videos may be live action, animation, or a combination, and should be created especially for this contest. 

Tone: Video submissions should be creative, fun, entertaining, and portray food science in a positive manner. 

Production Quality:

  1. Audio quality – dialogue should be easy to understand.
  2. Visual quality – visual effects should enhance the message.
  3. Editing should be smooth and coherent. Captioning for ADA compliance is encouraged. 

Accuracy: Video content must be scientifically accurate. If relevant, include appropriate references in the credits. The judges will evaluate all videos for scientific content and veracity. 

Audience: Videos should be geared to the education level of one of these 3 audience categories:

  • Elementary School (K–5)  
  • Middle School (6–8) 
  • High School & Beyond (9–12, Higher Education) 

Other criteria: 

  • The competition is open to anyone. Individual or team submissions are permitted. Team videos should be submitted only once by a designated team lead. Prizes are awarded to the winning individual or team lead (to be shared by the team). There is no limit on the number of unique submissions per individual or team. 
  • For students creating and submitting videos, faculty input is encouraged. 
  • Videos should be newly created for the competition, not previously published online. 
  • Complete the submission form and video upload. Please name your video file like this: LastName_VideoTitle
  • Entries may not include unsuitable content; obscenity (e.g., FCC violations and similar); disparagement; defamation; pornography; harassment; racial, ethnic, or sexual slurs; other offensive conduct or material, or otherwise include inappropriate or unlawful content. What constitutes inappropriate content will be determined at IFT's discretion. 
  • Any content sourced from existing materials (i.e., not created by the submitter) must follow copyright laws. 
  • By participating in the competition, you fully and unconditionally agree to and accept these rules and the decisions of IFT, which are final and binding in all matters related to the competition. Whether or not you receive a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth in these rules. The competition is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and is void where prohibited by law. Videos will not be judged if any of the above eligibility criteria are not met.

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of JFSE Editors for scientific accuracy and basic quality standards. Feedback from the Editors will be sent to submitters whose videos are not accepted. Accepted videos will be posted to IFT's YouTube channel. 

The judges will review all submissions for acceptance/rejection, and will choose the top three (3) accepted videos based on the criteria above.  

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless IFT and its employees, directors, and agents as to any claims relating to the submission or use of the submission of the videos submitted. 

IFT and its employees, officers, directors, agents, contractors, representatives, affiliates, divisions, sections, and/or advertising/promotion agencies (the "Released Parties") shall not assume any responsibility whatsoever for any of the following: delayed, failed, partial or garbled computer transmissions; technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to, lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, internet, or other connections; the availability, accessibility, technical failure or miscommunication of computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions; the incorrect or inaccurate capture or failure to capture information whether caused by YouTube or YouTube users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the competition; errors of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, network or otherwise arising out of or relating to the competition; theft, loss, destruction or damage to an Entry in whole or in part; and other factors beyond their reasonable control. The Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to your or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating in the competition. 

Except where prohibited, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these rules, or the rights and obligations of the participant and IFT in connection with the competition, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Illinois, or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Illinois. The venue for any dispute arising under these Rules shall be the state or federal courts located in Chicago, Illinois. 

All videos submitted shall remain your property, but by entering the contest, you grant the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) irrevocable and perpetual royalty-free consent to reproduce, distribute, adapt, modify, or use your submission for promotional purposes. By submitting a video, you consent to allow IFT to use all or part of your submission in any form and media, including, but not limited to, the IFT website, YouTube, electronic media, audio and/or video, and waive any right to approve such distribution. By entering this contest, you and any other people featured in the video agree to all terms listed above and that your video may be used at the discretion of IFT.