March 13, 2024

Irvine Students Win Prize in C-SPAN's National Video Documentary Competition

Caroline Cho, Ethan Kwong, and Pavlo Ilin, students at Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine.Caroline Cho, Ethan Kwong, and Pavlo Ilin, students at Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine, California, are 2024 3rd prize winners in C-SPAN’s 20th annual StudentCamcompetition and will receive $750 for the documentary, “Saving the American Dream: Effectively Addressing the Housing Crisis.”

C-SPAN, in cooperation with its cable television partners, asked middle and high school students to address the theme, “Looking Forward while Considering the Past,” through one of the following prompts:

  • In the next 20 years, what is the most important change that you would like to see in America?

-OR-

  • Over the past 20 years, what has been the most important change in America?

Now in its 20th year, this project-based learning experience gives students the opportunity to explore multiple perspectives on topics that are important to them. In response, over 3,200 students participated, and C-SPAN received over 1,600 entries from 42 states and Washington, D.C. The most popular topics addressed were:

  • Artificial Intelligence, Technology, and Social Media (18%)
  • Abortion, Health Care, and Mental Health (17%)
  • Climate, Energy & Land Use, and Pollution (13%)
  • School Safety, Gun Policy, and Criminal Justice (11%)
  • Economy, School Funding, and Homelessness (8%)

“In recognition of the 20th anniversary of C-SPAN's StudentCam competition, this year we asked students to either look 20 years into the future or to reflect on a topic of importance to them and its past," said Craig McAndrew, director of C-SPAN Education Relations. "Students have skillfully blended their perspectives with in-depth research and an array of expert interviews, and we are thrilled to share their accomplishments with their local communities, and the nation.”

C-SPAN is funded by America’s cable television companies, who also support StudentCam. In Irvine, C-SPAN is available locally through Cox Communications.

"Cox Communications is excited to honor the Irvine winners, Caroline Cho, Ethan Kwong, and Pavlo Ilin, in the 2024 StudentCam competition," said Colleen Dillaway, Orange County Market Vice President. "We are proud to partner with C-SPAN to help provide a platform for students across the country to share their voice on the issues important to them as they work to be the informed and active citizens that our local communities need to thrive. Congratulations!"

In honor of the 20th year of the competition, C-SPAN is gifting educators an additional $50,000, for a total of $150,000 in student and teacher cash prizes and awards. More than 300 students and 200 teachers from across the country are winning participants. C-SPAN is awarding one grand prize, 4 first prizes, 16 second prizes, 32 third prizes and 97 honorable mention prizes. The winning videos will receive cash awards of $5,000, $3,000, $1,500, $750 and $250, respectively.

Over the course of two decades, C-SPAN has awarded more than $1.5 million in prizes. Since 2004, over 63,000 students and 20,000 teachers have participated in the competition. StudentCam has been a catalyst for inspiring young minds to think critically about issues that are important to them and has empowered them with the tools they need to become informed, civically engaged citizens.

High School students competed regionally in one of three regions: West, Central and East. Middle school students were judged on a national basis. The grand prize winner was selected nationally among all regions and grade levels.  

The 150 winning videos can be viewed at studentcam.org and may be used in a broadcast with attribution to C-SPAN. To schedule an interview with one or more of the winning students, please contact Pam McGorry at pmcgorry@c-span.org.

The annual StudentCam competition is sponsored by the C-SPAN Education Foundation. Videos were evaluated by a panel of educators and C-SPAN representatives based on the thoughtful examination of the competition’s theme, quality of expression, inclusion of varying sides of the documentary’s topic, and effective incorporation of C-SPAN programming.


About C-SPAN Classroom:

C-SPAN Classroom uses the network's programs on public affairs, coverage of Congress, nonfiction books and American history to create FREE digital tools for teachers, students, and the public to use in classrooms, in projects or for research. C-SPAN Classroom’s website provides social studies teachers with access to thousands of free resources, including short current events videos, Lesson Plans and Bell Ringers, plus Constitution Clips and On This Day in History events. Engage with
C-SPAN Classroom on X/Twitter and Facebook.

About C-SPAN:

C-SPAN, the private nonprofit public affairs media organization providing Americans with unfiltered access to government proceedings, was created in 1979 as a public service by the cable television industry, and is primarily funded through fees paid by cable and satellite companies that provide C-SPAN's networks to subscribers. C‑SPAN connects with millions of Americans through its three commercial-free TV networks, C-SPAN Radio, C-SPAN Podcasts, the C-SPAN Now app, a new connected-TV streaming app C-SPAN Select, C-SPAN.org and various social media platforms. The network's video-rich website contains nearly 300,000 hours of searchable and shareable content. Engage with C-SPAN on X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Threads, and YouTube, and stay connected through weekly and daily newsletters.

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