Our American Story is a digital student contest for 8th–12th graders designed to foster creativity, cooperative learning, critical examination, and discussion among our country’s next generation of leaders. We want to hear students’ unique perspectives on the themes of democracy, diversity, and opportunity.

Choose one of the video prompts below as the inspiration for your project and unleash your creativity. What you create is up to you–a video, a performance, a presentation– get started today and share your American story!

The Our American Story contest closes on March 15, 2019.

What is American democracy? How will you shape American democracy?

What is American culture? How will you shape American culture?

What is the American Dream? What is your American Dream?

PRIZES

Your school can win big!

GRAND PRIZE

The grand prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the winner’s affiliated school or association, and 10 iPad Minis will be distributed to the student team members. (One iPad Mini will be distributed per team member. If there are fewer than 10 team members, the remaining iPad Minis will be donated to the team’s affiliated school or association.)

FIRST-PLACE PRIZES IN EACH CATEGORY

First-place prize winners will be selected in each category theme– democracy, diversity, and opportunity. Those respective winners will be awarded $2,000 to the affiliated school or association, and ten $50 Amazon gift cards will be awarded to the student team members. One $50 Amazon gift card will be distributed per team member. (If there are fewer than 10 team members, the remaining $50 Amazon gift cards will be donated to the team’s affiliated school or association.)

HONORABLE MENTIONS IN EACH CATEGORY

Two honorable mentions will be selected in each category theme– democracy, diversity, and opportunity. Those teams will be awarded $500 to the affiliated school or association.

AUDIENCE FAVORITE

The general audience will select an “Audience Favorite” to receive $500 for the affiliated school or association.

RESOURCES

Video Editing

FAQ

Can entrants be from any middle or high school anywhere in the U.S.?
Yes. All student participants must be enrolled in middle or high school or the homeschool equivalent in the U.S., its territories or its possessions at the time of entry (i.e., the fall 2018 semester). Please review the Rules for more information.

When can I begin submitting my entry?
The contest will begin accepting entries on August 7, 2018.

Is there a specific grade point average that qualifies a student to be “in good standing?”
No. We rely on your own educational institution to determine if you are in good standing.

What should I submit?
A complete entry consists of a single file video, jpeg images (in high resolution, i.e., 1280×720 if possible), an audio file, or PDF. Your piece does not need to include credits but if it does these need to be included in the time limit. It should be visually striking, edited to a high standard, and should deliver clear and understandable messaging related to your prompt. Do not include any copyright material. Please review the Guidelines for more information.

What is the length limit for video entries?  
Video entries should be no longer than 9 minutes. Please review the Guidelines for more information.

How will my video entry be submitted and in what form?
You must upload your video to the competition platform. If possible, record in HD (i.e., 1280 x 720).

Does the video have to include credits identifying the video creator and any volunteers?
No. Your video does not have to include credits.

If I include credits on my video are they included in the 9-minute limit?
Yes. The entire video should be less than 9 minutes.

Once I submit my video, can I revise it or replace it with another video prior to the contest deadline?
Yes, you can.

What characterizes a winning entry?
Entries are scored based on creativity, content quality, and overall technical production value. Please review the Judging Criteria for more information.

Can I contribute to more than one entry?
One entry is allowed per team, and an individual may only be a member of one team.

How will semifinalists and finalists be notified?
All winners will be notified via email to the team leader.

Do I need parental or guardian permission to participate?
Only students under 13 must submit a Parental /Guardian Permission Form, available on the competition platform. Please review the Rules for more information.