Uni students win video essay contest
Published: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 10:52am
Juniors Dax Earl, Joe Easley, and Conrad Schloer won best video essay for "Thwarting Identity Theft". The team won a cash prize of $1000 and their sponsor, math teacher Craig Russell, received $200 for supervision.
Freshman Elbert Wang won first prize in the Xtranormal/non-traditional video essay category for "Robo-Fraud". He received $500 while his supervisor, counselor Karl Radnitzer, received $200.
The Video Essay Contest is presented through a partnership of the University of Illinois Department of Finance and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The contest is a part of Money Smart Week 2011. Money Smart Week, from Apr. 2-9, consists of "focused presentations by community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations, and financial experts, all designed to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances."
Students heard about the video contest through an email sent by Radnitzer. Wang chose to create two videos; one traditional and one using XtraNormal, "My dad had told me about [XtraNormal] a couple of weeks ago. I worked on both over spring break but I devoted more time to the XtraNormal one because it was a unique program that was complex and easy to use."
For Earl, Easley, and Schloer, they didn't actually make the video with the contest in mind. "Creating a video about financial literacy was part of an assignment in Advanced Topics with Mr. Russell. And we liked it and thought it was pretty good so we decided to submit it to the contest," explains Easley.
Wang says that the plot for the XtraNormal video "rose straight out of the blue" for
him, "I wanted to make the videos funny, yet at least convey a good amount of information."
Earl, Easley, and Schloer divided up the work. "Conrad [Schloer] came up with the script, I did the drawings, and Dax [Earl] did the editing for the final video. That ended up working really well for us," says Easley.
The winners will receive their prize money at a ceremony in May. "I will probably just put it into my bank account for safekeeping," says Wang of the prize money.