Teen Filmmakers Address Driver Safety! Toyota and Discovery Education Announce Finalists in Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge

April 6th, 2017 by

Teen filmmakers are pointing their lens at driver safety, and making a difference.  Today, Toyota and Discovery Education announced the ten finalists of the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge. Now in its sixth year, the Challenge invites teens to create short videos to inspire their peers to drive more safely and avoid risky behavior.  The public is invited to watch the ten finalists’ videos —chosen from nearly 1,500 submissions — at TeenDrive365InSchool.com/vote and vote through April 18, 2017 for the People’s Choice winner, who will receive a $5,000 prize and a behind-the-scenes trip to a taping of a Velocity network show.

The Challenge is part of the comprehensive TeenDrive365: In School initiative, which offers a range of tools for high school educators and teens, including an upcoming virtual field trip on “The Engineering behind Safety” on April 20.  Students can meet the Toyota engineers, scientists and technicians who envision the future of driver safety and then use science, technology and innovation to make it a reality.
“We are always ‘wowed’ by the unique perspective that the young filmmakers bring to the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge year-after-year, and they’ve done it once again,” said Mike Goss, general manager, Toyota Social Innovation. “This year’s finalists impressed us with their ingenuity and it’s clear that they believe that driver safety is an important issue for their peers. We wholeheartedly agree with them and are excited to also offer the Virtual Field Trip to expand on these important safety messages.”

TeenDrive365 Video Challenge Prizes

In addition to the People’s Choice winner, several other prize winners will be chosen by a panel of judges representing Toyota and Discovery Education. The first place winner will receive $15,000 and will work with a Discovery film crew to transform their video into a TV-ready PSA to air on a variety of Discovery networks.

Other prizes include:
• Second place prize – $10,000 scholarship and a behind-the-scenes trip to a Velocity network show taping
• Third place prize – $7,500 scholarship
• Fourth to tenth place prizes – Each receives $2,500 scholarship
• Four regional prizes – Each receives $1,000 scholarship

Last year’s grand prize went to Matthew P. and John C. of Olney, Maryland. Their video featured two young scientists who compare cars to beluga whales and suggests we would all drive more responsibly if we treated the other cars on the road as if they were animals who carry people, not just machines. The re-created PSA ran across Discovery’s family of networks and can be viewed at teendrive365inschool.com.

“Peer-to-peer messaging is a powerful tool to engage young people in driver safety conversations,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Discovery Education.  “With traditional drivers’ education programs leaving the classroom, it’s never been more important to create digital learning environments that support students as they navigate life behind the wheel. We are proud to partner with Toyota in this effort to amplify, empower and celebrate driver safety messages in school.”

TeenDrive365: In School Virtual Field Trip

Complementing the challenge, educators will be able to take their students behind-the-scenes of Toyota Motor North America Research and Development headquarters in Michigan on Tuesday, April 20 at 1 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. CDT, to learn about the engineering behind safety.  At this Toyota hub of design, research and development, get insight into how real world challenges that drivers face every day are being tackled with new design features to help enhance driver safety.
Students will get a behind-the-scenes look at:

• The Electromagnetic Compatibility Chamber
• Crash Test Dummy Lab
• Crash Test Track
• Toyota Safety Systems

In this 40-minute experience geared towards grades 9-12, students learn how the highly-skilled professionals in advanced manufacturing processes and systems identify problems, create solutions, think critically, and apply new technologies and skills.  They’ll see how advanced technology is used to help improve the quality and safety of automobiles today, and learn more about the physics principles that are involved in conducting crash tests. Register in advance here.

“The announcement of the TeenDrive365: In School initiative challenge finalists and the upcoming virtual field trip provided me a great reason to begin a discussion about driver safety with my students,” said Rob Lamb, Chemistry teacher at Pattonville High School, Pattonville School District, Bel-Nor, Missouri. “It’s wonderful to have classroom resources that can be a catalyst for a discussion as important as driver safety.”

Other TeenDrive365: In School resources that help teens prepare for the responsibility of driving, include quizzes, parental discussion points, and a financial calculator to help teens assess the costs of driving; classroom resources for educators, including standards-aligned lesson plans; and Heads UP!, an interactive simulation which allows teens to virtually experience real dangers of distracted driving.

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