A Fun and Educational Challenge for Middle School Students
Project POTUS presents an opportunity for students in grades 6-8 across the nation to put their research, writing, and video editing skills to the test. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has just announced the launch of a competition that could win students scholarships and prizes.
With nearly half a billion citizens since its founding in 1776, over 12,000 of us have served in Congress. Just 115 have become Supreme Court Justices and only 46 have become Presidents of the United States (POTUS). It’s clear to see, there’s something exceptional about each POTUS – good, bad, or otherwise. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site wants students’ help to tell the world in one minute or less, why these citizens are special.
Project POTUS calls on students to research an American President and create a one-minute video representing the president selected. Students submit their videos for review by a citizen jury, which will select a winning video project for each American president. The results will be featured in the first ever ’46 Presidents in 45 Minutes,’ a compilation of the winning projects to be released in May 2022.
“The value of Project POTUS comes not only from the potential for it to be fun and original, but also from how closely it matches up to standards teachers use in the classroom,” said Russell and Penny Fortune Project POTUS Presidential Fellow with the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site Molly Beausir. “The project emphasizes civics, history, research, and communication skill building. And with the shift of project-based classroom learning to include virtual and hybrid options during the pandemic, the timing couldn’t be better to put those school laptops to good use.”
“It’s a fun and unique initiative for students, individually or in groups, to get creative and participate in a national video project with their peers,” said Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site President and CEO Charles Hyde. “The program is an interactive way for students across the country to share what they’ve learned about our country’s presidents firsthand, drawing from their knowledge of history, civics, and leadership. Ultimately, we’re excited to help facilitate peer-to-peer learning, which Project POTUS-plans to do in a nationally significant way.”
Students, caregivers, and educators can take part in an educational project. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is seeking volunteers to aid in jurying the videos students enter. Judges must commit about 90 minutes of time during one week to view and score the videos remotely. In May, the citizen jury will award over $5,000 in prizes to students, with one grand prizewinner for the best video overall winning a $500 award and a VIP prize package.
Submissions date begins on Presidents’ Day, February 21, 2022 and ends on Tax Day, April 15, 2022. Do you have a video-savvy student or budding history buff who might like this challenge?
For more information and for project guidelines, please visit projectpotus.org.