Alexandria Students Win Third Prize and Honorable Mention In C-SPAN’s Video Documentary Competition

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Tad Rosenberg and Kyle Pinkney, eighth-graders at Mark Twain Middle School took third prize in national contest of over 5,000 students. Screenshot of their award-winning documentary provided by Mary Wadland.
Tad Rosenberg and Kyle Pinkney, eighth-graders at Mark Twain Middle School took third prize in national contest of over 5,000 students. Screenshot of their award-winning documentary provided by Mary Wadland.
Students use video cameras to address public policy issues
C-SPAN announced that students in Alexandria, Va. are winners in C-SPAN’s national 2015 StudentCam competition.
Tad Rosenberg and Kyle Pinkney, eighth graders at Mark Twain Middle School in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, have won Third Prize in C-SPAN’s national 2015 StudentCam competition. Rosenberg and Pinkney will receive $750 for their documentary, “The Affordable Care Act: Can We Afford the Risks?”
Anna Venetianer, Anna Weidman, and Vincent Billett, seniors at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in the Alexandria part of Fairfax County, will receive $250 for their Honorable Mention documentary, “Extension of the Silver Line,” about the extension of the new metro line in their community.

The national competition, now in its 11th year, invites middle school (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) to produce a five- to- seven minute documentary on a national policy issue.
Students were asked to answer the question, “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.” In response, C-SPAN received 2,280 video submissions from almost 5,000 students in 45 states and Washington.
“This year, the competition saw its greatest number of participants ever,” says Craig McAndrew, C-SPAN Manager of Education Relations. “All aspects of these student video productions, including the research, planning, and diverse range of expert interviews, demonstrate the highest levels of critical thought and initiative.”
“StudentCam affords our nation’s youth a platform to express their opinions on national issues, and we’re confident these documentaries will prove eye opening and inspire viewers across the country.”
Documentaries were judged by a panel of C-SPAN education representatives and evaluated 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.
For the 2015 competition, the top three most popular documentary topics were:
• Education
• Healthcare
• Economy
C-SPAN is funded by America’s cable television companies, which support StudentCam. In Alexandria, C-SPAN is available locally through Cox Communications.
“Cox is excited to congratulate Tad Rosenberg and Kyle Pinkney from Mark Twain Middle School and Anna Venetianer, Anna Weidman, and Vincent Billett from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology on their winning 2015 StudentCam documentaries. These creative Fairfax County Public Schools students used the media to help them make sense of difficult concepts and topics the federal government works on day to day. We are pleased to support this competition and congratulate them on their hard work and national accomplishment,” said Kathryn Falk, Market Vice President Northern Virginia Operations, Cox Communications.
These winners are among 347 students from across the country winning a total of $100,000, including one Grand Prize winner, four First Prize winners, 16 Second Prize winners, 32 Third Prize winners and 97 Honorable Mentions. The 150 winning videos may be viewed at http://www.studentcam.org/winners15.htm.