Font Size  A  |  A

2011 Contest Winning Entries

(in no particular order)





Power to Change

Glenwood Middle School, Kim Mutterback, Technology Integration Specialist



The students participated in the "Adopt a Soldier" program. They followed the life, injury and recovery of a wounded soldier in Afghanistan. They also created a web site for SPC Roby Potter which allowed Roby Potter's family to stay in contact with the students and parents of Glenwood Middle. Building on this civics project, A web site was created called "Our Power to Change". Students were challenged daily to be a positive influence in their school, community and family.



cask of Amontillado

Paw Paw High School, Melissa Huff Salvatore, 9th grade English



The students came up with this idea on their own. After reading the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Cask of Amontillado", they stated that if a movie hasn't been made of it, it should be. Another student asked "Could we make it?" Mrs. Salvatore agreed. They began by rewriting the short story into a script. Entirely new chapters and scenes had to be created.. The students were in charge of costumes, set design, and video. This large project also involved the staff of the building, including the janitor, who allowed them to transform the boiler room into "catacombs".


Comments from the students:

  1. "This project helped me be able to open up and bring my skills into the open and helped me overcome the fear of speaking to people."
  2. "I would do this again. It was a great experience!"
  3. What I learned about making this video is that we can all work together to get something done. When we do videos like this, I think we learn more and get more time to understand what actually happened in the story."
  4. "It was way more work than I expected...(But) I thought the movie was very good and funny."
  5. I learned that it takes a very long time to film a movie and have it look right. I am surprised we could get the props we did (and) also that we filmed the amount we did in only a few weeks."
  6. "It was really fun, but hard work is what you need. I can't wait until we do (a movie) again."
  7. What I learned from this is I would much rather have 5 people on a movie set then 25. It took 3 weeks to get 11 minutes of film and with 5 people, I got 7 minutes in one day!...I also learned how to crop music into the film." (This from our executive director who wants to pursue career in film).
  8. "When can we do it again?"






Marco polo meets ibn battuta

Williamstown High School, Rachelle Pallini, AP World History



The students researched the lives of two great explorers. They discoverd that their stories intersected and wrote, directed, and performed a movie retelling the tale.



Money matters to me - teaching financial literacy

New Martinsville School, Mary Young, 2nd grade



The students learned about money, saving, budgeting, along side experts and alongside their parents.


Sports physics

West Side High , Robert Lyons, Physics

(2nd time winner!)



Students worked in groups. They first chose a sport ranging from the collisions in football, the curve of the ball in baseball, the differences in dribbling in basketball, the forces that keep a spinning frisbee in flight and the elastic collisions that happen when the hand strikes a volleyball. Using cameras and slow motion effects, they were able to slow down the action to see exactly what was happening. The students then explained the physics happening in each scenario. The resulting videos were then shared with coaches as well as retired engineers for critique and comment.


Sports Physics Video


News broadcast of the revolutionary war

Fairview Middle School, Angel Cannon & Rhonda Dean



Students were given a "time machine" that allowed them to travel back to the Revolutionary War. They worked in teams to create a news broadcast. While some team members acted as news casters and reporters, other team members acted out the role of important individuals from the time. The videos employed "green screen" technology allowing the actors to appear on location.


Honey, where are the bees?

Monongah Elementary , Lee Anne Burton, NBCT, 2nd grade



Students researched a real world problem; the reduction of honey bee populations. Students then video taped themselves acting the part of farmers, scientists, newscasters, and consumers. The discovered the possible cause and came up with potential solutions.



effective arguments

Jane Lew Elementary , Lisa Vaillancourt, 3rd Grade, Kim Smith, 3rd Grade, Sharon Minigh, Technology Integration Specialist



Using Essential Questions and Guiding Questions, students worked to change their school for the better. Working in small groups, students discussed potential problems that could be solved at their school. Moving smaller groups into bigger groups, the best ideas were moved forward until entire grades came together to solve a single problem. The principal was asked to provide the opposing viewpoint and this was taken into account while a solution was discovered. Twiddla, Read Write Think Persuasion Maps, blogs and other technologies were combined together to bring this project together.



World religions

North Marion High, Kristin DeVaul, World 1900, April Gilpin - English 9



The teacher began by setting the classroom rules, defining terminology and stressing the importance of respect. The students began with a study of symbology and by studying media bias. Using a variety of writing skills and technology tools, students gave speaches on the importance of religious tolerance and how lack of knowledge can create bias. Guest speakers including a Muslim woman from Kuwait, and a Catholic Priest came to the classroom to discuss their religions and to answer questions. This put a "face" on the issue rather than simply reciting facts. Finally students were interviewed on camera about their thoughts. It was stated that it was eye opening to some and that people may be different but they are still people. Video production by Ethan Martin (9th grade).


World Religions Video exerpt


turning flatulence into a teachable moment

Paw Paw High School, Melissa Huff Salvatore, 7th grade English



While studying "proposition and support" (making statements of opinion and supporting it with fact) , a raging debate was going on in class. Some boys would pass gas and laugh while the girls complained. The boys argued that it was a natural bodily function and they would suffer harm if they didn't release the build up of pressure. The girls countered their argument. It was becoming a true classroom disruption. Seizing the moment, Mrs. Salvatore challenged the boys to defend their arguments before a panel of teachers and in face the student body. The girls would also be given time to defend their position. Using separate computer labs the teams built their arguments. They met in the gym where a podium, microphone and big screen were waiting. Three teachers evaluated their arguments using a rubric. Three other middle and high school classes were also present to judge the debate. The boys won the teacher vote (surprisingly) and the girls won the popular vote (also a surprise). A compromise was reached and it was used to change classroom policy.