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.

This year students in grades 6-12 are asked to create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the new 2019 competition theme, "What does it mean to be American? Choose a constitutional right, national characteristic, or historic event and explain how it defines the American experience."

With cash prizes totaling $100,000, C-SPAN awards prizes to 150 student documentaries, and over 50 teacher advisors.



“WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AMERICAN?”
Choose a constitutional right, national characteristic, or historic event and explain how it defines the American experience.

Your video should evaluate how this right, characteristic or event is upheld in our society, or challenged by current events. Rights or characteristics may include aspects of democracy, opportunity, liberty, justice, equality, diversity, unity, individualism, other rights, guiding principles, or shared values.



  • The competition is open to all students in grades 6-12. Grades 6-8 will compete in the Middle School category, and grades 9-12 will compete in the High School category.
     
  • Middle School students are judged nationally against their peers. High School students are judged regionally against their peers in one of 3 regions (West/Central/East), based on their school state.
     
  • Students may compete individually, or in teams of either 2 or 3 members.
     
  • All documentaries must include clips of supporting C-SPAN video that relates to the chosen topic.
     
  • Winning StudentCam documentaries will thoroughly explore a variety of viewpoints related to the chosen topic, including those that may oppose the filmmakers points of view.
     
  • Documentaries must be between 5-6 minutes in length. *End credits, if applicable, must begin after the 5-minute mark but are permitted to run longer than the allotted 6-minute time frame.
     
  • Entries must include either end credits or a works cited list.
For a complete list of competition rules, click here.


Key dates, including the submission deadline and the announcement of winning videos.

  • July, 2018
    C-SPAN announced the new theme for the 2019 StudentCam competition.

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2018
    C-SPAN will officially launch the 2019 StudentCam competition.

  • Sunday, January 20, 2019
    The submission deadline for the 2019 StudentCam competition.