Browne 8th Graders Win Honorable Mention in C-SPAN Competition

June 2, 2023

Two students and two event organizers stand for a photo next to a 'C-SPAN Student Cam' event sign

Browne Academy 8th graders Ariella Braun and Connor Stehn recently won Honorable Mentions in the nationwide C-SPAN StudentCam competition. The competition asks participants to create a five-to-six-minute video documentary on the theme, “If you were a newly elected member of Congress, which issue would be your first priority and why?” Ariella chose the child mental health crisis and Connor selected gun control as their topics.

Of the 1500 video entries, 150 received awards, and, of the nine awards in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Browne’s students won two! We are very proud of them!

Today C-SPAN representative Zach Lowe visited Browne to screen Ariella’s and Connor’s winning documentaries, interview them about their topics, and present them their awards. Mr. Lowe also wanted to recognize Sammie Weinstein, Imran Yared, and Nadia Chebinou, whose documentaries made it to the final round of judging. We were thrilled to welcome Fairfax County Supervisor Rodney L. Lusk to our campus, where he congratulated the students and presented them with a certificate of achievement from the county. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay also sent a video message to the winners.

The C-SPAN StudentCam Competition serves as one portion of the multi-month 8th Grade Capstone project, showcasing the research, writing, presentation and creative skills our students develop throughout their time at Browne. Capstone advisor Alissa Kharkar commented, “This culminating project challenges the 8th graders to look at an issue from multiple perspectives and speak with subject matter experts. As a result of this extended research and conversations with people who work daily trying to address their chosen issue, the 8th graders are exposed to the complexities of attempting to solve modern-day problems. Through this project they hone those critical thinking skills that are so necessary to be civically engaged and active members of society.”

Watch Ariella’s documentary on the mental health crisis. 

Watch Connor’s documentary on gun control. 

Read The Zebra’s coverage of the event.