WASHINGTON, D.C.—Thirteen students from four countries and seven U.S. states earned the top spots in the “World of 7 Billion” video contest sponsored by Population Connection. The competition encouraged high school students around the world to create and enter videos on population growth relating to one of three topics: universal education; diminishing farmland; and the sixth mass extinction.

Overworld of 7 billion 1,600 high school students participated in the contest and submitted a total of 865 videos. Submissions were received from 39 U.S. states and 23 countries. The three first-place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize, while the three second-place winners each received a $500 cash prize and seven honorable mentions each received a $250 cash prize.

“The ‘World of 7 Billion’ student video contest proves just how powerful youth are to the discussion surrounding population growth,” said John Seager, president of Population Connection. “Each year we are blown away by the quality of videos and their incredible ability to relay a meaningful message in such a short amount of time.”

The contest was organized and promoted during the 2014-15 school year by Population Education, a program of Population Connection; submissions were due February 19, 2015. A panel of 28 judges—including college and high school educators, filmmakers, and professionals working on agriculture and sustainability—selected the finalists.

“This year’s videos seemed especially thoughtful given the complexity of topics. And it was exciting to see what solutions the students offered that would impact positive future change,” said Pam Wasserman, vice president for education at Population Connection.

For more information on the “World of 7 Billion” contest, visit www.worldof7billion.org

To view the winning videos and student bios, visit www.worldof7billion.org/student-video-contest/2015-winners/