The Science Communication Awards of the American Institute of Physics were established to recognize the best science writing in books; magazines and newspapers; works intended for children; and new media in order to improve the general public's appreciation of the physical sciences, astronomy, math, and related science fields.
Broadcast and New Media prize
The Broadcast and New Media prize goes to Jennifer Lauren Lee for "How to Build Your NIST D.I.Y. Watt Balance," published August 17, 2015 by NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory.
Her video’s comedic telling of redefining the kilogram won over the judges, who describe it as “an entertaining video infomercial that presents step-by-step instructions to build a watt balance using LEGO bricks and low-cost electronics.” They applaud Lee’s creativity because “redefining the world’s basic unit of mass is no easy task, and translating the concept into something playful and educational is worthy of an award.”
“The great thing about infomercials is that you can cram a lot of information into a small space, and it’s entertaining because the format is ridiculous,” Lee said. “Everything is designed to keep your attention -- every moment should be even more exciting than the last! Also, it was an organic fit: we really needed disclaimers about safety in a couple of places, and an ‘expert testimony’ section let us provide context about why watt balances are important right now.”