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Norwell seniors’ documentaries win awards


Six seniors at Norwell High School are among winners of a national competition sponsored by C-SPAN for short documentaries they produced focusing on the most important issue that Congress should consider in 2014.

Kelly McAvoy, Ashley Miller and Alyssa Gill won third place for their documentary “America’s Undefined Future,” which addressed America’s $17 trillion national debt and the implications it can have for future generations. They received $750 in prize money for their entry.

Bailey Gerber, Stephanie Macon and Jenna Meyer received an honorable mention for their documentary, “Implementing Digital Learning: The Future of Education,” which focused on the need to familiarize students with technology and how to integrate it into schools nationally. They won $250.

Both groups received their awards during a ceremony at Norwell High School on Thursday.

Bailey Gereber said the videos were produced as part of a government class they were taking and all students were required to produce a video.

Gerber said her group chose digital learning as a topic “because we could grasp it. We’re going to implement it in our school next year and other schools already have. We didn’t feel like we were going into it blind.”

Kelly McAvoy said her group knew they were supposed do something on the biggest issue facing Congress and decided the $17 trillion national debt was the biggest.

“$17 trillion isn’t something you can wish away,” she said. Even grasping how big that number is can be difficult. “How many iPhones can you buy, how many Ferraris can you buy,” she said, “and you still get a huge number.”

The contest, called StudentCam, is designed to challenge students to think creatively and critically about issues and to show that young people are not only passionate about issues but have ideas and opinions worthy of consideration, said Craig McAndrew, C-SPAN manager of education relations.

“It is encouraging to see our students engaging in national issues at a young age,” said Rep. Dan Leonard, R-Huntington, who attended the ceremony.

About 5,000 students from around the country submitted 2,335 videos, each five to seven minutes long. Of those, C-SPAN awarded 150 student and 63 teacher prizes.