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First 'White House Student Film Festival' highlights technology

White House Student Film Festival
White House Student Film Festival
White House

Hosted by President Obama, 16 young visionaries and their parents will visit the White House today for screenings of their films at the first White House Student Film Festival. The entire festival will be streamed live online beginning at 2:30 pm.

The 16 films were selected from more than 2500 submissions. Students of all ages nationwide responded to this White House inquiry last fall: How do you learn about technology in the classroom?

With just a 3-minute time limit, students share the ways they innovate and create and find excitement in technology. They take us forward to the future to explain what they foresee as changes to education and how technology will alter the learning landscape.

These talented and fortunate film makers will be treated to a celebration of their work by President Obama, Bill Nye (The Science Guy,) Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium) and celebrities Conan O'Brien and Kal Penn. Additionally, they'll get a sneak peak of Fox and National Geographic's upcoming television series, "Cosmos, A Spacetime Odyssey."

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says, "Today's going to be a fun day, but this event speaks to something much bigger." He points out that the majority of American schools lack the types of technology that are being highlighted in these student films. This points to the impetus behind this festival: to make changes in education that President Obama is promoting with his ConnectEd initiative, a program to connect all of American students to the digital age "with next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless within five years."

The festival starts at 2:30 and can be watched in its entirety; individual selections from the 16 finalists can be viewed now.