The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Science of Star Trek with Dr. Erin MacDonald Series

Audience Honor in Instructional Video


Paramount+’s “Star Trek: Prodigy” is an adventurous animated television series that gives brings the whole family into the “Star Trek” universe as it follows a crew of young aliens in the distant Delta Quadrant. After the crew discovers an abandoned Starfleet vessel, the U.S.S. Protostar, they hope to make their way across the galaxy to the home of the Federation: the Alpha Quadrant. Along the way, they will have to quickly learn how to work together as a cohesive team. The second part of the show’s inaugural season launched in late 2022. 

To promote the continuation of the show’s first season, Paramount+ sought to lean on the Children’s and Family Emmy Award-winning show’s educational side through the creation of a series of science-based videos aimed at the younger demographic. 

Strategy and Execution

Paramount+ produced a series of five bite-sized educational videos that feature easy-to-understand scientific concepts presented by astrophysicist and “Star Trek” science advisor Dr. Erin Macdonald. 

The first asset, dubbed “Star Formation,” gives younger audiences a first-hand look at the science behind the life cycle of a celestial body, be it a planet or star. The video features gorgeously rendered scenes from the sixteenth episode of the show as well as computer-generated imagery of the concepts behind the birth of a star in the solar system. The second educational vignette, dubbed “Warp Bubbles,” delves into the more complex concept of spacetime and how traveling at warp speed, as seen in the “Star Trek” universe, could be theoretically achieved. The third segment dubbed “Hive Minds” gives viewers a crash course on how the frightening cybernetic Borg race operates as a hive mind. 

Building on the “Star Trek” history of being a science-fiction series steeped in real concepts, Paramount+ went out of its way to make sure that new generations of Trekkies are privy to the actual science behind the show’s unforgettable stories. Curious fans were able to come together to discuss the concepts in real time in the comment sections of the published segments on their many YouTube videos. 



The educational “Science of Star Trek” series brought more than 700,000 YouTube subscribers to Paramount+. Each video spawned engaging discourse on YouTube, as well as aggregated sites such as Reddit. Younger “Star Trek” fans have shown interest in both the gorgeously realized animated universe and the beauty of our own solar system and its many mind-bending eccentricities. 



Entrant Company / Organization Name



Entry Credits