The world’s water shortage got some street cred last month after a video that was produced by two local teens won a national contest.
On May 12, Chad Lacy of Northwest Tucson was selected as a winner in the World of 7 Billion video public service announcement contest, hosted by Population Connection.
Chad’s video, “Water Crisis Rap,” was voted as the first-place finisher in the ninth to 10th grade category from more than 600 video PSAs submitted by students from 36 states and several foreign countries. His original rap video, produced along with his friend and co-filmmaker, Ricky Cordova, earned high marks and a $1,000 prize, which the boys split.
The boys are students at Ironwood Ridge High School. Their biology class was encouraged to compete in the contest by their teacher.
The contest challenged high school students to display their creativity and produce a 30-second PSA focusing on one of five topics (economics, energy, land use, public health or water) and how it relates to world population, which is going to hit seven billion this October.
Since both are musically inclined – Chad has written songs and raps for other class projects, including a version of Shakespeare’s “MacBeth,” and he and Ricky have played together in a band – the two were a natural to enter the competition.
It took the boys less than an hour to write the lyrics, composing as they researched their topic. Their biggest challenge, said Chad, was “taking all the info we had and condensing it into 30 seconds while still being understandable.”
They shared the production duties equally during the one-day shoot, and then Chad edited most of the video at home.
The prize notwithstanding, Chad and Ricky are happy with their finished project.
“We’ve never won a contest like this before. It shows what you can do when you put a lot of effort into it,” said Ricky, who used some of his prize winnings to purchase a microscope.
The winning video can be viewed at www.Worldof7Billion.org. It successfully employed humor and music to convey an important message about water conservation and an increasing population.
The World of 7 Billion program is a free educational resource for both students and educators created by Population Connection’s Education Program. The campaign increases awareness surrounding human population growth and its impacts on the environment, and global community.