StudentCam is C-SPAN's annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation.
Students in grades 6-12 are asked to create a short (5-7 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme listed below.
With cash prizes totaling $100,000, C-SPAN awards prizes to 150 student documentaries, and 53 teacher advisors!
All eligible documentaries must adhere to the Competition Rules, and be submitted to C-SPAN by Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Winners will be announced in March 2015.
“The Three Branches and You”
Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law, or action by either the executive, legislative, or judicial branch has affected you or your community.
*Your topic should pertain to a branch of the Federal Government
- The competition is open to all students in grades 6-12. Grades 6-8 compete in the Middle School category, and grades 9-12 compete in the High School category.
- Middle School students will be judged nationally against their peers. High School students will be judged regionally against their peers in one of 3 regions (West/Central/East), based on their school state. More info here.
- Students may compete individually, or in teams of either 2 or 3 members.
- All documentaries must contain a small amount of supporting C-SPAN footage that relates to the chosen topic. Downloadable C-SPAN footage can be found here.
- C-SPAN’s philosophy is to show varying sides of each issue. Winning StudentCam documentaries will also show a variety of points of view related to the chosen topic.
- Documentaries must be between 5-7 minutes.*End credits, if applicable, may run longer than the allotted 7 minute time frame.
- Entries must contain either end credits or a works cited list. A works cited list may be emailed to
Key dates to consider during the creation of your documentary, as well as submission deadlines, judging phases, and the announcement of the winners in StudentCam 2015.
- September 2014 - January 20, 2015
Plan, research, shoot, and edit your documentary.
- November 1, 2014 - January 20, 2015
Students who have finished their documentary may upload their video file and complete the online entry form.
- January 21, 2015 - March 3, 2015
C-SPAN judges will view each submitted video to determine the 150 prize winning documentaries.
- March 4, 2015
C-SPAN will announce the 150 prize winning documentaries in StudentCam 2015.