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Announcing Our GoPro Pilot Video Contest Winners

Amy Wilson | June 26, 2014

This year, Common Sense Media and GoPro embarked on a project together to put GoPros into the hands of teachers passionate about helping students use video as a learning tool. The goal of the project was both to test the performance of the GoPro cameras in a range of K-12 educational settings and to create a set of exemplary projects to inspire and inform other teachers interested in trying out video with students.

Each school that was accepted into the program was provided with a GoPro Hero3+ edition and a full complement of accessories, like chest harnesses and the remote control. They were tasked with creating an 8-minute final project video that had educational value for the students involved and was innovative as well. Twenty-two pilot sites across the country participated, and the submissions were truly impressive.

At the outset, we let all participants know that we would choose three submissions at the conclusion of the project and feature their exemplary work. Each of these school sites has been awarded two additional GoPro Hero3+ cameras as a reward for their hard work and impressive results.

We applaud all who participated in this pilot and are thrilled to shine a spotlight on the following three winning projects.

The team from CMS Community School in Denver, Colo., was led by Ian Yates. His computer club decided to make a CMS News Program. This ambitious project put students in multiple roles, on camera and off camera, and put them into the school community making rapid-fire decisions that come with location shooting. Mr. Yates wrote that his goal “was to give students experience in the whole production process. To immerse and inspire them with a contemporary form of expression that serves the school community.” See for yourself how his goal was achieved in this final video presentation submitted by the team:

Lee Cristofano led the team from Bethel Park High School near Pittsburgh, Penn. They set out to document the annual Physics Day at Kennywood in a whole new way. Each spring, students go to the theme park to experience firsthand the physics concepts they’ve been studying all year. This year, Mr. Cristofano equipped his students with the GoPro Hero3+ camera and chest mount so that they could film each of three rides from the rider’s perspective. What made this project increase its learning value was that a student next to the camera was equipped with a smartphone and an app called Physics Toolbox that captured acceleration data during the ride. The video they submitted presented a multi-split screen that allows the viewer to experience the ride while watching real-time graphs of the measured accelerations. Mr. Cristofano wrote, “As a learning goal, students are expected to correlate the action in the video with the graphed accelerations and relate these to the physics concepts involved in the ride, here specifically Newton's Laws of Motion.” Now we can all watch the correlations between action and data for a roller coaster (focusing on linear accelerations), the Whip (centripetal/radial accelerations) and the Pirate Ship (combination of tangential and radial accelerations).       

Brentwood High School, in Pittsburgh, Penn., has not been able host a home track meet in more than a decade because their track did not meet WPIAL regulations. Jennifer Hughes, communications teacher at the high school, decided to make the most of the new track and, at the first home meet, put the GoPro through its paces as a tool for capturing athletic competition. One of the qualities that made this video exemplary was the wide range of camera angles and camera shots that were used to show the action. Ms. Hughes wrote that her students first “storyboarded all of the shots we wanted to get during the track meet. Our storyboard was about three typed pages.“ They also prepared by practicing their filming techniques with the camera ahead of time. Their preparation and creativity are in full view in this action-packed, tightly edited video.