WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eighteen winners earned top spots in the 9th annual “World of 7 Billion”video contest sponsored by Population Connection. Over 5,000 students in grades 6 through 12 from 35 countries and 46 U.S. states and territories participated in the competition. The videos explored population growth as it relates to one of three challenges: Improving Climate Resiliency, Sustaining Water Systems, and Ensuring Economic Opportunities.
The three high-school first-place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize, while the three second-place winners each received $500 and six honorable mentions each received $250. Middle-school students who claimed first and second place received $500 and $250, respectively.
In addition to educating viewers about their chosen topic and how it relates to human population growth, students had to include at least one idea for a sustainable solution.
The winning pieces were on topics as varied as microfinance, urban sanitation systems, climate justice, and overfishing. “These students showed a sophisticated grasp of some really complex issues, as well as innovative ideas,” said John Seager, president of Population Connection.
The contest was organized and promoted during the 2019-20 school year by Population Education, a program of Population Connection; submissions were due February 27, 2020. A panel of 41 judges—including college and high-school educators, filmmakers and topic experts—selected the winners.
“This is a great project for stimulating students’ research, writing and video production skills onsome of the biggest challenges facing the world. That’s why so many science and social studies teachers are including it in their lesson plans each year,” said Pam Wasserman, PopulationConnection’s Senior Vice President for Education.
- For more information on the “World of 7 Billion” contest, visit www.worldof7billion.org
- To view the winning videos and student bios, visithttps://www.worldof7billion.org/student-video-contest/2020-winners/
Full List of Winners
- 1st Place in Improving Climate Resiliency (Middle School): Ruth Mekuria of Los Angeles, CA for “Helping Climate Migrants”
- 2nd Place in Improving Climate Resiliency (Middle School): Jensie Coonradt of Aurora, IL for “Ruminant Livestock and Climate Change”
- 1st Place in Sustaining Water Systems (Middle School): Devin Sullivan and Kai-Yu Zhang of Brookline, MA for “Waste Disposal”
- 2nd Place in Sustaining Water Systems (Middle School): Rishika Pillai and Ana Jesayen of Coppell, TX for “Global Effects of Agricultural Pollution”
- 1st Place in Ensuring Economic Opportunities (Middle School): Anika Chan and Emmy Yang of Kirkland, WA for “Breaking Free from the Cycle of Poverty”
- 2nd Place in Ensuring Economic Opportunities (Middle School): Ava Varasno, Mae Curiale and Luna Espinosa DeRosas of Glen Head, NY for “We’re Not Off theHook Yet”
- 1st Place in Improving Climate Resiliency (High School): Lexis Sablan of Barrigada, Guam for “Cover Crops Against Climate Change”
- 2nd Place in Improving Climate Resiliency (High School): Emma Chestnut of Houston, TX for “Sick of Climate Change”
- 1st Place in Sustaining Water Systems (High School): Bryan Nguyen of Tustin, CA for “Sanitation Infrastructure”
- 2nd Place in Sustaining Water Systems (High School): Raenelle Torres, Glenna Curioso, Riko Mizuta and Scarlet Ramelb of Waipuhu, HI for “Anti Plastic Party”
- 1st Place in Ensuring Economic Opportunities (High School): Sophia Greenberg of Coppell, TX for “When We Help Women”
- 2nd Place in Ensuring Economic Opportunities (High School): Tyler Martire of Baltimore, MD for “Microfinance – People Empowering People”
Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates for progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources. Population Education curricula for K-12, including lessons for distance learning can be found at www.populationeducation.org.