Take apart a copier. Win a prize. Okay, that isn’t exactly how it works but that is how Bill Hammack, the “Engineer Guy,” won the first film festival at the Science Online conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Carin Bondar and Joanne Manaster hosted the festival, narrowing down the entries to 12 videos, which were then voted on by viewers. 

The winning video, Photocopier, is the tale of a man set out to take apart a copier and show you how it works. “This is one of my favorite pieces of engineering,” declared Hammack in the video. He takes apart the copier to gather the four key elements, and then explains how the pieces work together to make a copy. There’s also a brief cameo by Manaster at the end of the video. It’s a cute, scientific explanation of a piece of engineering quite a few of us use every day – and probably don’t think about too often.

Runners-up in the festival included a rap video (Large Hadron Rap) and a profile of a graduate student studying biodiversity (Researcher Profile: Kristin Aquilino). Other videos, out of the 12 frontrunners, are just as diverse, such as Don’t Drink the Bacteria, a funny black and white instructional video, and an interesting look into human history in Who Killed the Neanderthals? If you’re curious about the other entries, Manaster listed on her website here. She and Bondar are also on the lookout for new videos for the second film festival at Science Online 2012 (which will be held January 19-21), so get out your video cameras and start filming!

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