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Central Florida Students Receive Grand Prize in Earth Day Challenge

Thousands of dollars worth of digital arts technology and a workshop for up to 60 students was awarded to University High School in Orange County. Seniors Christine Pritchard and Chernai Hanks took the $25,000 grand prize in the 2008 Mobile Learning Institute (MLI) Earth Day Challenge at the Florida Educational Technology Conference in January.

The Mobile Learning Institute delivers engaging, personalized, project-based learning to classrooms and community centers across the United States. The challenge was launched on Earth Day 2008 during Jane Goodallís Global Youth Summit. The Summit provided the students with tools to create and promote environmental videos as a kickoff to the filmmaking competition which began on June 1, 2008.

Using a curriculum developed specifically for the MLI, middle and high school students created films on a variety of themes including pollution, global warming and water quality.

The University High seniors, Christine Pritchard and Chernai Hanks, created a video showing the plight of the polar bears called The Earth is Warming. To see the 2008 grand prize winning videos and the runners-up go to

University High School is also home to two more seniors who were selected as 2008 runners-up. Alejandra Zepeda and Joshua Rolon created a video on energy conservation called Flip the Switch.