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The Oxplore Video Competition

This is the 2024 Oxplore Video Competition for students at non-selective state secondary school across the UK. 


We invite students from years 7-9  to submit a 3-minute video response and students from years 10-13  to submit a 5-minute video response to the question: Should cars be banned in your region? 

We encourage responses which approach these questions from a variety of perspectives – bring in Science, Law, Economics, Politics, Philosophy, Geography or any other subject or discipline. Just remember to answer the question! 

All submissions should be emailed to oxplore@admin.ox.ac.uk by 11:59 BST on 10 May 2024. We recommend sending submissions in MP4 file format, though if we can access the video then it will be considered for marking! Please include your name, the name of your school and your school year. 

Entries will be reviewed by our expert judging panel. There will be two age categories: years 7-9 (S1-S3 in Scotland) and 10-13 (S4-S6 in Scotland). The winners will receive £100 and the runners-up will receive £50 in Amazon vouchers. 

Late entries will not be reviewed. 


Getting Started… 

Below is some guidance on the kinds of topics you could include in your response.

Air Pollution 

Cars with internal combustion engines (ICEs) which burn petrol or diesel – that includes hybrids – release noxious chemicals into the air which affects everyone’s quality of life. Even electric cars cause air pollution, as particles are released from their tyres and breaks and from the roads that have to support two-tonne vehicles repeatedly rolling over them. Beyond the broader environmental impact of greenhouse gases, the release of small particulate matter into the local atmosphere has been linked to poor lung and heart health and ‘depression, anxiety, psychoses, and perhaps even neurocognitive disorders, such as dementia.’ In 2018, it was estimated that car-related air pollution cost the NHS £605 million in London alone. Does your local area suffer much from air pollution? Is banning cars the answer or can cars be changed? 


The widespread use of cars means that roads are unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians and large plots of land (often in the centre of towns and cities) are given over to parking spaces. It also encourages urban planners to arrange settlements in a way that’s convenient for car users but not for others. Think of where you live – is it possible to get to a school, a hospital, restaurants and a park easily and quickly without a car? Does ‘the rhythm’ of your local area ‘follow humans’or cars? How does the use of cars stop people in your region from leading their fullest lives? On the other hand, much of the research and discussion on the effects of cars on local environments and communities focuses on the urban – in rural areas where amenities are, by definition, more spread out and comprehensive public transport coverage is less feasible and accessible, how do cars enable communities to thrive? 


It’s all very well saying that cars cause problems. But lots of regions have planned their infrastructure, residential accommodation, commerce and amenities around widespread car usage. Is it fair to change the law on how, when, where or even if people can use cars when they’ve moved to suburbs on the basis they can use one? How do business owners who rely on people driving to their sites view possible limitations on car usage? And, is everyone affected the same by banning cars? Who needs cars the most? Think about how you might find out people’s views on car usage and how it affects them – would a survey work best or an interview? Are there existing polls? Finally, it might be that there is no way for car usage or no car usage to be fair on everyone. You will have to decide whether what is fair to some is more important than what is fair to others. 


What will I be marked on? 

Upon watching the submissions, judges will be carefully assessing: 

the relevance of points made to the question – to score highly on this it will be worth being precise with your terminology. To allow you to make the video you want to make, we have used the term ‘region’. ‘Region’ could mean somewhere as large as the South-West of England or Glasgow or as small as St Eval or Dennistoun. We hope this freedom allows you to tackle the subject of car usage at a scale you feel is most useful and interesting, but be careful to specify which region you are discussing in your video. the development and structure of your argument, which considers multiple points of view and reaches a personal conclusion – originality will be rewarded, though not at the expense of logic and plausibility. your inclusion of supporting evidence to build a persuasive account. your clarity of expression – sometimes simplicity is good, as is brevity! Graphics and editing can help to get across your point but we encourage entrants to consider whether they could transmit their research and opinions just as clearly by speaking to camera or recording footage. your creative understanding of the title/task. 


How do I submit my video? 

We are quite flexible about how you can submit your video as long as it reaches us at oxplore@admin.ox.ac.uk. We will, however, require you and your parents or guardians to fill our consent form alongside your submission. Click here to access the form. 

Do I need to include credits and will they be included in the video length? 

If other people are included in the video, they must consent to being in it by filling our form. You may include citations to studies, book, articles or other research material either in the video, in a credits section or in a separate document sent alongside your consent forms and video. Any credits section will count towards the length of your video.

 Who will be judging?

Good question! We will be announcing our expert judges over next few weeks - keep checking in here or on social media (Instagram, X, Facebook) for updates.

If you have any other questions about the competition or Oxplore.org in general, please feel free to send them to oxplore@admin.ox.ac.uk. 

We hope you will enjoy exploring this subject. We cannot wait to see and hear what you discover and be persuaded by your viewpoint. Good luck!