This spring Maggie Hartman, M.S. student in the Lamp Lab, entered the Campus-Level Three-Minute Thesis competition and won! Maggie says distilling her thesis, ‘Dragons on the farm: A novel approach to determining dragonfly diet in agroecosystems', into a 3-minute video for a public audience was an interesting challenge.
Choose "read more" to find out more about Maggie’s initial interest in the competition, her approached to the task, her initial “shock” to have won and what’s next for her and her competitors.
Was it challenging explaining your thesis into just 3 minutes?
It was such an interesting challenge to explain my research in three minutes because you essentially need to include highlights on everything from intro to discussion. This means you need to be judicious with how much time each section gets. I also knew some areas were more important than others. For instance, I could have easily spent two whole minutes on the intro but that would've only left me with one minute for methods, results and discussion. It was certainly a puzzle to try and fit everything into approximately 400 words!
What made you interested in competing?
I have known about the 3MT for a few years and I love the idea. They are short, sweet and fun to watch. It is also a bit of a performance which appealed to me. It isn't just WHAT you say but also HOW you say it. Sam Ramsey was definitely an inspiration to me when I was prepping. His talk is fantastic!
How do you feel being named one of the winners?
It is an honor that the judges chose me! Not going to lie, I am shocked I made it this far in the competition! I don't have strong results yet, so I was worried that would reflect poorly. Then again, I knew I stood a chance because people love dragonflies and poop (it's true!) so the subject was compelling enough to override my lack of results.
Does this mean you will go on to compete against other Universities? What are your thoughts about that?
I am actually not sure if all six winners go on to the next level of competition. What I do know is we will record again in the summer using professional equipment supplied by the university. At that point we may find out if some winners advance to the next level. The idea of advancing is scary and awesome!