An Amazing Opportunity for Students

  • Nov 01, 2016

StudentCam2017-Logo2

Each year at this time, we’re excited to announce the start of C-SPAN’s StudentCam short documentary competition, a unique opportunity for young filmmakers (grades 6-12) to influence the national conversation with a 5 to 7-minute film on an issue of sociopolitical importance.

And as an added incentive, C-SPAN will award cash prizes to 150 winning students and 53 teacher advisors!

This year’s theme:

“Your Message to Washington”
What is the most urgent issue for the new president and Congress to address in 2017?

Students may begin submitting videos on November 1, 2016. The submission deadline for all videos is January 20, 2017.

As we like to say in this space, the two things every student has these days are 1) a camera, and 2) an opinion. Let’s help them discover the opportunities available to them when they use those things constructively.

“The kids loved it. For them it was about creating memorable and engaging learning experiences,” says StudentCam participant Karen Rehder of Farragut Middle School in Knoxville, Tennessee. “We took the art of research and storytelling and applied them to 21st-century learning skills.”

In order to get a better idea of what’s expected, check out last year’s winning videos here. For additional information, visit C-SPAN’s StudentCam.

Good luck!

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

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A Great Opportunity for Student Filmmakers

  • Jun 23, 2016

CineSpace

Hey, students and teachers, are you looking for a cool way to kick-off your summer break? Why not make a film?

Following on the success of last year’s CineSpace short film competition, NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society are once again inviting filmmakers of all ages to vie for cash prizes by creating a movie of any genre that incorporates content from NASA’s library of historic images and video!

If you enter, you’ll be competing for $26,000 in prizes with cash awards going to the top three submissions as well as the two films that best demonstrate the themes “Benefits of Space to Humanity” and “Future Space Exploration.”

But you’ll have to act fast. Deadline for submission is July 31st.

This year’s contest, which is open to all professional and aspiring filmmakers, will be judged by acclaimed director Richard Linklater (School of Rock). Participants under the age of 18 will need the permission of a parent or guardian to enter.

Check out last year’s 1st Place winner below, then head over to CineSpace for more info.

Good luck, and here’s hoping it’s your film being featured here next time!

To help us keep you informed about other great free educational opportunities and resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow us on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

 

Image and video: NASA/Houston Cinema Arts Festival

The Results Are In!

  • Mar 16, 2016

studentcam

“With the presidential campaign in the forefront of people’s minds, we wanted to hear from students across the country about the issues that matter to them,” says Craig McAndrew, C-SPAN’s Manager of Education Relations.

And hear they did! Nearly 6,000 student filmmakers (in grades 6-8) took part in this year’s C-SPAN StudentCam documentary competition, creating 2,887 films based on the theme: “Road to the White House: What’s the issue YOU want candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential election?”

As it turned out, the top three issues chosen by students this cycle had to do with the economy, equality, and education, and the films they created by which to express themselves were stellar even for this competition, which has been bringing out the best in student filmmakers since 2006. In all, 150 students and 53 teachers were awarded prizes. But it was 10th-grade student Olivia Hurd of Jenks, Oklahoma (below), who scored the year’s top spot with her thoroughly engaging documentary about the national debt, Up to Our Necks.

We congratulate Olivia, along with all of this year’s winning teachers and students!

Learn more about the competition and watch all the winning entries on the official StudentCam website.

And to learn about other great opportunities and free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow us on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

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Calling All High School Filmmakers

  • Dec 03, 2015

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We received some exciting news today about the 2015-2016 TeenDrive365 Video Challenge, brought to you by Toyota and our friends at Discovery Education. Students in grades 9-12 (age 13+) are invited to create a short video on safe driving for the chance to win one of 9 generous cash prizes (and do something really important in the process).

The top prize winner will receive $15,000 and a chance to re-shoot their video with a professional Discovery crew!

The deadline for entries is 3/7/16. Please help us spread the word.

You can watch last year’s top prize-winning video below, and for more information visit the official TeenDrive365 web site.

And to find out about other great opportunities, as well as 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