Events & Media

Jan. 27, 2014

Bren Students' Film to Screen at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

A documentary film created by three Bren School master’s students has been accepted into the 2014 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which runs from Jan. 30 through Feb. 9.

Where the Wonder Went, which explores how to make science education engaging and exciting for kids, will screen twice, on Feb. 2 and Feb. 6 at 10:00 a.m. at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Bren students Susan Dworsky (MESM 2013), Bryan Latchford (MESM 2013), and Casey O’Hara (MESM 2014) made the film as their final project for the “Green Screen” class they attended at the UCSB Carsey-Wolf Center during winter quarter 2013. Green Screen teaches students conceptual and technical skills needed to make a short film about an environmentally related subject.

Where the Wonder Went examines the current state of science education in schools and highlights exceptional local teachers from Monroe Elementary and Dos Pueblos High School, and the Bren School’s own Professor David Tilman.

“It is quite an honor to be involved in the festival,” O’Hara said. “As we were making the film, we never expected it to get this far.”

┬áThe idea behind the film arose from the producers’ common interest in improving science education and environmental communication in schools. During their time at Bren, Dworsky and Latchford were part of Smarty Pants, a five-member Eco-Entrepreneurship project dedicated to creating interactive environmentally focused lesson plans for science educators, and O’Hara was a high school science teacher prior to attending the Bren School.

“Our intent is to show that shifting away from abstract textbook learning and reconnecting science education to the built and natural worlds are crucial to exciting, engaging, and empowering the next generation of science stewards,” said Latchford.

“My hope is that our film will inspire teachers who see it to endeavor to make science relevant and fun both inside and outside the classroom,” Dworsky added.

Where the Wonder Went previously won the Audience Choice award at the 2013 Santa Barbara Digital Film Festival, but the films included in the Santa Barbara Film Festival’s documentary short category will not be judged.