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Connected Community Challenge

A teacher-led, student-focused program using the power of broadband and Discovery Education to connect students to the world around them.

Presented by Discovery Education and the Foundation for Rural Service


The Connected Community Contest is a teacher-led, student-focused program for grades 4-12. Teams will use Discovery Education Streaming digital media resources to research a rural community located anywhere in the world and create a video submission that demonstrates the similarities and differences between that community and their own.


The contest is open to teams of students and their Teacher/Administrative sponsor from schools within the fifty (50) United States located in Rural Communities as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): “city or town” that has a population of less than 50,000 inhabitants.  Students must be in the 4th – 12th grade at the time of submission and in good standing.  Teams must have a minimum of 3 students.  Teacher/Administrative sponsor may sponsor more than one team.

Contest Entry/Registration

Teachers/Administrative sponsors will be required to register each student team at in order to enter the contest.  Once registered, each sponsor will be provided with a 60 day trial login for Discovery Education services which they can use to research and create their submission.

Download full rules

Submission Requirements

  • Each team may enter more than one submission.
  • Contest submissions can include images, audio, video, text, graphics, etc.
  • Each team must demonstrate how their rural community is similar to, and/or different than a rural community from a different part of the US or world.
  • Entry must be a minimum of one (1) minute in length, not to exceed two (2) minutes in length.
  • Entry must be the original work of the students and may not have been previously published.
  • Entry should be in one of the following formats (.mov, .mpg, .flv, .wmv, .ppt, etc.)
  • Entry must be uploaded to the Discovery Education Mediashare application (access to which will be provided upon registration)
  • A link to the entry within Discovery Education Mediashare can then be generated
  • Entrants will also be asked to include a photograph of the team which can be loaded to Mediashare at the same time they create their submission
  • The link to the entry must be copied into the Submission form at and must include the following information:
  • Team and Teacher/Administrative sponsor name
  • School District name
  • School Name
  • City, State, Postal Code
  • Email address
  • Contact number
  • Description of submission (max 100 words)
  • Citation of three (3) Discovery Education resources used in researching submission content



Download the rubric

  • Content (40%) – Digital Media Incorporation and Subject Matter Comprehension
  • Organization (40%) – Research & Logistics
  • Creativity (20%) – Unique and Engaging Method

What Are the Prizes

  • One (1) grand Prize:  $2,500 grant for technology in the classroom courtesy of FRS; school assembly/screening of a Discovery Channel program; Discovery prize packs for each member of the winning team
  • Two (2) honorable mention prizes: Discovery t-shirts (or similar) for each member of the winning team and their sponsor

The Timeline

  • January 14 – Contest Opens
  • March 15 - Deadline for submissions
  • March 18 - First round of judging begins
  • April 8 - Finalists identified
  • April 22 – Winners selected from finalists and notified
  • End of April - Announce winners
  • May - Screening & Celebratory award ceremony