C-SPAN's StudentCam competition returns for its 16th year, asking students: "What's Your Vision in 2020? Explore the issue you most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign." In coordination with our cable and satellite partners, C-SPAN invites all middle and high school students to enter the contest, which awards $100,000 in cash prizes. 

The C-SPAN Education Foundation awards 150 student and 53 teacher prizes. The grand-prize winner will receive $5,000, and multiple cash prizes of $3,000, $1,500, $750 and $250 will be awarded to students in first, second and third places and honorable mention categories. 

"With the presidential election at the forefront of Americans' minds, we are asking students to think critically about issues that are affecting our communities and nation," said Craig McAndrew, Director, C-SPAN Education Relations. "Last year we heard from over 6,000 students in 48 states, and this year we hope to hear from even more students as they analyze the current or historical significance of the issues that are important to them."

Competition Guidelines

Middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) may compete individually or in teams consisting of two or three members. Documentaries must be the original work of students; however, teachers may provide guidance and critiques.                             

  • All documentaries must include C-SPAN video clips that support the chosen topic and are used effectively within the documentary.
  • StudentCam documentaries should comprehensively represent a variety of viewpoints related to the chosen topic, including those that may oppose the filmmakers' points of view.
  • Documentaries must be between five and six minutes in length. 
  • Entries must include sources, either in the end credits or an emailed works cited list.
  • Video submissions and entry forms can be uploaded directly online at www.studentcam.org.

Deadline for students to submit entries is midnight PST, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020.

The documentaries will be judged by a panel of C-SPAN representatives. High school students will compete on a regional level, with the U.S. divided into three regions: West, Central, and East. Middle school students will be judged on a national basis. The grand-prize winner with the best overall entry will be selected nationally from both middle and high school entries.

Winners will be announced on March 11, 2020, with the top winning videos to air on C-SPAN in April 2020. Competition details are available at www.studentcam.org.