Two Grays Harbor students are among this year’s winners of the Great Washington Shakeout Youth Video Contest.
Samantha Robinson, 16, of Montesano; and Eric Lind, 13, of Aberdeen received their awards in separate ceremonies last week.
The annual challenge is open to all youth of middle- and high-school age across the state. The Emergency Management Division of the Washington State Military Department asks entrants to create a 1-minute video illustrating the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” method of getting through an earthquake.
First place in each category comes with a $500 prize; second gets $250. The cash comes from the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup, a nonprofit organization that focuses on earthquake preparedness.
Entries are judged by a panel of Emergency Management staffers. First- and second-place winners are chosen in the middle school and high school age categories. Those four videos are then posted on the state website.
Samantha, a home-school student at the 11th-grade level, won first place in the high school division for her humorous Lego video.
Her mom, Monique Robinson, heard about the contest and passed the information along to Samantha — not as an assignment, but as something she might choose to do because of her interest in production. And she did.
Samantha said she’s done Lego-based film projects before for her classes, and she will most certainly create others. “It’s just easier to work with Legos than with people,” she laughed.
She’s using her winnings to buy a new camera — she has her eye on a Panasonic Lumix G7.
“I’m just thrilled that she was able to do something she enjoys, and is actually making an impact,” her mom said.
Eric Lind, an eighth-grader at Miller Junior High, took second place in the middle school division for his video. It has the look and feel of an action-film trailer, with actual footage of buildings crumbling during earthquakes.
“It just started out as an assignment, and then we were told that we could win money,” said Eric. “So I went to the website and looked at some of the winning videos from the past, and kind of built off from there.”
His mom, Ashley Emmett, is the journalism teacher at Miller who made the assignment. All 30 students in her class entered the contest, but she said Eric went “above and beyond” with his project, working on it during lunch periods and after school — “and it really showed in his video.”
She added, “It’s kind of a fun experience to watch your kid create something and go through this whole process, and then see him rewarded for it.”
Eric said he enjoyed learning how to use iMovie software for this project, and he’ll probably put his winnings into savings.
The other two winners this year were Ryan Song, of Buena Vista Adventist School in Auburn, who took first place in the middle school division with his animated video; and Casey Rogers (and friends), of Coupeville High School, who placed second in the high school division with their “Special Report” entry.
The judges received triple the usual number of submissions this year, according to Kiana Kabanje, disaster preparedness outreach program manager for Emergency Management.
“Our team was incredibly impressed with the amount of submissions and the quality of videos. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the creativity of the youth in our state,” she said. “It is important to us to include youth in disaster preparedness, as they are the leaders in building a culture of preparedness.”
For more information about the contest, visit mil.wa.gov/shakeout#Video%20Contest.