Toyota and Discovery Education announced today that Keaton Scherpereel, a homeschooled student in Flagstaff, Ariz. triumphed over more than 1,500 entrants from across the country – the highest number of submissions ever received in the competition’s 5-year history – to be one of the top ten finalists in the annual Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge.
Now through April 25, these top ten videos will be posted online for the public to vote for the People’s Choice Winner, as well as inspire other teens across the nation to drive more safely and avoid risky behavior.
The People’s Choice Winner will receive a $5,000 prize and a behind-the-scenes trip to a taping of a Velocity network show.
Video: Keaton Scherpereel’s video “Stay Focused on the Road”
In addition to the People’s Choice winner, a panel of judges from Toyota and Discovery Education will choose several other prize winners.
The first place winner will receive $15,000 and will work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot their video into a TV-ready PSA to air on a variety of Discovery networks. Other prizes include:
Second place prize – $10,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip to a Velocity network show taping
- Third place prize – $7,500
- Fourth to tenth place prizes – Each receives $2,500
- Four regional prizes – Each receives $1,000
“We launched the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge five years ago with Discovery Education because we wanted another way to engage young people in our commitment to make the roads safer for us all,” said Mike Goss, General Manager, Social Innovation, Toyota Motor North America. “It was tough to choose the 10 finalists this year and we were blown away by their creativity. Some of the videos were funny, others were profound, but all inspired us to think even more deeply about the importance of driving safely.”
The Video Challenge is one component of Toyota and Discovery Education’s TeenDrive365: In School initiative, a comprehensive program offering a range of tools designed specifically for high school educators and teens. Resources offered include tools to help teens prepare for the responsibility of driving, such as quizzes, parental discussion points, and a financial calculator; classroom resources for educators, including standards-aligned lesson plans for grades 9-12; and Heads UP!, an interactive simulation which allows teens to virtually experience the real dangers of distracted driving.
The program is part of Toyota TeenDrive365, a comprehensive initiative to help teens and parents become safer drivers together. Building on the programs Toyota has offered for more than a decade, it offers a collection of online tools, events, expert advice and tips as well as social media. TeenDrive365 is adding two new features this year to build on its extensive resources for teens.
- Virtual Field Trip to Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana – Hosted by Cristy Lee, star of Velocity’s All Girls Garage, this live online broadcast will take viewers on a guided tour to learn about the latest in robotics, automotive safety and production innovation. Students will get an exclusive look ‘under the hood’ at the careers offered in a manufacturing plant, hearing from experts such as Toyota engineers, production team members and executives. Classrooms will learn how Toyota is working with robotics and computers to increase auto safety. The trip will occur on May 3 at 12:00PM ET. To join, register at com/educators/field-trip.
- Science Behind Safe Driving Learning Module – This free interactive learning module helps educators explain the science behind safe driving to teens in a fun and engaging way (picture a cake traveling on top of a skateboard.) To access the module, educators can visit http://www.teendrive365inschool.com/educators/preparing-lessons.
“We applaud this year’s finalists and their use of digital storytelling, creativity and passion to influence the behavior of their peers and ultimately help save lives,” said Bill Goodwyn, president and CEO at Discovery Education. “Discovery Education is proud to partner with Toyota on addressing this critical issue by empowering young people to make smart decisions behind the wheel through engaging digital resources and experiences.”
Last year’s grand prize went to Elijah from Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. The re-created PSA ran across Discovery’s family of networks and can be viewed at http://www.teendrive365inschool.com/teens/video-archive.
To learn more about the resources offered through TeenDrive365: In School, go to http://www.teendrive365inschool.com/.