The official logo of the Panasonic Kid Witness New Contest

The Kid Witness News Contest is an international hands-on video education program supported by Panasonic. It was created for kids in Grades 5 to 8 as a way to develop valuable thinking, communication and organizational skills.

THRIVE participated in this contest for several years and three of our films went on to win awards in it.

The Canadian portion of the program is currently in hiatus but we look forward to the day when Panasonic Canada will be able to restart the program.

DIGGING DEEP INTO TOPICS

Written by THRIVE Program Teacher, Tyson Schoeber • Last Updated: 08-19-2014

For many years, THRIVE has taken a project-based approach to learning. It has allowed us to dig deeply into some very interesting topics — many with an environmental or scientific edge. You will see that the end result of several of these projects have been short films.

MAKING VIDEOS

The way I see it, there are MANY advantages to the this sort of approach. One of the most important is motivation. Most kids are interested in it and that interest helps them to remain engaged with the topic — even though it may take many months to walk through the whole process of making a film.

Another reason that it works in the classroom is that film-making can be used to address a wide range of themes in the official curriculum. For example, film-making is a wonderful metaphor for The Writing Process. I often remind my students that making videos is very much like writing essays. Everything you've got to do to create a good film must be done to write a good essay!

Along those lines, I think it is worth noting that teachers who use video in the classroom should see themselves as trainers of the kids — not the film-makers themselves! I often say that My hands don't touch the equipment. Instead, I teach the kids HOW to use the equipment and software. I help them make connections with outside experts and set aside class time to work on the films. Yet kids make nearly all of the key decisions, so they get to take credit for the results.

In this part of our website, you can watch most of our finished videos and learn more about the process we followed to create each one. Feel free to look around!