Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today announced the seven finalist schools representing seven countries for the Panasonic Kid Witness News (KWN) 2014 Global Contest. The Grand Prix winner will be announced in October at a global awards ceremony to be held in the United States, where the program originated 25 years ago.
KWN is a hands-on video education program Panasonic operates as part of its efforts to support education of future generations. The company provides video cameras and other equipment for video productions to elementary and middle schools participating in the program. Currently, some 10,000 children and teachers around the world are taking part in the program. Since the program began in the United States in 1989, more than 170,000 children have participated to date.
The KWN program is also a competition that honors the video works created by children every year. To produce videos, students choose a theme on their own and handle everything from planning and scripting to filming and editing. This year's KWN Global Contest saw 548 schools from 23 countries and regions take part in the program by submitting five-minute videos. Under the broad theme of either ecology or communication, themes varied from war and famine to environmentally friendly energy as well as problems children face in school such as bullying and impact of social media. Synopses of the seven Grand Prix nominees are shown on the following page.
In commemorating KWN's 25th anniversary, the KWN Global Awards Ceremony this year will be held in the U.S., the birthplace of the program, at the headquarters of Panasonic Corporation of North America in Newark, New Jersey on October 15.
This year's seven finalist videos can be viewed on the official website for the KWN Global Contest 2014 at http://panasonic.net/kwn/contest2014/
● Summary of the seven finalist videos
|Country/Name of School
Primary School of Josef Bublik, Banov
In the wake of a pool accident, a boy meets another boy named Kamil who has disabilities. This film depicts the two boys who foster deep and precious friendship after the accident.
|Kamil and Me|
So-called stumbling blocks bear the names of Holocaust victims. There are many of them laid in the streets of the town where the students live. With eloquent video images, the film shows the history they looked into and their thoughts provoked by the stones.
Nakoso 1st Junior High School
This film focuses on huge "balloon bombs" Japan used during World War II in its attack on America. Through visits to a site which used to have such bombs and interviews with people who know those days, the film appeals for preciousness of peace.
|There once was war here.|
Mount Aspiring College
Sixteen-year-old Summer was raised by foster parents. In search of her identify and a place where she belongs, Summer sets out on a journey to find her real mother.
|Searching for Summer|
Victoria D´Spinay Elementary School
Children try to emulate adults around them who they admire. This film conveys the message of hope that dreams can come true despite hardships by getting inspiration from the adults they look up to.
Montfort College School
Pig farming is one of the major industries in the village where a young boy lives. The village has been plagued by nasty smells from pig manure. The film shows the village’s efforts to address the problem and promote the development of the village by turning pig manure into environmentally friendly gas in cooperation with a local university.
|“Value” of immensely|
Lincoln Park Academy
Hunger is an international problem. This film reports on the hunger situation in countries including developed nations. It also proposes ways of helping people suffering from hunger through support associations.
|Fighting World Hunger|
● About Panasonic Kid Witness News
KWN got its start in 1989 in the U.S. as a hands-on video education program supported by Panasonic North America, which supplied video cameras and editing equipment to public elementary and middle schools to make news programs from the perspective of children. The program was subsequently expanded on a global scale. At present, 548 schools from 23 countries and regions are participants in the program.
KWN is designed to foster creativity and presentation skills among young students. Supervising teachers cite further merits of the program such as a heightened awareness of the environment and the community as well as development of team skills among participants through the process of creating videos. The expanding network of KWN schools also provides a platform for international exchange among KWN students.
23 countries and regions participating in KWN
|North America||Canada, United States|
|Central and South America||Chile, Panama|
|Europe||Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine|
|Middle and Near East||Iraq, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates|
|Asia||China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam|
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