Ann Arbor, Canton, and Milan Students Win Prizes in C-SPAN Video Documentary Competition

video documentary

Video documentaries by students from Ann Arbor, Canton, and Milan will be airing throughout the day on April 7 and will be featured on C-SPAN’s StudentCam website. Here’s where to watch it or how to check out their documentaries online.

Yesterday, C-SPAN announced that students in Ann Arbor, Milan, and Canton are winners of C-SPAN’s national 2021 StudentCam competition. These students used film to address issues of national importance through their perspective. 

Shannon Germaine, a student at Clonlara School in Ann Arbor, will receive $1,500 as a second-prize winner for their documentary, Plastic Crisis: Our Oceans in Peril. This documentary will air on C-SPAN at 6:50am and will play throughout the day on April 7.

Clair Swadling, a student at Canton High School in Canton, will receive $750 as a third-prize winner for the documentary, Science Communication & Policy: A Winning Duo.

Meanwhile, a handful of students at Milan High School in Milan have won prizes as well.

Sydney Aunins, Sophia Kirk, and Alaina Hawkins are honorable mention winners. They will receive $250 for the documentary, The U.S. Shrugs on Drugs, which focuses on prescription drugs.

Brody Bogoski and Wyatt Thiry are honorable mention winners who will receive $250 for the documentary, Combating Poverty with Universal Basic Income.

Mikala Muccinon and Jillian Rhoney are honorable mention winners and will receive $250 for the documentary, ERA Now: The Modern Push

The competition is in its 17 year and invited all middle and high school students to enter by producing a short documentary. C-SPAN, in cooperation with cable television partners, asked students to join the national conversation to address the challenges our country is facing with the theme, “Exploring the issue you most want the president and new Congress to address in 2021.” 

Despite the unique challenges brought about by COVID-19, more than 2,300 students across the country participated in the contest. C-SPAN received over 1,200 entries from 43 states and Washington, D.C. The most popular topics addressed were:

  • Health Care (14.9%)
  • Environmental and Energy Policy (14.6%)
  • Equal Rights and Equality (13.5%)
  • Criminal Justice/Policing (7.6%)
  • Education (7.5%)

“With the continual shift in the educational landscape, it is difficult to overstate just how challenging the pandemic has proven for schools across our nation,” said Craig McAndrew, Director, C-SPAN Education Relations. “We are so impressed by the resilience and ingenuity of this year’s prize-winning students who have delivered among the finest short films in the history of the StudentCam competition.”

C-SPAN is funded by America’s cable television companies, which also support StudentCam. In Ann Arbor, Canton, and Milan, C-SPAN is available locally through Comcast.

“Despite the educational challenges students faced this year, these talented students showed creativity, resourcefulness, and a strong work ethic to create documentaries addressing important issues on both the local and national level,” said Maria Holmes, director of community impact for Comcast in Michigan. “Comcast continues to be committed to strengthening our communities through educational programs, including our longstanding partnership with C-SPAN and StudentCam.”

These winners are among 299 students from across the country winning a total of $100,000. C-SPAN is awarding a grand prize, 4 first prizes, 16 second prizes, 32 third prizes, and 97 honorable mention prizes.

High school students competed on a regional level, with the United States divided into 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, including the ones listed above, can be viewed at the StudentCam website and may be used in a broadcast with attribution to C-SPAN.