Tyler and Dermott Foley Credit: C-SPAN StudentCam

Brothers from Montgomery County, Maryland, and 13 other D.C.-area students will have their documentaries aired nationwide as winners of a competition.

Twins Tyler and Dermott Foley, who are 7th graders at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, took home $5,000 as grand prize winners of C-SPAN’s national 2022 StudentCam competition with their documentary, “What Happened to Gibson Grove?” 

The twins’ flick examined the way the Gibson Grove community in Cabin John, Md., was decimated by highway expansion. The film explores similar policies carried out throughout the United States that often had outsized impacts on Black communities.

“What Happened to Gibson Grove” will air on C-SPAN at 6:50 a.m. and throughout the day April 21.

More than 3,000 students across the country took part in the contest, which asked students to create a short documentary that addressed the theme, “How does the federal government impact your life?”

Looking through the winning entries, it becomes clear that the Foley twins are just two of a dozen Eastern Middle School winners this year. 

Matt Johnson, principal at Eastern, said he’s super proud of his kids, but even more so, he says these honors are part of the students’ intellectual curiosity.

“This is just a culmination of the hard work of teachers and students in the humanities program, and, you know, they pick the topics, they do the research, they get guidance along the way, but it really speaks to their creativity and interest in the world around them,” Johnson said.

Other Eastern winners were:

Dozens of other students in the D.C. region received prizes in the competition. C-SPAN received more than 1,400 entries from 41 different states, D.C., Morocco and South Korea. The 150 winners can be viewed on the competition website.

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