Canterbury student Vonnia Anwar wins prize in C-SPAN video documentary competition

Vonnia Anwar is shown in this screen grab from a video on Embryonic cells. The Canterbury MIddle School student was awarded with an honorable mention in the national 2018 StudentCam competition. (Courtesy of C-Span)

C-SPAN announced today that Vonnia Anwar, a student at Canterbury Middle School, has won an honorable mention prize in C-SPAN’s national 2018 StudentCam competition. She will receive $250 for her documentary, “Branching into New Medicine,” about embryonic stem cell research. You can see the video by clicking HERE.

Vonnia was one of 150 students out of 5,700 to be chosen for this award. Entries came from 46 states, Washington DC, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. She is an 8th grader at Canterbury Middle School who plans to attend Canterbury High School in August.

“Yes, we are very excited to hear about Vonnia’s national recognition,” said Miriel McFarland, who teaches social studies at Canterbury Middle School and has been part of the C-SPAN program for many years. “Vonnia was able to provide multiple perspectives on the topic through both her own research as well as the use of credible interviews from local doctors and experts. The well-rounded viewpoints are an important aspect when given the controversial nature of any procedures regarding embryos.”

Each year since 2006, C-SPAN partners with its local cable television providers in communities nationwide to invite middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) to produce short documentaries about a subject of national importance. This year students addressed the theme, “The Constitution & You: Choose a provision of the U.S. Constitution and create a video illustrating why it’s important to you.”

In response, C-SPAN received a record 2,985 video submissions. Students worked in teams or as individuals to address a wide range of public policy issues, from the freedoms of the First Amendment and the right to bear arms, to equality and the powers of Congress.

“With so much national debate about government power and personal freedoms, we were eager to hear students’ perspectives on what the Constitution means to them,” said C-SPAN’s Manager of Education Relations Craig McAndrew. “Students across the country engaged in conversation on the local level with elected officials, experts, community leaders and educators to explore how national issues impact their daily lives.”

The most popular provisions of the Constitution explored by students were the First Amendment (26 percent), followed by the Second Amendment (16 percent) and the 14th Amendment (11 percent).

C-SPAN is funded by America’s cable television companies, which support StudentCam. In Fort Wayne, C-SPAN is available locally through Comcast.

“C-SPAN’s StudentCam gave this student the opportunity to learn more about — and deeply appreciate — the U.S. Constitution and its impact on our local community. That’s the sort of educational opportunity we all can be proud of. We are pleased to partner with C-SPAN and celebrate this student on this terrific recognition. Comcast congratulates Vonnia as an honorable mention winner in C-SPAN’s national StudentCam documentary competition,” said Matt Kelley, Comcast Senior Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs.

This winner is among more than 300 students across the country winning a total of $100,000, including one grand-prize winner, four first-prize winners, 16 second-prize winners, 32 third-prize winners and 97 honorable mentions.

The 150 winning videos may be viewed by clicking HERE and may be used in a broadcast with attribution to C-SPAN.

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, the inclusion of varying sides of the documentary’s topic, and effective incorporation of C-SPAN programming.