Winning Entries

Question: What are some simple things people can do to protect themselves online?
Winning school: John F. Kennedy High School (Granada Hills, Calif.)
Judge: Hemu Nigam

  • Use (Virtual Private Network)
  • Don’t use your real name as your username
  • Don’t make your password your birthday
  • Go anonymous
  • Tape your webcam
  • Antivirus
  • Ad blocker
  • Keep your computer up to date
  • Avoid phishing sites

Question: How do we achieve better balance in our lives between school, family, friends, activities and our use of tech?
Winning school: Nobel Charter Middle School (Northridge, Calif.)
Judge: Tshaka Armstrong

  • Learn to divide your time between your priorities, school, family, friends and technology.
  • Form an on campus club where students could meet with mentors and peers to discuss and develop time management skills and programs that help them live a more efficient lifestyle
    • Use  media/technology can help broadcast and motivate others to join the club.
    • Use social media and flyers to publicize the club’s achievements through

Question: What can teenagers do to support others in their efforts to adopt and use technology safely and productively?

Winning school: Nobel Charter Middle School (Northridge, Calif.)
Judge: Michael Kaiser

  • Encourage private accounts
  • Give advice about being safe on social media – including:
    • Don’t trust others until you know who they really are
    • Don’t share personal info on social media (address, phone number, etc.)
  • Have an assembly (or speech) at school
  • Perform skits (enjoyable) and really encourage NO BULLYING (or BE SAFE)
  • Make videos/movies that encourage people to be safe
  • Whoever joins a safe/anti-bullying club gets entered into a raffle (or wins a prize)
  • Decorate school with meaningful messages
    • See Something Say Something

Question: What are our rights and responsibilities as creators and consumers of digital media/content?
Winning School: Taft Charter High School (Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Judge: Catherine Teitelbaum

The issue: Media and content has become too accessible. Nine out of ten of the 2008 admitted to feeling distracted by using multiscreens. Content fails to become more adulterated.

  • Create knowledgeable and trustworthy content that is important
  • Create a democracy-based environment from consumers that will invest in the items.


  • Our responsibilities consist of positivity, self-awareness, generosity, being humble…
  • Because of social media, there are higher standards, unrealistic ideas of how people should look, live, act … which creates less self-confidence.


  • Use free of speech wisely. Not everyone is happy and confident with their appearance
  • We can post whatever we want but we should monitor our content considering other people’s feelings. We should protect our content from people stealing creative property. Secure it.


Commercials, advertisements, radio commercials, TV shows, movies, organizations at schools, or public places. More security, educate young people why everyone stresses being safe.

How should we spread the ideas?

  • Through social media
  • Enlist support of celebrities
  • Contact organizations
  • Establish campaigns, create press conferences, make more school assemblies, contact schools.

Question: How can we encourage empathy and support among our peers online? What about among adults?
Winning school: Olive Middle School (Baldwin Park, Calif.)
Judge: Mia Doces

  • Tell them your experience and stories and explain how you dealt with the situation and how it becomes better. You can tell your stories in a personal message as well
  • Talk to them directly
  • Post stories anonymously
  • Share your stories to writers
  • Posters around campus.

Question: What do we want to say to our parents and teachers about kids use of technology?
Winning school: Grossmont High School (El Cajon, Calif.)
Judge: Kim Karr

Issue: Misunderstanding between kids and parents about purpose of social media

Solution: Communication between kids and parents that enables trust and honesty


  • Encourage open conversations between adults and children (about its positive and negative effects)
  • Workshops discussing pros and cons of media (Internet/technology is a powerful tool that when utilized correctly has power to spread positivity and initiate change. Through social media, we have the power to spread awareness about issues in the world that go beyond our community and to be encouraged to take actions to improve these issues.).

Big solution: Take workshops to the next level: Invite anyone in the community to come and spread the info from the meeting through a Twitter account, YouTube channel, the news, have a social media awareness day at schools with teachers, parents, and kids.

Question: How can school counselors and administrators support students when they make mistakes posting on social media?
Winning school: Grossmont High School (El Cajon, Calif.)
Judge: Hallie Saber

  • Counselors would not try to connect with the students but instead would refer the students to someone who has gone through similar issues. This program would be called Helpfull Hillers
  • Students who have a passion for helping others would be members of Helpful Hillers
  • The Helpful Hillers would meet one day a week
  • If students want help any other time they can text the Hiller Helpline which would refer them to someone in the Helpful Hillers program.

From experience we would not go to our counselors for advice, but the advice from people with personal experience would be more valuable and helpful.

We cannot make a safe environment but make a safer Internet.

Question: Sexting: Is it a problem? Why do people do it? How do we educate others about the risks?
Winning school: John F. Kennedy High School (Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Judge: Allison Smartt

Yes, sexting is a problem. They look for self approval, e.g. compliments.

Sexting these days is not only sending nudes, and asking things through text. But it also comes in form of Snapchat, thinking it’s safe. And sexting mostly affects girls. Younger girls especially, and they get taken advantage of. Rumors get spread and photos get leaked and these girls get bullied, slut shamed and said horrible things too.

We should end sexting or at least lessen the impacts so that both the sexter and sextee do not endure the same consequences.

We can educate each other by alerting both teens and children that text messages should never contain people without clothes, kissing or touching each other in inappropriate ways. Make sure kids of all ages know that sexting is serious. Students should be educated about the consequences. Peer pressure is a major factor getting teens to sext to find some sort of approval.