Submit by March 11, 2022








The winners have been announced! You can view them here.

Every year, we hold a video contest to give your students an opportunity to express themselves and win great prizes. This year, we’re opening up that opportunity even more—and giving away over $12,000.

For the first time, we’re not limiting students to a single topic. Students will have three topics to choose from, allowing them to tackle the subject that speaks to them the most.

We’ve also added a Middle School Division. Younger students have impressed us over the years, and now they have a better opportunity than ever to win big.

Our contest is open to students age 10-23 residing in North America or Hawaii.  The deadline to submit is 11:59PM Eastern on Friday, March 11, 2022. Students may submit their videos to us directly, or have them submitted by a teacher or parent.

Winners will be announced in May 2022. For topics and complete rules, see below.

FIRST PLACE – College Division: $2,500

FIRST PLACE – High School Division: $2,500

FIRST PLACE – Middle School Division: $2,500

SECOND PLACE – College Division: $1,000

SECOND PLACE – High School Division: $1,000

SECOND PLACE – Middle School Division: $1,000

10 FINALISTS – $200 each (selected among the top 10 videos in each division)

Every time one of your students enters our contest, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win one of 20 $25 Amazon gift cards, or a signed copy of John Stossel’s book, No They Can’t—your choice.

The more of your students who enter, the better your chance to win. And entries in our Essay Contest count, too!

Teachers and students may choose from any one of these three topics. Find the one that suits your class best, or let your students decide for themselves

Beyond the Hashtag

Activists and changemakers have used slogans as a call to action on a wide array of social, economic, or political causes. In today’s world, hashtag activism has enabled causes to gain viral reach, but not all of the messengers, including influencers, celebrities, politicians, or regular social media users, have fully explored the intended and unintended consequences of the initiatives they support.

Whether it’s #ClimateJusticeNow, #CancelStudentLoans, #CancelRent, #DefundThePolice, or others, choose the hashtag or slogan of a cause and make a 1-3 minute video on hashtag activism.

What are the benefits or harms of spreading the hashtag? Who benefits and who suffers if the action called for is implemented?

Life Keeps Getting Better

Historian Johan Norberg reminded John Stossel that, despite our difficulties, we have many reasons to be grateful.

Norberg’s book, The Story of Human Progress, cites decreases in global poverty, child mortality, illiteracy, and undernourishment. He notes that medical, technological, and scientific discoveries over the past 50 years helped produce a vaccine in record time and increased remote work options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Make a 1-3 minute video in which you argue that life is or is not getting better.

Liberty, in Order to Live

Over the years, John Stossel has interviewed individuals who have lived under authoritarian regimes, such as Somali activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, North Korean author Yeonmi Park, and Iraqi-American activist Faisal Al Mutar, among others.

Make a 1-3 minute video on how authoritarian regimes affect individual liberty and why individual liberty is or isn’t valuable for individuals to flourish. We encourage you to share personal or historical examples that support your position.

Spark students’ creativity with these topic-related videos.


All videos should specifically address one of the three Contest Topics listed above.

Eligibility – The contest is open to students in grades 5-12 and college, (ages 10-23 at some point during the contest period September 13, 2021-March 11, 2022). No more than one submission will be accepted for each student. Students must be located in North America or Hawaii, and all submissions should be in English. Employees of Stossel in the Classroom, Stossel TV, and Center for Independent Thought, or any person or organization involved in the operation and/or setup of the contest, and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest. Previous winners of a Stossel in the Classroom first place prize are not eligible for prizes in our subsequent contests.

Video Length and Format – Videos must be no shorter than 1 minute in length and no longer than 3 minutes in length. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube and set to “Unlisted” or “Public.” (If your video is set to Private, we will not be able to view it.) Submissions that do not meet this requirement will be disqualified.

Deadline – Videos must be submitted no later than 11:59pm Eastern Time, March 11, 2022.

Plagiarism – All videos must be the original work of the student whose name is listed on the submission form.

Taxes – Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes on winnings.

Judges – Videos will be judged on their ability to answer the topic question in an articulate, clear, and organized manner. Stossel in the Classroom will evaluate video submissions in a fair and unbiased multi-round judging system, in which judges all use the same criteria. Judges will be selected by Stossel in the Classroom based on their backgrounds and expertise in education, media, and the subject matter. Decisions of the judges are final.

Ownership and Use – The ownership of any submission remains the property of the writer, but entry into the competition constitutes the entrant’s permission and consent, without compensation, with or without attribution, for Stossel in the Classroom, Stossel TV, and Center for Independent Thought to use, reproduce, transmit, post, distribute, adapt, edit, and/or display the submission.


  • Feel free to think outside the box. In our past contests, we’ve awarded prizes to videos in a variety of genres, including serious video essays, animation, comedy sketches, and even an original music performance. Find what you do best and go for it!
  • Don’t forget the 1-3 minute time requirement. Videos that are under 1 minute or over 3 minutes will be disqualified.
  • Be original. To win the top prize, your video needs to stand out.
  • Check your facts and proofread any text. Major errors can remove an otherwise great video from contention.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your video. It takes time to upload a video to YouTube, and that time could be the difference between meeting the deadline and missing it.

If you have any questions about our contests, please email us at

We look forward to watching your video. Good luck!