They’ve done it again.

For the third time in three tries, the students at  Red Bank Middle School have written and performed in a video that’s made it to the finals in a national or international competition.

The first time, in 2007, a hastily-made rap video, “Use Ya Tech,” landed in the final five in a contest for $15,000 classroom equipment.

They repeated the feat in 2008 with “This Year.” Both times, though, they finished out of the money.

Now, out of a field of more than 1,400 entries, an RBMS film is among the top three in contention for a prize of up to fifty grand. And to beat out the competition — two high schools — the kids need lots of viewer votes.

You know what that means, folks: time to stuff the ballot box, pronto. Voting ends on Wednesday, May 20.

To see the movie, click here; ‘2048
is entry number one. In voting, remember that a rating of “3” is the
highest you can give for “technical quality” and “creativity.”

This contest is sponsored by Sony and the International Society for Technology and Education and will hand out a total $400,000 in cash and technology prizes. The contest theme is “Community of the Future,” described this way on the contest website:

We want students to share their vision of how technology will shape their community in the future. For example, what might their community be like in the year 2050? How will people shop, travel, and communicate? Students are encouraged to interact with their local city council, mayor, city employees, community centers, and other groups to create their film.

Under the guidance of a second-year photography, arts & culture instructor Chris Ippolito and , and music teacher Holcombe Hurd, the RBMSers came up with a script for ‘2048,’ a five-minute rock opera in three parts.

A “progressive Gospel/Funk/Rock composition,” ‘2048″ uses green-screen, projections and state-of-the-art technology to depict that a complicated vision of the future, says Ippolito.

First, second and third-place prize packages are worth $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000 respectively. So RBMS is guaranteed to walk off with at least $30,00, which Ippolito says will be used to augment the school’s growing performing arts program.

Here’s Ippolito, from a press release about the contest:

It’s imperative that this generation of children master all of the technologies at their disposal. The world will demand that they produce professional, inspired digital content as if it was second nature, and our students are off to a great start.

Here’s Hurd:

Our administration has a done tremendous job of developing programs that give the students exposure to technology and modern methodologies. Our Superintendent Laura Morana has made a great commitment to digital excellence in education and does her best to give Maria Iozzi (Principal) and Jayne Frankenfield (Director of Technology) the opportunity to build exemplary programs.

It’s all about the kids. Red Bank has the most gifted children. They deserve the global exposure they’re getting. They are setting the standard for what middle school students can achieve. They produce real world media performances for the information age. They rock!

Led by Hurd, musicians from the school will perform tomorrow at Red Bank Day at Count Basie Field.

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