Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kids in the news: Emerson student wins second place in global video contest

Scout Taylor's second-place winning claymation 
video featured population growth. Courtesy photo

Scout Taylor, a ninth-grader at Emerson Junior High School, is a second-place winner for an original video she produced for the “World of 7 Billion” student video contest sponsored by Population Connection, a grassroots organization.

Scout’s claymation video, which shows a connection between women’s education and population growth, was chosen from among 567 submissions created by high school students in 18 different countries. She won $500 and her video is featured on the “World of 7 Billion” website,, in the “Global Status of Women and Girls” category.

Scout, who made the video as part of an assignment in her world geography class at Emerson, originally considered entering the wildlife habitat category.

“A first I wanted to do wildlife,” she said, “but figured I had more to say about the status of women.”

And though she was somewhat aware of the world’s population growth, she hadn’t ever considered how increasing the education and status of women could lead to a slower population growth and a healthier plant, she said.

She likely didn’t realize how time-consuming claymation can be either.

The project required setting up the clay, taking a picture and emailing it, then moving the clay for the next shot. Toughest of all was trying to pull together the 200 pictures that would form a rough draft of a public-service announcement. But she pulled if off, taking second place for her video, “Giving Girls Education Could Save Our Planet.”

The 42-second piece, featuring claymation figures of students, teachers and the planet Earth, talks about the link between education and a lower birth rate, particularly among adolescent girls, and concludes with: “Giving girls and women the same access to education as men could save our planet. Don’t you want to save our world?”

Scout said she plans to put her prize money toward the purchase of a road bike.

Population Connection, which sponsored the contest, was founded in 1968 as Zero Population Growth. The grassroots organization advocates for universal access to voluntary family planning programs to help expand women’s rights, ensure social justice and protect natural resources.
Davis High School student Brandon Lin had excellent performances in U.S. 2013 National Olympiad. Lin won the national bronze medal in the physics olympiad, was named to the national top 147 students honor list in the national exams for the chemistry olympiad and was an honorable mention in the semifinals of the biology olympiad.

Lin also qualified for and received the highest score in the area in the 2013 American Invitational Mathematics Examination.

It all caps off quite a year for Lin, who was a member of the Davis robotics team Citrus Circuits, which reached the final four of the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis last month.

Lin’s classmate at Davis High, Daniel Zhu, meanwhile, received an honorable mention in the National Physics Olympiad.
Four local high school students have received scholarship awards from the Davis Art Center’s Wooliever Scholarship Fund for 2013. The scholarships were presented at a reception at the Davis Art Center on April 12 honoring all high school seniors whose work was chosen for display in the annual Gerald Wooliever Senior Juried Show.

Jurors Debbie Gualco and Beth Winfield selected the winners based on the students’ overall body of work. Scholarship recipients were Francisco Gonzales, first place ($1,000); Austin Angelman, second place ($800); Alanna Ho, third place ($500); and Maria Victoria Rojas, honorable mention ($250).

Named for the late Jerry Wooliever, a former Art Center board member and mentor to young artists, the scholarships are given to graduating high school seniors to support their ongoing art education.

First-place winner Gonzales said he plans to use the money to study to be an art teacher. “Thank you for the chance to take my education and art one more step in the right direction,” he wrote, in a note to the Art Center board of directors. “It means a lot.”

The fund is supported by donations by artists to the Wall-of-Art silent auction, which is held during the Art Center’s annual Holiday Sale, and individual donations. To contribute to the scholarship fund, visit and click on “Donate Online.” Or mail a check payable to “Davis Art Center” to Wooliever Scholarship Fund, c/o Davis Art Center, P.O. Box 4340, Davis, CA 95617.



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