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2024 Students for Clean Water Video Contest

Two teenage boys making a film.

Hey awesome budding filmmakers!

Water connects us all, and we're about to make waves of positivity! 🌊✨ No matter where you live, we all live in a watershed, where rain or snow goes on an exciting journey, from our roofs, yards, and streets to local wetlands, streams, and lakes, to the Columbia River, and finally to the mighty Pacific Ocean. The water that bounces off roofs, streets and other hard surfaces and goes on this incredible journey to the ocean is what we call stormwater. Our rivers are home to incredible creatures like salmon, trout, and sturgeon, and they're where we play, fish, and paddle. But, guess what? Our actions can impact our waterways, and it's time for us to make a splash of inspiration for a cleaner, happier world with your creative videos! Learn more about Clark County watersheds here

How to enter

  1. Pick a theme - review the themes below and choose one you like.

  2. Research - learn about your topic from resources provided, family members or others in your community.

  3. Plan your video - create a storyboard so you can plan how you want to tell your story. Consider music, locations, props, camera angles, on-screen text/graphics and actors you may need. 

  4. Shoot it! - get the video shots you planned in your storyboard and remember it's better to have more than you need and cut than to not have what you need. 

  5. Edit - edit your shots to compose your video and add music or other effects.

  6. Upload and submit your application - make sure the video is sharable and your application form is complete, including the form for your parent/guardian.

Background

We are all connected by water. We all live in a watershed that drains to a creek, lake, or river, and eventually, the ocean. The water that falls where you live may be the same water that flows down a river hundreds of miles away. 

We’re fortunate to live in an area with amazing rivers that sustain our iconic pacific northwest salmon, trout, sturgeon, and other wildlife. They provide people a place to boat, float, splash, fish, and paddle.  Rivers are also used for shipping goods and some are even used as a source of drinking water. 

As cities and towns grew, they built storm sewer systems to move stormwater off buildings, houses and roads as quickly as possible. Today, water that used to soak into the ground flows across hard surfaces and down storm drains along streets, altering our natural waterways and increasing pollution. Storm drains usually lead directly to the nearest stream, carrying oil, grease, dirt, metals, pesticides, litter and bits of plastic are picked up along the way. This pollution is bad news for the water bodies that we use for recreation. It’s also really bad for the fish and wildlife that need clean, cold water to survive. Imagine how you would feel if someone started dumping dirty water into your bathtub while you were using it!

These days, cities are doing more and more to help by adding vegetated stormwater features (stormwater facilities) like detention ponds and rain gardens that help let water soak into the ground and trap dirt and certain other pollutants before it drains to waterways, but this still isn’t enough. Everyone has to pitch in and help out, which is where you come in. Create a video about one of the themes below to inspire others!

Here are some example commercials from around the world to get your creative juices flowing. Below you'll find a list of tips to help you make your best video.

 

Win cool prizes!!!

First place prizes of $500 and honorable mention prizes of $100 will be awarded for EACH of the following categories. That's 10 total prizes!

  1. Theme 1: Protecting Water in our Community – Long (45-60 seconds)
  2. Theme 1: Protecting Water in our Community – Short (25-40 seconds)
  3. Theme 2: Community Storytelling (up to 60 seconds)
  4. Theme 3: Clean Water for All (up to 60 seconds)
  5. People's Choice - all finalists will be automatically entered. Promote your video from May 17-23 and the two videos with the most views, likes and comments win! 

Huge thanks to these local businesses for sponsoring the 2024 prizes!

Consor MacKay Sposito Northwest Watersheds LLC Olson Environmental Otak

 

Themes - IMPORTANT!

Choose from one of the themes below. Follow the theme links to learn more and find information that will help you make a great video that is factually accurate. Videos can be done in another language but must include English subtitles (English videos can also include subtitles in other languages). You can also download this printable document with the same information as below: Themes and Resources (PDF)

Theme 1: Protecting Water in Our Community - Stormwater Superheroes!

Create a video about being Stormwater Superheroes and protecting water. This theme will have two prize categories; 1) Short – 25-40 seconds, and 2) Long – 45-60 seconds. Choose if you want to do a short or long video and dive into one of the options below:

Option A: Facility Connections - tell a story about a stormwater facility in your neighborhood or at your school

Option B: Simple Act, Big Impact - Show how stream healthy actions can be fun and pollution-free. Let's make everyone laugh and feel the joy of making a difference!

Theme 2: Community Storytelling - Dive into Your Water Connection with Pure Positivity!  

Create a 45-60 second video sharing your personal or cultural connection to water. 

Theme 3: Clean Water for All - Let's Make a Splash for Positive Change!!!

Create a 45-60 second video exploring fairness and justice related to our water resources. Use storytelling to share different perspectives and efforts toward making water justice a reality.

Questions? Contact us.

 

Timeline

Application deadline: April 22, 2024

Finalists notified: May 7, 2024

Promote your video for People's Choice award: May 17-23, 2024

Winners notified: May 30, 2024

Winning videos shown at local film events: Summer 2024

 

Application Materials

 

 

Video Tips

Video Do’s
  1. Be the Bright Star: Film your own amazing video—no stock footage or photos!
  2. Groove with YouTube's Audio Library: Use cool music or create your own sounds. Your school district may have audio files you could use, such as Sound FX.  No copyrighted music, please!
  3. Clean your Lens: Wipe your lens, and hold your phone steady, ideally using both hands.
  4. Quality is Joy: Record and edit in high quality - 24 to 30 frames per second, use 60 fps if you plan to slow down the video. Render your edited video to the highest quality as well. Under your YouTube profile, go to settings and select the highest upload quality. We want your video to shine!
  5. Use a FREE Video editor: If using a free video editor, select one that does not have a watermark and will export to YouTube quality (minimum resolution of 720p). Your school may have video editing software, ask your digital arts teachers about it. They may also have recommendations or you can search YouTube for advice on best free mobile phone editors for IOS or Android. 
  6. Languages of Happiness: Create your video English or another language. Add English subtitles if your video is in another language. If your video is already in English you’re welcome to add subtitles in other languages too. Let's embrace diverse cultural perspectives.
  7. Fun Elements Welcome: Add humor, like educational parody, action, or drama inspired by your favorite films. 
  8. Shoot in landscape or portrait: this year videos shot in portrait (vertical orientation) will also be accepted.
  9. Be safe, share accurate info, and spread the joy!
Video Don’ts

The following activities will disqualify your videos, so don’t do it…if you want to be eligible for the sweet prizes!

  1. Don’t use copyrighted footage, photos or music! It will disqualify your video! Check with your teachers about resources from your school. 

Note: there are many sources claiming to have royalty/copyright-free music. DO NOT use them as the music copyrights can change later and disqualify your video.

  1. Don’t share misinformation. Information in videos must be factually accurate. Do your homework and make sure you are sharing accurate messages!
  2. Don’t do anything dangerous. Make sure people, animals and our environment are kept safe as you create your video. If you are demonstrating an unwanted behavior, make sure it doesn’t have the unwanted impact. 

Remember: Be a positive force, be safe, and let's create videos that spread joy and love for clean water! 

 

FAQs 

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The contest is open to public, private, charter or home schooled 6th-12th grade students in Clark County, Washington. 

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Yes! However, you must also add subtitles in English. You can also include subtitles for another language for a video in English. Learn more about adding subtitles to YouTube videos here. Learn about using SRT files here. 

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There will be five prize categories and each will have a $500 winner and $100 honorable mention. Prize categories are: Protecting Water in Our Community - Long, Protecting Water in Our Community - Short, Community Storytelling, Clean Water for All, and People's Choice. 

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Videos in the Protecting Water in Our Community theme can be either 25 to 40 seconds for the short category, or 45 to 60 seconds for the long category. Videos in the Community Storytelling and Clean Water for All themes must be between 45 and 60 seconds. 

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No, each student can submit one video. The video will be eligible for the category you choose and the People's Choice Award. 

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We want to see your creativity! Your entry should primarily consist of original footage, filmed or animated by you. Using copyrighted content can disqualify your video. Review YouTube’s policies on what is acceptable as Fair Use.

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If you use music in your video, be sure to include documentation of the source and legal rights in your application form. YouTube Audio Library offers royalty-free and free music. Follow this link to learn more about YouTube’s copyright policies.

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Yes!

  • Review the provided topic information carefully! If your video contains inaccurate information, it will be automatically disqualified. Email us if you have questions.
  • Keep your video focused on the topic you choose.
  • Be sure to include a clear call to action.
  • Give your video a descriptive and attention-grabbing title. Think about what it would be called if it was showing in a theater.
  • Be creative! Choose a topic that’s meaningful to you and think about unique ways to tell your story.

2023 winners and honorable mentions

2023 winners and honorable mentions by category

People's Choice

BIPOC Filmmaker

Clean Water Actions Long Video 

Clean Water Actions Short Video

Community Storytelling

2022 winners and honorable mentions

2022 winners and honorable mentions by category: 

People's Choice

BIPOC Filmmaker

Clean Water Actions Long Video 

Clean Water Actions Short Video

Community Storytelling

 

2021 winners and honorable mentions

 

2021 winners and honorable mentions by category: 

People's Choice
​Winner - Better Habits for Better Habitats by Hana Feldheger, CAM Academy
Honorable Mention - The Grattix Box by Maia Rodriguez and Olivia Frizzell, Vancouver iTech Preparatory

Clean Water Actions - Long Video (55 seconds)
​Winner -The Problem and Solution of Cars by Melia Ballantyne, Gaiser Middle School
Honorable Mention - Better Habits for Better Habitats by Hana Feldheger, CAM Academy

Clean Water Actions - Short Video (25 seconds)
Winner - The Grattix Box by Maia Rodriguez and Olivia Frizzell, Vancouver iTech Preparatory
Honorable Mention - Protect the Water by Autumn Hergert, Gaiser Middle school

BIPOC Filmmaker
​Winner - In Awe by Abby Cariño, Mountain View High School
Honorable Mention - Keep Waste In Its Place by Claire Hagele, Wy'East Middle School

Community Storytelling
​Winner - Water and Life by Shelby Inman, Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School 
Honorable Mention - The Connection to Water by Amanda Harper, Mountain View High School