CALGARY—An innovative new Web broadcaster is using the power of the Internet to inspire children and youth in schools across North America to make a difference.
Quantum Shift TV is challenging students from grades one to twelve across the United States and Canada to participate in the “Be the Change! Share the Story!” School Video Contest. Students are invited to work on a social or environmental project of their choice, and document their progress in two short videos to be uploaded on the Web. In addition to making a difference in their community, students have an opportunity to win up to $50,000 in prizes for their school.
Through this contest, Quantum Shift TV is building an online community focused on socially conscious, solution-oriented videos. An entertaining puzzle game woven into the contest stimulates cross-pollination of ideas by encouraging youth to watch each other’s videos. Teams receive points for social network activity as well as viewer ratings of their videos.
“We’re harnessing three powerful cultural forces: youth social action, Internet gaming and the explosion of online video and digital storytelling.” says Hugo Bonjean, the founder and CEO of Quantum Shift TV. “As we’ve seen with YouTube, Web video has a powerful ability to engage audiences, particularly youth, around the world. Quantum Shift TV is using this power to inspire students to take action on the social and environmental issues of the day.”
Projects can range from volunteering at a homeless shelter to educating the community about human rights, measuring a school’s carbon footprint to building a hospital in a developing country—anything that addresses an environmental or social concern in a positive, solution-oriented way. Student teams will execute their project and document their progress in a series of two short videos. The first video, introducing the team’s project, must be uploaded to QuantumShift.tv by December 15, 2007. The second, reporting on the project’s execution and results, is due by March 31, 2008.
Teams will be ranked based on Web metrics such as number of views on their videos, viewer ratings, puzzles completed and social network activity. In May, the 25 top-ranked videos in each age category—Elementary (grades 1-6), Junior (7-9) and Senior (10-12)—will be reviewed by a panel of celebrity judges who will select the 3 finalists in each age group and invite the public to choose the winners. Judges include bestselling author and environmentalist Paul Hawken, actress Pleasant Wayne, skateboarder Bob Burnquist, executive-with-a-cause John Wood, Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel and Nigerian women’s rights activist Hafsat Abiola. Winners will be chosen based on community involvement, project execution, video quality, and overall social and environmental impact.
To provide project ideas and resources for both students and teachers, Quantum Shift TV has partnered with key organizations like UNICEF, Free the Children, Room to Read, TransFair, NAAEE, TakingITGlobal, The Pembina Institute, New Global Citizens, Sierra Youth Coalition, Rainforest Action Network, Care and Oxfam.
Bonjean anticipates that this contest will mobilize some 100,000 kids across the United States and Canada to act on thousands of social and environmental projects. “This contest will serve as a catalyst for youth engagement and activism as youth learn from and are inspired by each other,” he added. For teachers and educational professionals, “Be the Change” is a project-based tool to teach their students about social and environmental issues that can easily be incorporated into curricula.
Students and educators can find out more and sign up for the contest at http://www.quantumshift.tv/schools.
For other bloggers (or the press):
These 2 videos inspired this contest: