Slingshot Challenge Resources
Quick Start Guide
Solution Design Labs, Educator Information Sessions, & Office Hours
These virtual sessions between September 2023 – January 2024, will help engage, motivate and support those participating in the Slingshot Challenge.
Solution Design Labs
Solution Design Labs are designed to help youth learn about the challenge, think about the root causes of environmental problems in their community, and brainstorm possible solution ideas.
These sessions inspire youth around the work of our National Geographic Explorers and provide an opportunity for peer connection. Sessions are open to all youth regardless of where they are in their changemaking journey. There are separate sessions in English and Spanish, and individuals or teams are welcome to attend.
Educator Info Sessions
Educator Info Sessions are an opportunity for educators to receive an overview of the challenge basics, hear tips from educators who’ve participated in the challenge, and have questions answered. In addition, these sessions serve as an opportunity for educators to share experiences and best practices with one another related to supporting youth.
These sessions are open to both formal and informal educators, whether they are interested in conducting the challenge as an in-classroom experience or just want to support self-driven youth as they participate. There are separate sessions in English and Spanish.
English: 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. EST | Register
Office Hours Info
Office Hours are an opportunity for youth and educators to meet with National Geographic Society Education Staff and an Explorer to receive individualized support for the Slingshot Challenge. Youths can share their solution ideas for feedback, raise a problem they are facing or an area where they are stuck, and ask questions. Educators can have questions answered about the challenge and receive tips for how to best support their youth.
Youth or educators who are facing technical issues can receive assistance during office hours as well. Individuals or teams are welcome to participate in office hours. These sessions are bilingual and English or Spanish speakers are welcome.
In order to view these office hours, please register at the Videos for Change website.
Challenge Opens—September 20, 2023
Submission Deadline—February 1, 2024 at 11:59 pm EST
Funding Recipients Announced—May 8, 2024
People’s Choice Award Voting Opens—May 8, 2024
People’s Choice Award Voting Closes—May 31, 2024
Here are the steps for registering and submitting a video:
- Step 1. Sign up at www.SlingshotChallenge.org to receive challenge updates.
- Step 2. Get registered via our Videos for Change site. If you’re under 18, you’ll need to enter a parent email address and get their consent to participate.
- Step 3: Download challenge toolkit and sign up for a workshop.
- Step 4: Create and submit your 1-minute video for a chance to receive up to $10,000 in funding.
- Videos must focus on an environmental issue and inspire positive change, with a clear call to action.
- Videos must be in English or Spanish, no longer than one minute, no larger than 200 Mb and can be filmed in vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape) format.
- Video submissions can be created by one person, or in teams of up to six members. Team members must be between the ages of 13 to 18 at the time of entry.
- All video content must be original or copyright-free. Be sure to follow the Videos for Change community guidelines.
Yes. They can be shot vertically (portrait format) or horizontally (landscape format).
No. You can use your same Videos for Change account from last year to sign in and submit to the 2024 Slingshot Challenge. You will need to create a new entry for this year’s challenge and be sure to add your team members if you are working in a team.
For other Videos for Change questions, please visit the Help Center.
Youth may choose to work individually or as a team of up to six participants. All participants must be 13-18 years old. Regardless of whether you work individually or in a team, all solutions will be expected to involve collaboration with peers, stakeholders, and/or marginalized communities.
When submitting in teams, note that all team members must individually join the team via the Videos for Change site. In addition, all team members must receive individual parent/guardian or educator permission, and all team members must accept the final video submission to ensure every team member is properly credited and recognized. These consents will be sent to the email address you utilize when creating your Slingshot Challenge Videos for Change account.
Parental or legal guardian permission is required for submission for youth under 18. When registering, youth are prompted to enter a parent or educator email address.
If you enter your parent or legal guardian’s email, they must click the “I Consent” button in the email before the video project can be submitted. If you are in a team, all parents or legal guardians must provide consent before the video project can be submitted. If you participated in the challenge last year, your parent consent will carry over as long as you use the same account.
If you enter your educator’s email address, your educator must receive consent from your parent to provide consent on their behalf. After your educator has received consent from your parent outside of Videos for Change, they must click the “Confirm” button to confirm that manual consent has been received.
A selection panel will evaluate submissions and select a small number of submissions to receive up to $10,000 USD in funding. Reviewers will use the following criteria:
- Issue Communicated Effectively:
- Does the video and solution address an environmental issue related to at least one of the five topic areas?
- Does the video make a compelling, evidence-based case for why the issue matters?
- Emotional Impact:
- Does the video build empathy, giving the audience a reason to care and take action?
- Does the participant(s) demonstrate a sincere personal connection to the topic?
- Does the solution present a creative and/or original approach to address the issue?
- Effective use of Video-Making Techniques
- Does the video meet the technical entry requirements: one minute, created from original or copyright-free material?
- Can the video and audio be clearly understood by the audience?
- Does the video use unique storytelling techniques (ie. styles, shot types) that provides a compelling message?
- Clear, Achievable Call to Action:
- Is the solution clear, achievable and realistic?
- Would the solution result in relevant and measurable impact?
- Explorer Connection:
- Does the video reference inspiration or ideas from a National Geographic Explorer?
- Community Connection:
- Does the solution clearly address a specific issue in the community and involve community members as collaborators?
In May 2024, after videos have been evaluated by a selection panel, the National Geographic Society will announce a small number of award recipients from the submitted videos. Submissions are eligible to receive up to $10,000 USD in funding as an unrestricted cash award. In the case of teams, funding is split evenly among team members. Award recipients can apply for the opportunity to attend our iconic Explorers Festival in June 2024. Additional non-monetary awards, such as a People’s Choice Award and Explorer Connection Award, will be announced at Explorers Festival.
All participants who submit a solution video will receive a digital certificate and will be invited to a virtual announcement and recognition event.
Photo credits (from top of page): Costanza Piccoli/National Geographic