Eighteen middle and high school students have taken a top spot in the 2016-2017 “World of 7 Billion” contest for their videos about the effect of population growth on ocean health, climate change, or rapid urbanization. The student winners were announced May 10th – check out their winning videos and learn more about them on the winners page now!
In addition to educating viewers about their chosen topic and how it relates to human population growth, students had to include at least one idea for a sustainable solution. “I was especially impressed with students’ thoughtfulness on some of the most challenging issues facing our globe,” said John Seager, President of Population Connection. “It really gives me hope that this generation of young people are so committed to a just and environmentally-friendly future.”
More than 5,500 students in grades 6-12 from 45 countries and 48 U.S. States and territories participated in this year’s competition that ran from September 2016 until the close of submissions in late February 2017. A panel of 33 judges—including college and high school educators, filmmakers, and topic experts—selected the finalists.
Winning videos on climate change
- First place: Combat Climate Change, Starting with the Food We Eat by Douah Shakshuki (Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada)
- Second place: Our Planet by Arnav Madhiwalla (Rockaway, New Jersey, USA)
- Honorable mention: Rising Seas by Carrie Hu (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
- Honorable mention: Combating Climate Change by Ethan Taylor (Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA)
- First place: We Only Have One Planet by Pramana Saldin (Shorewood, Wisconsin, USA)
- Runner up: Rising Sea Levels by Kate Wright (Delisle, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Winning videos on ocean health
- First place: Plastic Soup by Maya Peters-Greno (Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA)
- Second place: Too Late? by Nesha Vuriti (Northampton, UK)
- Honorable mention: Fishes are Being Thrown Away (Seogwipo, Jeju, South Korea)
- Honorable mention: I Think This World is Worth Saving (Lynden, Washington, USA)
- First place: What’s To Lose? by Ethan Xiong (East Singapore, Singapore)
- Runner up: You Can be the Change-Coral Bleaching by Claire Knutsen (Appleton, Wisconsin, USA)
- Runner up: Our Solution to Pollution by Lumeria So (Long Beach, California, USA)
Winning videos on rapid urbanization
- First place: Urban Sprawl: An Expanding Problem by Emily Phillips (Piedmont, California, USA)
- Second place: 7 Billion by Eric Traugott (Alpharetta, Georgia, USA)
- Honorable mention: Slum Crisis by SooMin Hwangbo (Yongin, South Korea)
- Honorable mention: Impacts of Urban Sprawl by Jeff Morales and Sawyer Nunley (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
- First place: Breaking the Chain of Pain by Ethan Xiong (East Singapore, Singapore)
- Runner up: Urban Sprawl is a Big Problem by Aurelio Santiago (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
Most students find out about the contest through their teachers, many of whom turn it into a graded assignment. “We have a following among science and social studies teachers worldwide who see the contest as a way to build students’ research and communication skills around critical global issues,” said Pam Wasserman, Vice President for Education at Population Connection.
*Visit the World of 7 Billion website for more information on the contest.
*View the winning videos and read bios of the student filmmakers.
*Want to use the contest in you classroom or share with future students? Sign-up today and you’ll receive updates and information on the 2017-2018 contest as it becomes available.