Past Social Science Video Contests

An image of a light blue movie projector with two white reels, on a royal blue background, is shining yellow light onto a royal blue head figure that's filled with small images of an orange telescope, yellow globe, white light bulb, light blue heart, yellow, orange and blue figures, light blue and white earth and yellow star with a light blue circle in the center.

The Social Sciences Department offers a video contest every fall and spring semester. All Seminole State College students are invited to participate. The purpose of the contest is to promote and reward excellence in student research and inquiry into the social sciences: political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, geography, and economics; along with College Success, Education, Education Preparation Institute (EPI), and Early Childhood Education programs.   

Our "Hall of Fame Winners" and "Past Video Contest Topics" are listed below.  For more information about our semi-annual video contest, please visit the Social Science Video Contest webpage.

Hall of Fame Winners

Spring 2022

Fall 2020

Past Video Contest Topics

Curious about the prompts for Social Science's past video contests?  View the list below to see prior topics for the semi-annual contest.

The Spring 2023 Contest

The Drug Use Crisis 

When it comes to the drug use in America, we often turn to the medical experts for answers. However, this is an issue that impacts our entire society. Social science researchers have been looking at the impact of drug use for decades. Psychologists have been exploring the benefits of marijuana use on PTSD while balancing the incoming research on its impact on psychosis. Sociologists have been looking into its impact on differential treatment of race, class, and gender in the criminal justice system. In addition, the rise in drug addiction is being felt across all levels of social class, race, and gender lines. Economists examine the impact of the drug crisis on the economy. Political scientists consider the role of public policy in curbing the drug issue. Clearly, the social sciences are at the forefront of the drug race, providing research and answers to the unending questions that present themselves daily.

Create a 4-6 minute video where you critically examine the use of drugs through a social science lens. Examples of possible topics related to the social sciences have been included below.

  • What role should the social sciences play in the drug crisis?
  • How has social science research helped you to better understand the impacts of drug use on the individual, community, and society?

Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Cross cultural examination of drugs
  • The economic impact on rural communities dealing with the opioid crisis.
  • Main social factors (causes) involved in the rising rates of opioid additions in the U.S.
  • The social construction of marijuana use as a deviant act. Who defined this issue as a social problem/crime and why?
  • The impact of Fentanyl on individuals and society. It seems to be everywhere these days. How did this happen?
  • Criminalization of marijuana in terms of race/ethnicity and the War of Drugs
  • Would legalizing drugs help the economy?
  • How can informed public policy help curb the existing drug-overdose epidemic?
  • What are the potential effects of federal and state drug policies on drug abuse rates and other related problems?
  • Would efforts to legalize or decriminalize drug use help or hurt the situation?
  • Who are the interested parties in the drug-overdose epidemic? How do they benefit/how are they hurt by the epidemic?
  • Evaluation of the cost effectiveness of drug abuse treatment services
  • Marijuana’s impact on individuals with PTSD
  • The neurological impact of drugs on the brain
  • The social environmental causes of drug use
  • The impact of drug use on the individual and society

Fall 2022 Contest

School Shootings  

Humans are inherently social. Social interactions between human beings are welcome and essential for our livelihood. Research shows that social interactions provide a sense of connection, purpose, and support which ultimately leads to better health, happiness, and longevity. However, several problems present themselves through and from human interactions.  An example of such a problem is school shootings.  According to Education Week, in 2018, there were 24 school shootings, 24 in 2019, 10 in 2020, and 34 in 2021. As of June 8, there have been 27 school shootings in 2022.

Address this problem through any of the social science lenses: sociology, economics, political science, psychology, and/or anthropology.  Create a 3-5 minute video where you critically examine the issue of school shootings. 

  • What is the cause of school shootings? 
  • Is there a single factor or is it multifaceted? 
  • How have school shootings impacted different groups and institutions, such as students, educators, school staff, the community, families, friends, and businesses? 
  • What proactive steps can we take to curb the number of school shootings happening in the U.S.?

Spring 2022 Contest

The video contest this spring is in honor of Earth Day 2022.  The main purpose of this semester's contest is to examine how Social Science can contribute to our understanding of some of the most pressing environmental concerns of the 21st century.

Spring 2022 Contest Prompt

Honoring Earth Day 2022

Choose an area of environmental concern and create a video that shows how environmental problems are part of larger social systems where human decisions and activities harm the environment.  Humans created these problems and have the power to resolve them.  This social science concentration focuses on the economic, political, psychological, and sociological impact of humans on the environment.  You may choose to examine the issue through one of these subjects or a combination of them.  The main purpose is to examine the topic through a social science lens to enhance understanding and propose real solutions.

Fall 2021 Video Contest

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, we often turn to medical, biological and epidemiological experts for answers. Yet this global health crisis has touched almost every corner of our social lives and world. Social science researchers have also been hard at work studying the enormous, varied impact of COVID-19. Global devastations of this magnitude are invaluable lenses through which to study individuals, communities and societies. It is during moments of crisis that we can learn the most about the social order.  For instance, what are the ravaging effects of the massive social class, racial/ethnic and gender inequalities that are emerging during this pandemic? We believe that the social sciences are providing valuable insights into the impacts of this pandemic.

Choose one COVID-19 topic that interests you and examine it through a social science lens. What role should the social sciences play in the COVID-19 pandemic? How has social science research helped you to better understand the impact(s) of COVID-19 on the individual, the community and society? Why is this research important to take into consideration during this global health crisis?

Examples of possible topics related to the social sciences have been included below.

  • The impact of COVID-19 on education (remote learning).
  • The role of religion during the pandemic.
  • Rise of domestic violence and/or child abuse during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The impact of coronavirus economic stimulus packages on the economy.
  • The health costs of actions used to slow the spread of the virus (fear of COVID-19 and reduction in preventative care such as mammograms, colonoscopies, cancer care and heart conditions).
  • The impact of COVID-19 on women in the workforce.
  • How the virus impacts people differently based on socioeconomic status. (Adherence to coronavirus rules are very much based on socioeconomic status. For example, low-income workers feel pressured to work even when sick.)
  • The impact on mental health due to quarantine (anxiety, depression and suicide).
  • The effects of social isolation on children and/or the elderly.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the incarcerated.
  • How race/ethnicity plays into this crisis. (For example, racial and ethnic disparities in death rates and/or anti-Asian discrimination due to the pandemic.)
  • Hesitancy regarding the vaccine. (Polls suggest a sizable proportion of the U.S. population doesn’t plan to receive the vaccine or is unsure about receiving it.)
  • The impact of economic lockdowns on small businesses.
  • The impact of the pandemic on politics in the U.S. (politics and health).
  • When government spending isn’t enough - researching charitable donations during the crisis.

Spring 2021 Video Contest Prompt

What does it mean to be antiracist?

Provide some examples of what you might do to promote antiracism at the individual, institutional, and/or systemic level today or in the future.  Be sure to incorporate a minimum of one scholarly source to support/demonstrate your understanding of this topic.  Be sure to review the grading rubric carefully to understand the judging criteria for this contest.

Fall 2020 Video Contest Prompt

Candid Conversations:  Bridging the Racial and Ethnic Divide

In this era of racial and ethnic divide, how do we bridge the gap?  It may seem overwhelming or even impossible to bridge what divides us.  Today, narratives like "us" vs "them" are commonplace, but this serves only to perpetuate notions of racial otherness.  Create a video with a friend or acquaintance showing a candid conversation around such issues.  Share different cultural perspectives and views on race and ethnicity.  The goal is to break down barriers and open us up to see one another in a different light and to develop deeper understandings of complex issues, build rich relationships, create a more inclusive culture, and inspire collective action and engagement.


Rebecca K. Padilla
Professor, Sociology