Long Beach Students Address US Government Through Award-Winning Documentaries

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Screenshot taken from The Importance of Wetlands of creators Lucy Nottonson (left) and Heather Davis (right).

Long Beach Poly High School students were announced as winners of C-SPAN’s National 2017 StudentCam Competition, answering the proposed question: What is the most important issue for the new president and Congress to address in 2017?

Lucy Nottonson and Heather Davis won third prize and will receive $750 for their documentary, The Importance of Wetlands, which discusses the importance of estuaries and their functions in the United States, the destruction taking place, and what the government needs to do to protect them. Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Los Cerritos Wetlands and the Aquarium of the Pacific are featured in the documentary.

Honorable mentions, who will receive a $250 prize, were achieved by Eric Hatch and Theo Lee for Affordable Housing: The Solution to the Homelessness Crisis; Peter Donovan, Zane Witter and Olivia Campos for Atmosphere of Denial; Elizabeth Requejo, Bailey Cervana and Megan Dines for Underwater Noise Pollution; Morgan King, Sophia Callan and Sydney Matas for What’s the Catch? and Jude McCarthy for Plastic Ocean Pollution.

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Screenshot taken from Plastic Ocean Pollution of creator Jude McCarthy.

These students were among 321 winners across the country, attaining a total of $100,000.

Since 2006, C-SPAN has partnered with local cable affiliates nationwide to invite middle school and high school students to produce short documentaries on issues of national importance.

“With the new president and Congress in office, we wanted to hear from students about public policy issues they would like addressed in 2017,” C-SPAN’s Manager of Education Relations Craig McAndrew said in a statement. “StudentCam offers young people the opportunity to connect with lawmakers and experts and provides them with a platform to voice their opinions creatively.”

C-SPAN received a record of 2,903 videos from more than 5,600 students in 46 states as well as Washington D.C., England, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan.

These submissions covered a diverse range of topics. Sixteen percent focused on equality, which included police brutality, racial and gender discrimination and women’s rights. Thirteen percent concentrated on the economy and 11 percent on the environment.

View the 150 winning documentaries here.



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