2023 Middle School Winners
Olentangy Liberty Middle School Powell, OH
Ben Kurian is in the 7th Grade at Olentangy Liberty Middle School in Powell, Ohio. He is a two- time World of 8 Billion winner and found out about the contest last year from a list of opportunities his school had shared. He really loved the process of creating a video, and said “it was fun, especially editing and filming.” As he was looking at the new topics this year, he read about Apple’s commitment to reducing their environmental pollution and thought it would be an interesting video subject. He was drawn to the topic of e-waste because he was surprised that the majority is not recycled properly, and it is a challenge that will continue to grow with an increasing population.
Ben discovered a lot of interesting research on his topic this year but found filming challenging because it took many tries for him to look directly at the camera during the entire video. Some advice he has for future participants is to “start with a topic that you are really interested in because the judges will see that you really care about the topic. Also, keep a good balance of all the things required, use a checklist and the rubric when creating your video.” Besides being a winner for the World of 8 Billion contest, Ben was also the 1st place middle school winner in the C-Span StudentCam contest for his film about the opioid crisis, Losing a Generation.” His film documents what his first priority would be if he was newly elected to Congress.
Ben’s parents have really inspired him to continue creating videos with their knowledge, support, and helpful feedback. When he is not filming, Ben is playing many different instruments: the piano, violin, drums, and bass guitar. He is a part of the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra and will be performing for the National Piano Guild where pianists from all around the world will judge his performance. He loves creating videos and writing sheet music and is thinking about how he might be able to merge his two passions in the future.