A wild and crazy idea dreamed up by a group of third-graders proved to be good enough to earn recognition from the White House.
Eight girls from Steele and Stratton Elementary schools wrote and produced a short video of what it would be like if President Barack Obama visited Steele Elementary and saw the technology that students use every day at school.
The girls, members of Brownie Troop 863, entered the first-ever White House Student Film Festival with their video, "DC Dreams." Of the 2,000 entries from K-12 students from around the nation, their clip made it to the second round of judging and won an honorable mention. It can be viewed at vimeo.com/85384914.
Parents let the kids run with their concept, which proved to work, said Monica Hobbs, the mom of Zoe, one of the students.
"The theme was to highlight technology in schools, and instead of focusing on one aspect, they thought of everything," she said.
The storyline of dreaming about going to Washington, D.C., meeting the president, and then falling down a rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland and ending up at Steele seemed a little wacky to parents, Hobbs said.
But instead of discouraging the elaborate concept, which also involved the girls showing the president Steele's television newscast, library checkout system, computer lab with iPads, computerized math programs and other technology, Hobbs said parents told the girls they'd help them make it happen.
The girls created the script, rehearsed for days and filmed their story with the help of school staff, parents and Colorado Springs School District 11's media department, which let them use the district recording studio.
"They really enjoyed doing it," said Hobbs, one of the Brownie Troop leaders. "They were in it to win."
The White House Student Film Festival will be streamed live online on Friday at whitehouse.gov/filmfestival.