Friday, November 7, 2008

Political project to inspire youth

Though middle school and most high school students didn't get the chance to vote in the recent election, they can still make their political voices heard through a video competition via C-SPAN. The cable network is seeking creative multi-media talents for its fifth annual StudentCam video documentary competition.

The contest is open to those in grades sixth through 12th. Requirements are simple - produce a five to eight minute documentary on the topic "A message to the new president: What is the most urgent issue for the new president to address after taking office, and why?"

I'd throw a few ideas out, but the jest of this is to get the kids to do some research to discover the issues, then find a savvy way to present it. It would be interesting to hear their perspectives. Many of them will come of age to vote in the next presidential election, so I'm sure they'll have some great insight. Never underestimate youth.

The deadline for the contest is 5 p.m. Jan. 20, 2009, Inauguration Day. Winners will be announced March 10. Up for grabs is $50,000 in prizes, which includes 75 student awards and 11 teacher awards. The contest also is open to international students. The best out of the international category will win one $500 prize. Videos have to be original student works, but teachers can offer guidance and critique. The documentaries will be judged by a panel of C-SPAN representatives.

For more info and to upload videos entries, visit

- January Holmes

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