Eastern Iowa teens win top prizes in C-SPAN competition - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa teens win top prizes in C-SPAN competition

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PARKERSBURG (KWWL) -- C-SPAN announced Wednesday that Matthew Wicks, a junior at Aplington Parkersburg High School, won first prize in the network's 2011 national StudentCam competition.

Wicks will receive $3,000 for his documentary, "After the Storm," about FEMA's role in disaster relief in Parkersburg.

Click here to watch his winning video about the Parkersburg tornado.

A second group of students from Cedar Falls High School in Cedar Falls won 2nd prize for their video, "The Price Tag of the American Dream," about education. Sara Gabriele, Jared Bakken, and Daniel Yehieli will receive $1,500 for their documentary.

Matthew Wicks, Jarek Bakken, Sara Gabriele, and Daniel Yehieli are four of 141 students from across the country winning a total of $50,000, including one grand prize winner, two first prize winners, eight second prize winners, 16 third prize winners, and 48 honorable mentions.

All of the winners are available on the StudentCam website: www.c-span.org/studentcam.

C-SPAN's national competition is now in its seventh year.  It invites middle school and high school students to produce a five-to-eight minute documentary, with this year's topic focusing on "Washington, DC, through my lens."  1,481 students from 40 states and the District of Columbia submitted entries.

"I congratulate Matthew for his documentary and for the award that he won and obviously being so close to the situation as he is, knowing about it personally as well as knowing so many people who were affected by it. It couldn't be a better person to make a documentary and I want to compliment him for it and bringing attention to the great revival that Parkersburg has had as a result of people that are willing to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps," Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said.

C-SPAN received a record 1,069 videos, marking a 6% increase over the number of submissions from last year's Student Cam.

 "The winning videos were those that best explained what the students learned about how the federal government works and how the government's decisions have an impact on the students on a local level," said Joanne Wheeler, C-SPAN vice president of education relations.

The top 27 videos will air on C-SPAN, one each day, starting on April 1st at about 6:50 am ET, followed by an interview with the winning student at 8:30 am ET during "Washington Journal," C-SPAN's morning call-in program. Air times are subject to change.

C-SPAN Classroom sponsors the StudentCam competition. The documentaries were judged by a panel of C-SPAN representatives and are evaluated based on the thoughtful examination of the competition's theme, quality of expression, adherence to the time limit, inclusion of varying sides of the documentary's topic, and incorporation of C-SPAN programming.

For the 2011 competition, the top five topics students chose to discuss were: (1) education; (2) economy; (3) immigration; (4) health care; and (5) environment.

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