Three Affton High School seniors have been recognized by C-SPAN in their annual StudentCam documentary competition. Haley Gassel, Seid Music and John Rolwes received honorable mention and a $250 prize for their project titled “Education Reform in the United States.” Click link to view.
“We chose this topic because education is something so close and so relevant to us, and we experience it firsthand. Affton is an amazing school that provides numerous opportunities, but many other students don’t have the same access to education,” explained Gassel.
“We learned that education reform is a very complicated issue as it is hard to address everyone as a whole,” said Rolwes. “There are many solutions and all of them require lots of debate and hard work. There is no ‘perfect answer’ to this problem.”
Each year since 2006, C-SPAN has invited middle school and high school students to produce short documentaries on an issue of national importance. This year, students answered the question, “Your message to Washington: What is the most urgent issue for the new president and Congress to address in 2017?”
In response, C-SPAN received a record 2,903 video submissions from over 5,600 students in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Students worked in teams or as individuals to address a wide range of public policy issues from equality and the economy, to the environment and education.
“With the new president and Congress in office, we wanted to hear from students about public policy issues they would like addressed in 2017,” said Craig McAndrew, C-SPAN’s Manager of Education Relations. “StudentCam offers young people the opportunity to connect with lawmakers and experts and provides them with a platform to voice their opinions creatively.”
“We want to give a special thanks to all those that helped us out. More specifically, Dr. Tim Luecke, Thomas Bellavia, Mike McNeil, Tabari Coleman, and Drew Schwartz,” said Rolwes.
“Overall, creating this documentary was an amazing learning experience and I’m incredibly thankful that our teacher, Mr. Muyco, gave us the opportunity to spend time participating in the StudentCam competition,” added Gassel.
The annual 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.