The Anacapa School of Santa Barbara has earned first place in the student documentary division of the 2017 Raw Science Film Festival Competition with Ocean Health, a 10-minute film revealing the condition of oceans worldwide.

The Raw Science Film Competition honors U.S. and international films on science and technology.

Judges for the competition include representatives from the U.S. State Department, NASA’s JPL Curiosity Rover Flight Team, and the California Academy of Sciences.

The film screening and awards ceremony will take place Jan. 6 at Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theater.

This first-place finish marks Anacapa School’s first submission to the Raw Science Film Festival. Ocean Health is the culmination of Anacapa’s 2017 Synthesis Unit.

The student-produced film incorporates six core themes: garbage, over-fishing, habitat destruction, chemical pollution, warming and acidification.

Gordon Sichi, Anacapa head of school, praised the team of six teachers and their students for the award: “Such an excellent film truly represents the Anacapa experiential educational program at its best.”

The annual Anacapa Synthesis Unit is a signature element of the school’s innovative curriculum. The program exposes Anacapa students to some of the brightest minds and most talented experts from Santa Barbara and beyond, the school reports.

The Anacapa Ocean Health Synthesis Unit brought 17 world-class scientists and environmentalists together to examine the health of oceans worldwide.

The theme of Ocean Health was created in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, which generously provided educational resources and speakers to the three-day Synthesis Unit event.

A group of scientists and researchers from organizations including the UCSB Marine Science Institute, the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, National Geographic, and the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Futures Society made presentations in person or by Skype worldwide.

The Raw Science film award for Anacapa School is a testament to Anacapa’s multi-media program, which is designed to be a two-fold approach to both media theory and persuasive communications, the school said.

Through Anacapa’s multi-media program, students focus on news-gathering, online research and critical thinking, as well as the skills needed to produce and distribute digital media such as the production of Ocean Health.

For more information about Anacapa School, attend its Jan. 10 open house or visit

— Kito Cetrulo for Anacapa School.