Davis Academy Middle School students Ava Stark and Jessie Schulhoff were honored Monday, May 7, for a seven-minute documentary video they produced about the First Amendment for the annual C-SPAN StudentCam competition.

Ava and Jessie’s entry,“Speaking Up to the Limits,” addressing the issue of whether there should be limits on free speech, was among 97 awarded honorable mentions across the nation at the high school and middle school levels. Overall, C-SPAN presented prizes to 151 of the 2,985 entries it received. Each video was five to seven minutes long and responded to the prompt “Select a provision of the United States Constitution and demonstrates its importance to you in a video.”

C-SPAN awarded $100,000 in prizes through the contest, including $250 for each honorable-mention video.

Ava Stark (left) and Jessie Schulhoff have learned video production from Davis Academy teacher Kendrick Phillips. (Photo courtesy of the Davis Academy)

C-SPAN representative Joel Bacon presented the prize to Ava and Jessie at a Davis Academy ceremony that was also attended by representatives of Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann, and Renee Starzyk, representing Fulton Vice Chairman Bob Ellis.

Ava and Jessie spoke on camera about free speech with Bill Nigut and Tanya Ott of Georgia Public Broadcasting and Greg Bluestein of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The girls also presented facts gathered from their in-depth research to support the differing responses they received about whether free speech should have limits.

The Davis students entered the contest along with others in the Davis video and film production class, taught by Kendrick Phillips. Ava and Jessie’s award is the 10th for Davis students in six years of participation in the C-SPAN competition.

The video and film production class teaches students the video creation process, including turning vision boards into story boards, editing footage, adding sound to film, writing copy, citing sources and seeking out royalty-free music to add to video footage.

The StudentCam contest enables students to apply what they have learned about language arts, history and government and teaches them skills related to project management.

You can see Jessie and Ava’s entry at www.viddler.com/v/e0dd42da and all the winning StudentCam entries at www.studentcam.org/winners18.htm.