C-SPAN Student Cam Competition 2023

C-SPAN's StudentCam returns for its 19th year continuing to engage students across the country in an authentic project-based learning experience. This year's theme — "If you were a newly elected member of Congress, which issue would be your first priority and why?" — asks students to explore an issue that impacts them and consider how to address the topic through multiple perspectives. C-SPAN and its cable and satellite television partners invite middle and high school student filmmakers of all levels to enter the documentary contest, which awards $100,000 in cash prizes.

C-SPAN, the public affairs network providing Americans with unfiltered access to congressional proceedings, was created in 1979 as a public service by the cable television industry and is now funded through fees paid by cable and satellite companies that provide C-SPAN programming.

"With the midterm elections occurring this fall, we’re asking students to envision themselves in a position of power to make the change they want to see in this country,” said Craig McAndrew, director of C-SPAN Education Relations. “Our hope is that students will explore an issue that is important to them and their community and tie it to national interests.”

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.

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.
  • 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 5 and 6 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.
  • The deadline for students to submit entries is midnight PST, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

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

Winners will be announced in March 2023, with the top winning videos to air on C-SPAN in April 2023. Competition details are available at www.studentcam.org.