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Gale Ranch student earns honorable mention in national video contest

Ranganathan's documentary urges President, Congress to mandate computer science education in schools

A San Ramon eighth-grader was honored by C-SPAN and Comcast at her school Wednesday morning after her short-form documentary earned honorable mention in the organizations' StudentCam national video contest.

Sanjana Ranganathan, who attends Gale Ranch Middle School, received a certificate of merit and a $250 prize during a ceremony in front of fellow students, teachers, family members and local officials.

She was among 150 student winners -- out of more than 2,900 videos -- nationwide to earn recognition in the competition aimed at encouraging middle- and high-schoolers to think critically about issues affecting their communities and the United States. Participants were asked to make a short documentary answering the prompt, "Your Message to Washington: What is the most urgent issue for the new president and Congress to address in 2017?"

Ranganathan's seven-minute video, "Clicking Forward," urged President Donald Trump and Congress to mandate computer science education in all American public schools and make it part of a school's basic curriculum.

As part of her video, Ranganathan interviewed educators and computer science education advocates, including her principal Sue Goldman and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.).

"Comcast is honored to partner with C-SPAN on their annual documentary contest, StudentCam, and are happy to congratulate local winner, Sanjana Ranganathan," John Gauder, regional vice president of Comcast California, said in a statement.

"These next generation documentary filmmakers tackled an issue that was important to them, their community and our nation after a historic election year. Education is important to Comcast, and we applaud C-SPAN as they continue to offer educational opportunities to young leaders to voice their opinions," he added.

Ranganathan's video can be viewed online here. All StudentCam winning videos can be watched on the contest website.

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