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Friday Institute Launches Student Video Contest to Find Out What Students Want for the Future of Education

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, in partnership with LearnPlatform and the Wake Partnership for Postsecondary Success, is running its first-ever student video contest, called reImagining Schools, to give students a voice in what the future of education and learning looks like for the state of North Carolina.

Schools and districts across North Carolina are changing as they create their remote learning plans post-COVID crisis. From superintendents to educators, experts are being asked what school would and should look like in the fall. Yet, the people most impacted by these educational shifts will be students, so the Friday Institute staff wanted to know what students thought about their learning.

“At the Friday Institute, we think student voices are a vital aspect of a collective vision for education as we create the future,” said Hiller Spires, Ph.D., Friday Institute’s executive director. “We are delighted to provide space for students to envision what school can be. I appreciate Jaclyn Stevens leading this project and providing the passion and expertise to engage students across North Carolina.”

Any student who will be in the 6th-12th grade in the 2020-2021 school year in North Carolina can enter this video contest by submitting a 2-3 minute video or animation about how they would design school. The contest challenges students to come up with ideas for how time learning is spent, how students and teachers will communicate and collaborate, and how grades would be used and assessed.

“There are so many ways in which the emergency shifts in our educational practices due to the coronavirus pandemic could lead to the positive reshaping of education and its legacy systems,” said Jaclyn Stevens, Friday Institute research scholar and contest coordinator. “We hope this opportunity will offer students a chance to voice what they want, and ultimately hope for, as their educational experience moves forward.” 

Submissions will be taken until June 30, and public voting will run July 6-20. A winner from both a middle school and high school submission will be announced on July 31. Winners will receive a Lenovo Chromebook 3 laptop. 

Learn more about the contest at

The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation brings together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to lead the transition to next-generation education systems that will prepare students for success in the digital-age world. It conducts research, develops educational resources, provides professional development programs for educators, advocates to improve teaching and learning, and helps inform policymaking. The Friday Institute is a part of the NC State College of Education. Visit to learn more.