Seattle's Child

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Father-and-Son Team from Seattle Win Advocacy Video Contest

A father-and-son team from Seattle submitted a LEGO stop-motion video to explain the legislative process in Olympia to the masses. Their submission, called "Star Wars Legislature," was selected as the winner of the League of Education Voters' How a Bill Becomes a Law LEGO contest, which encouraged kids to have fun learning about the process of governments.

For their creativity and efforts, 9-year-old Shamus Black and his father, Ben Black, will receive a $500 prize. They told their tale using Star Wars mythology and "Master State Rep Yoda" as a key player. Their video submission is touted as "great storytelling … creative, funny and on-target."

"Our family works together on a lot of different activities, but this one was special," said Ben Black. "We learned a lot about the legislative process as well as storytelling. Shamus talked a lot about what he would do if he won, but we had to remind him that it was more important to put together a good entry that we could be proud of, regardless of the results."

It took the team about one week to finish the video. They initially developed ideas, then created a storyboard, built sets and shot all of the scenes. Afterward, they edited the scenes into a story and created the soundtrack.

When asked what he enjoyed most about the process, Shamus said: "I liked building the sets because we dumped all the LEGOs on the floor of my room and spent almost two days together making stuff."

His next endeavor? "A funny LEGO movie with Star Wars characters," he says.

In addition to the video produced by the Blacks, three other contest submissions received honorable mentions: "Banning BPA in Water Bottles" by John Paul Tefft; "Banning Cell Phones While Driving" by Nikhil Deo and Gautham Velchuru; and "Recycle Soda Cans" by the Totem Middle School LEGO After School Group.

To view the winning entry and honorable mentions, visit the League of Education Voters web site.

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