Wednesday, January 6, 2010

'I am What I Learn' Student Video Contest

Maybe one of the recent winners of the United States Department of Education’s (DOE) student video contest, “I Am What I Learn.” will turn out to be the next Steven Spielberg. Students ages 13 and up were challenged to create a two-minute video that addresses the question “Why is your education important to fulfilling your dreams?” Two of the three winning entries were submitted by aspiring filmmakers. Rene Harris, 17, from Oxford, Pennsylvania, uses her passion for filmmaking to deal with tough situations in her life, like her father’s physically abusive behavior, while fifteen year old Alex Hughes, Greensboro, North Carolina, has set his sights on becoming a movie director. The third winner, Jordan Lederman, 13, from Sammamish, Washington, wants to become an expert on chickens and her video demonstrated many of the animal husbandry skills she’s acquired on the way. DOE received 600 submissions, which were then winnowed down to 10 finalists by the Office of Communications and Outreach and posted on YouTube. Publicizing the contest on YouTube resulted in 28,000 votes from the general public, and Harris, Hughes and Lederman emerged as the winners, with each receiving a $1,000 prize. Each winner plans to put some of that money away for college tuition or textbooks. To see the winning videos as well as videos from the other seven finalists, visit the contest’s Web site.

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