By Kim Hart - 03/05/10 04:38 PM EST
The State Department, in its quest to use the internet to connect people around the world, plans to announce the winners of its first online video contest today.
In November, the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs launched the contest on its ExchangesConnect social networking site. The theme, "Change Your Climate, Change your World," was meant to get young filmmakers creative juices flowing about a global issue.
The videos depicted how people around the world are "making a positive difference their local communities," said Michele Peters, a senior advisor with the bureau. The contest also helped promote the State Department's social network--it's membership grew to over 23,000. Members from 50 countries submitted 168 two-minute videos.
The department selected two international and two American winners in two age groups to receive an all-expense-paid two-week exchange program. International winners will travel to the United States and American winners will travel abroad. Flip Video, the maker of the popular FlipCam camcorders, donated cameras during the contest to help spur participation.
Here is one of the winning videos, from Bruna Monteiro do Nascimento, 17, of Brazil. Another winner hails from Latvia, and two others are from California.