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Video Aims to Answer "What is NIST?" Visual Text Description

Visually Impaired Transcript for "NIST Illustrated"
(NIST Overview Video)

VISUAL: Fade up from black to white screen. Artist's hand draws NIST logo and words "National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce."

Narrator: Most people think of NIST as a federal laboratory that only works to improve measurements, but its true central mission is to enable innovation.

VISUAL: NIST logo and words disappear from right side of screen. Artist's hand appears and writes the words "HOW DOES A MEASUREMENT AGENCY SUPPORT INNOVATION?"

Narrator: But how does a measurement agency support innovation?

VISUAL: Words disappear. Artist's hand appears and draws man wearing safety goggles measuring cylinder with caliper device.

Narrator: Well, if you know how to measure something then you can begin to think about how to design it ...

VISUAL: Artist's hand draws conveyor belt with press above it. As press strikes belt, it leaves a new cylinder.

Narrator: to build it ... and to make it better.

VISUAL: Cylinder gets small and goes to center of screen. Around it, artist's hand draws a turbine. Finished turbine gets smaller and artist's hand draws jet engine and then entire plane around it. Plane "takes off" and leaves screen.

Narrator: And these capabilities really are the essence of technological innovation.

VISUAL: Artist's hand draws kitchen with appliances, father at table feeding his infant son and mother at cabinets. Measurements related to the appliances pop onto the screen.

Narrator: Measurements permeate every aspect of our lives ...

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws auto assembly line with robot attaching body to chassis. Measurement related to the process pops onto the screen.

Narrator: ... from how we make things ...

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws jar of peanut butter. Measurement related to the label on jar pops onto the screen.

Narrator: ... to how we sell things ...

VISUAL: As peanut butter jar moves to left of screen, artist's hand draws pharmacist sorting pills under a chemical formula. Pharmacy-related measurements pops onto the screen.

Narrator: ... to how we regulate things.

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws a doctor's office with a doctor, a mother and a sick child.

Narrator: And NIST measurements give us a way to know we can trust this system to be accurate.

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws different components of a cell phone, then surrounds each part so that it appears to be a puzzle piece.

Narrator: Today, the technologies that are most important to us are not single, stand-alone technologies. They are actually systems of technologies that need to work with each other.

VISUAL: Puzzle pieces come together to form a whole cell phone, then the phone gets smaller and the artist's hand draws a woman holding the phone.

Narrator: And how they work together is defined through standards.

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws icons representing different industries surrounding the NIST logo at the center. As NIST's coordination with government is mentioned, the artist's hand adds an image of the U.S. Capitol, then connects all of the icons on the screen to the NIST logo.

Narrator: In the United States, standards-setting is led by industry, but NIST plays a critical role in supporting, defining, and fostering that effort, and coordinating it with the federal government.

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws icons of clocks and other timepieces surrounding a radio tower with the NIST logo on it. The timepieces all show different times. When the tower sends out a signal, all of the clocks change to the same time.

Narrator: NIST's role among technical agencies is unique in many ways.

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws three NIST researchers and their experiments -- one each from the 1900s, the 1960s, and the 2000s.

Narrator: Over our long history we have cultivated deep scientific roots that cut across a whole range of disciplines.

VISUAL: Images of the three researchers move to left side of screen. On right side, artist's hand draws an energy-efficient home with a modern windmill next to it. The image is labeled "Today."

Narrator: Having such strong and varied scientific expertise, without being a regulatory agency, is what allows us to work so closely with such a broad spectrum of industries and other government agencies.

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws five NIST staff on a platform high above five industry people. As NIST collaborations are described, the platform is lowered until the NIST people and the industry people are on an equal level and shake hands. Above them, the phrase "Collaboration → Innovation" appears.

Narrator: And NIST cooperates with similar organizations around the world to make sure that the system of measurements we use here works on a global scale.

VISUAL: On clear screen, artist's hand draws map of the world and marks capitals in different countries. At the bottom, the artist's hand draws a set of seven rulers of different heights. As standardization of measurement is mentioned, the rulers all change to the same height.

Narrator: So when you think of innovation—think of any technology around you—the odds are that NIST played an essential role in making that happen.

VISUAL: Artist's hand draws icons of various technologies, devices and systems.

VISUAL: Icons disappear from screen. They are replaced by the NIST logo and words "National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce." The artist's hand draws four NIST staff behind the logo and then the Web address below it.

VISUAL: Fade to black

Created May 28, 2013, Updated January 3, 2017