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Video Project Instructions
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The video collection project 


Also: see Oded Kindermann's "Introduction to the Video Collection Project" on YouTube


Submission Requirements

Submission forms:   

Digital media formats of .mov or .mp4 are preferred.

The topic(s) must be within the domain of accepted science.

The following written information must be supplied when you notify Oded Kindermann that your video is finished: 

  • Contact information for those producing the video

  • Identification of video format

  • Description of what is included on the video, i.e. the concept(s) and length(s);

    The audience (student or general, proposed grade level) and learning level (normal, advanced, or slow learners);

    The situation for which the lesson is intended, i.e. planetarium, classroom, observatory session, or other space; and

    Preparation of the students: What have they studied before this lesson? Is this an introduction to this topic?

  • A statement saying that you release the content of your video for use by the IPS. IPS will share the video under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license, which means it (1) can be shared or redistributed, (2) can be remixed, transformed, and built upon and (3) cannot be used for any commercial purpose (i.e. others cannot make a profit from it).

  • Oded’s email is

Quality is important. 

  • Voice(s) should be clear, enthusiastic, well-paced and uninterrupted

  • The video should be clear, bright, and always showing something, such as a face, models, the sky (i.e. no dark scenes or disembodied voices)

  • The focus should be held on a face or model for a reasonable time (i.e. no super-quick pans back and forth).
    Although a script is not necessary, we suggest that you practice to make your presentation smooth without long pauses.

  • A music background probably will be distracting, so it is advisable not to have one, unless it has a special purpose in the lesson.

  • Inevitably, a few small glitches will occur. That is all right. Remember that this is not a show production, but a video of a teaching situation that should be helpful to others.

The recording may be in any language, but please supply a written translation in English. Either we will place captions of key points at the bottom of the video screen, or you may add the captions yourself.

Go to: A discussion about pedagogy

Go to: Suggested Topics for Video Presentations

A quick tutorial on how to produce a video

You can produce the video yourself, or, if you feel your skills aren’t up to the task, then perhaps you can collaborate with your school’s IT department or media class for assistance. This would provide a learning opportunity for your school as well.

If you’re at a university planetarium or with a museum or large facility, check with your marketing department to see if videos are within their ability. University communication departments (or videography classes or something similar) also would be a place to check.

For smaller stand-alone sites and portable planetariums not associated with a large facility, your local school district would be the place to check.

General hints and help:

Introduce yourself and your topic at the beginning of your video presentation. You can record your presentation in the planetarium or an alternate location if you feel the conditions are better.

In order to avoid “talking heads,” have some close ups of the person presenting. Try to include short video clips of things pertinent to your topic. For example, these could be NASA photos, equipment, books you use, etc. Be aware of copyright law if using protected material. Make sure you have consent if you are photographing students or others.

You can later edit these video clips together to make a smooth presentation. Don’t forget to narrate the video clips so they will flow together smoothly after editing. If possible, use a microphone while recording. Poor audio greatly reduces the quality of your presentation.

When recording any video, start the recording a few seconds before you start talking. When finished, leave a few seconds at the end. This will make it easier to edit and the blanks can be removed during editing.

When your video has been recorded, use an editing application so you can cut and paste clips together in the order you want and eliminate unwanted scenes. There are many free editors available, even for your smart phone.

You can do several things to improve the quality of your video:

  • Use a tripod, beanbag, or flat surface to stabilize your recording device. If your camera has image stabilization, make sure it is on.

  • Make sure you have plenty of light in the location you choose for recording (unless you are using an infrared recording device in low light, of course). You might be able to use an overhead projector or similar equipment as a light source if you do not have photo lamps.

  • Pick a quiet environment. If there is an interruption, simply re-record that portion.

If you’re using a phone camera:

Turn your camera on its side to capture the video in a horizontal, rather than vertical, format. Be sure to use the rear high definition camera on your phone to capture the best quality.

In addition to a beanbag or tripod stabilization, there also are “selfie sticks” that have camera holders that unscrew and can be mounted on a tripod with your camera. Do an online search for sources.

Stay close (within 6 feet) of your subject when recording, as this will improve both audio and video quality.

Most phone cameras have a digital zoom feature that is activated by spreading or pinching the image on the screen. Zooming in actually reduces the quality of your image, so try to minimize its use.

Using a camcorder or digital camera:

Before recording, turn on image stabilization if your device provides it. As with all methods, use a tripod or other device to reduce camera movement.

Select the 1080 video resolution on your camera before recording your video. Cameras often provide several resolutions from which to choose, i.e. 460, 720, 1080. If you do not have 1080, select the highest available resolution.

Consider using a microphone during your recording to improve the audio quality, if your camera is equipped for one.

Optical zoom lenses (as opposed to just a digital zoom feature) can be very helpful, particularly when your subject is some distance from the camera. However, try to avoid excess zooming, as this quickly can become a distraction. Use a slow, steady zoom rather than a quick zoom. Optical zoom lenses do not reduce the quality of your video like digital zooms do.

How to submit your video (there are 3 ways):

1. If the video is less than 15 mb, it can be emailed directly to Oded at

2. You also may mail the video on a thumb or flash drive to Sharon Shanks, 484 Canterbury Lane, Boardman Ohio USA 44512-1719, and include your submission information.

3. Or, if you prefer, you can submit the video through YouTube. Go to and click “sign in” if you need an account. Go to to learn how to use YouTube.

If you would like to add closed captions, YouTube will convert them to any one of 60 other languages that may be selected by the viewer. You write the captions, upload them to YouTube, select your previously-uploaded video file and merge the captions. Refer to the following for instructions for captioning:

YouTube will generate a url for your video. Please copy and email the url to Oded to let him know the video is available. This also is the time to send to him the submission requirements (see beginning of this text).

An IPS Education Committee panel will review the video, and Oded or Sharon will let you know if the video has been accepted.

The video will be uploaded to the IPS Education Committee’s Channel and linked to from the IPS Website.

Graphics from

Updated: 5/2017

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