U.S. Department of Education Video Contest Challenges Students to Take Responsibility for Their Education

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–September 21, 2009.  In two minutes or less, America’s students have an opportunity to show the nation and the world how far education can take them and how they will achieve their dreams.

On September 8, President Barack Obama called on the nation’s students to take greater responsibility for their education. Now, the U.S. Department of Education is asking students to respond by participating in a national video contest titled “I Am What I Learn.” (Click here to watch U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s launch video.)

“Students share responsibility for their education and for fulfilling their dreams,” Secretary Duncan said. “This video contest is an opportunity for young people to share their stories about where their education and career training can take them. At the same time, I encourage parents, schools and communities to play a strong role in their stories by being accountable for forming stronger partnerships that guide students to their goals.”

The contest is open to active middle, secondary and college students, ages 13 and older. Starting today, September 21, through November 2, students can submit their videos up to two minutes long at There are no restrictions on the style of the video, as students are encouraged to be creative!

From November 2 – 9, video submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges, including Secretary Duncan. Judges will choose 10 finalists to promote on the U.S. Department of Education’s official YouTube channel. From November 9 – 24, the public can view the finalists’ videos and vote on their favorites. The top three finalists with the most votes will each win $1,000 prize issued by the U.S. Department of Education. Winners will be announced the week of December 1. The Department’s video contest is modeled after similar contests launched by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency. They also include cash prizes.

Winning videos will be chosen based on the following criteria: use of creativity, strength and originality of content, and ability to inspire.

The contest rules are as follows:

  • Each video must be submitted by an active student, age 13 and older.
  • Contestants chosen as finalists will be contacted through their YouTube account and must respond within seven business days to confirm eligibility.
  • Finalists under the age of 18 must submit a parental consent form.
  • Video must be two minutes or less in length.
  • The Department of Education’s website ( must be featured in the video.
  • The video content must be original.
  • The video must convey the importance of education, as well as the student’s individual academic goals.