A film documentary produced by three Amador Valley High School students has won "Honorable Mention" in the C-SPAN StudentCam documentary competition.
Jacob Baer, Sophia Holbrook and Katie Grant produced the film, titled "Common Core: A New Branch of Education," which was one of 150 prize-winning documentaries chosen from around 2,800 entries from across the country.
The contest asks middle and high school students to produce short documentaries on an issue of national importance. This year, students responded to the prompt, "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."
"We chose to make our film on Common Core because, of all the policies and laws we could think of, we agreed that education affects us the most," said Baer. "Pleasanton is a city that is known for its great schools, and there is a lot of parent support for schools here too."
As "Honorable Mention" winners, the students received $250 to split among themselves.
In honor of the students' win, C-PAN held a celebration event at Amador Valley at the end of March, which included a C-SPAN Mobile News Room.
"Common Core: A New Branch of Education" can be viewed online.
The film was also shown at a student Common Core forum, as well as sent out in a district newsletter.
"We got a lot of positive feedback from almost everyone who watched the film. It was sent to students, parents, and faculty," Baer said. "A lot of students do not like Common Core because it is so different from the old standards, but I think the movie helped them realize the goals of Common Core, the difference it has made, and what the school board hopes to achieve from Common Core in the future."
C-SPAN is scheduled to release more information about its 12th annual StudentCam contest in September on its website. The contest is open to all students nationwide.