Malvern Student Wins First Place in International Video Competition on Population Growth

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eighteen winners earned top spots in the 11th annual “World of 7 Billion” video contest sponsored by Population Connection. Over 3,000 students in grades 6 through 12 from 48 countries and 45 U.S. states and territories participated in the competition. The videos explored population growth as it relates to one of three challenges: Agriculture and Food, Ocean Health, and Urbanization.

Abigail McDaniel, a first-year student at Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania won first prize and $1200 for the 60-second video The Meat of the Future  Her winning entry looked at the benefits of replacing meat in our diets with protein sources like insects. Abby, a shot putter, avid reader, and dog lover, was “surprised how many people around the world eat insects. The recipes are really good.”

A full list of winners along with their winning videos can be viewed here.

The three high-school first-place winners each received a $1,200 cash prize, while the three second-place winners each received $600 and six honorable mentions each received $300. Middle-school students who claimed first and second place received $600 and $300, respectively.

In addition to educating viewers about their chosen topic and how it relates to human population growth, students had to include at least one idea for a sustainable solution. The winning pieces were on topics as varied as coral bleaching, urban heat islands, homelessness, and edible insects.

“Communicating a persuasive message in just one minute about one of the many challenges for our crowded world takes real skill,” said John Seager, president of Population Connection. “The winning students go a step further and offer inventive ideas for a sustainable future.”

The contest was organized and promoted during the 2021-22 school year by Population Education, a program of Population Connection. A panel of 44 judges—including college and high-school educators, filmmakers, and topic experts—selected the winners.

Many science and social studies teachers have been incorporating the contest into their lesson plans for years. “Teachers appreciate that the project is so student driven,” said Pam Wasserman, Population Connection’s Senior Vice President for Education. “They choose their topic and let their curiosity guide their research and production.”

For more information on the “World of 7 Billion” contest, visit

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