Watch and Learn

  • Nov 18, 2015

Capturebt

Currently airing on National Geographic Channel, Breakthrough is a landmark series of six documentary films that explore new realms of scientific research in a variety of fields. And as a gift to educators, the series is accompanied by a web-based learning module that allows you to bring that cutting-edge science into K-12 classrooms!

With an eye toward the future, especially as it concerns passionate innovation and the evolving relationship between people and technology, each hour-long episode of Breakthrough is directed by a well-known Hollywood personality who approaches the material as a passion project:

Episode 1: Fighting Pandemics (Peter Berg)
Episode 2: More Than Human (Paul Giamatti)
Episode 3: Decoding the Brain (Brett Ratner)
Episode 4: The Age of Aging (Ron Howard)
Episode 5: Energy on the Edge (Akiva Goldsman)
Episode 6: Water Apocalypse (Angela Bassett)

Says Angela Bassett, whose Water Apocalypse deals with efforts to ensure that people everywhere have access to clean drinking water, “I would most like this film to be an impetus for inspiring young, creative minds, and even mature minds, to come up with innovative ideas that help solve our water problem. First, we have to think about it. We have to be concerned about it. We have to know that there is a problem.”

For more on the series, watch the trailer below. And for ideas on how to bring this important material to life in your classroom, be sure to check out Breakthrough‘s Innovation Lab, an online interactive education hub that offers engaging ways for K-12 students to learn more about the topics covered.

Breakthrough airs Sunday nights at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT on National Geographic Channel (DIRECTV channel 276).
Complete episodes are also archived for viewing on the Breakthrough web site.

To find out about other great free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Spread the Word About the C-SPAN StudentCam 2016 Short Documentary Competition!

  • Jul 30, 2015

StudentCam

Back-to-school season brings with it the arrival of C-SPAN’s annual StudentCam short documentary competition—a fabulous opportunity for any civic-minded student (grades 6-12) with a camera and a point of view to influence the national conversation and vie for cash prizes.

Participating schools and teacher advisers are eligible for cash prizes as well!

This year’s theme:

“Road to the White House”
What’s the issue YOU most want candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign?

The contest launches officially on September 9th, and students may begin uploading their documentaries on November 2nd. The final deadline for submissions is January 20th, 2016.

Pictured above (left to right) are Anna Gilligan, Michael Lozovoy and Katie Demos, 2015′s Grand Prize-winning team of 8th graders from Lexington, Kentucky.

Imagine your own students celebrating such an accomplishment!

But win or lose, participation in the contest is an exercise in intellectual growth. Just ask Clifton Raphael, a StudentCam Teacher Advisor at Oklahoma’s Jennks High School. “StudentCam forces my students to exercise a different set of creative muscles,” says Raphael, “and it’s work that helps them in their other classes as well, whenever they have to use critical thinking and organizational skills.”

For more information, visit C-SPAN’s StudentCam.

And to stay abreast of other great opportunities and free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

 

The 2015 C-SPAN StudentCam documentary competition is on!

  • Nov 03, 2014

studentcam

For some time now we’ve been telling you about the C-SPAN StudentCam short documentary competition—a great opportunity for civic-minded students (grades 6-12) to influence the national conversation and vie for cash prizes. Participating schools and teacher advisers are eligible for cash prizes as well.

The competition invites middle and high-school students to create 5 to 7-minute film on an issue of sociopolitical importance.

This year’s theme:

“The Three Branches and You”
Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law or action by either the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branch has affected you or your community.

Cash prizes totaling $100,000 will be awarded to 150 winning student filmmakers and 53 teacher advisers. The submission deadline for all videos is January 20, 2015.

Let’s face it, the two things every student has these days are 1) a video camera, and 2) an opinion. Make this a year your students will never forget by showing them the doors that can open when they use those things constructively.

Listen to what this participating teacher adviser had to say:

“All of my StudentCam participants walk a little taller, (and) they exude a poise and self-confidence that the other eighth graders (who did not participate), don’t.”  —Karen Rehder, Farragut Middle School, Knoxville, TN

And this, from a proud mom:

“This is the sort of thing that he’ll remember his whole life, of course, and it’s life-changing. You can be sure that you’ve had a formidable impact on this young man, in part because of the honor of the award, but in larger part because he experienced what it’s like to make a difference in something important.”  —Sharon Webb, Mother of 2010 StudentCam winner Matthew Shimura, Honolulu, HI

For more information, visit C-SPAN StudentCam.

And if you need more inspiration, check out 2012′s First Prize-winning film from Leo Pfeifer, a then 8th-grader from Seattle, Washington (below).

To receive more information about opportunities like this, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

 

 

 

C-SPAN has announced the theme for its StudentCam 2015 documentary competition!

  • Jul 17, 2014

Student Cam '15

In a recent blog post  we told you about C-SPAN StudentCam, an annual documentary competition that invites middle and high-school students to create 5 to 7-minute films on an issue of sociopolitical importance.

Now it’s time to start gearing-up for the 2015 competition!

Announced recently by C-SPAN, here’s the theme:

“The Three Branches and You”
Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law or action by either the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branch has affected you or your community.

Cash prizes totaling $100,000 will be awarded to 150 winning student filmmakers and 53 teacher advisors, and the submission deadline for all videos is January 20, 2015.

Want to make this fall semester one your students will never forget? Listen to what the father of one previous winner had to say.

“I really just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing this opportunity. Our education system is focused on students achieving minimum standards, so it’s great when someone like C-SPAN comes along and encourages students to achieve their maximum potential.” Ed Shimp, father of StudentCam 2013 1st Prize winner Alan Shimp

And this, from a StudentCam teacher advisor.

“The kids loved it,” said Seann Goodman of Colorado’s Basalt High School. “For them it was about creating memorable and engaging learning experiences. We took the art of research and storytelling and applied them to 21st Century learning skills.”

For more information, visit C-SPAN StudentCam.

And if you need more inspiration, check out 2012′s First Prize-winning film from Leo Pfeifer, a then 8th-grader from Seattle, Washington (below).  —Stephen Vincent D’Emidio