When National Poison Prevention Week begins tomorrow, some of the attention will focus on junior Ella Langenderfer.
Ella’s 90-second video about product safety and labeling won a national contest for her age group (grades 9-12). As someone who keeps a Google doc listing video contests she plans to enter and maintains her own YouTube channel, the honor should come as no surprise.
“With video, I can do whatever I want and I always push myself to learn more,” said Ella. “There is no cap to what I can do or learn.”
By winning the National Poison Prevention Week (March 15-21) video contest, she received a $100 check and local media attention, as TV stations interviewed her last week at the Junior/Senior High School.
“Ella’s video was creative and told the message perfectly,” said Dr. Lori Dixon, president of local company Great Lakes Marketing and chair of the National Poison Prevention Week council. “It clearly stated that we have to be smart because the caps do not warn us!”
Friends (and fellow juniors) Carter Rybarczyk and Mattie Wilson appear in the video; other students Meredith Randall (11) and Wyatt Wilson (10) and members of Ella’s family also have roles as voice actors.
This isn’t her first award. In October, she was second runner-up in the #W82TXT video contest sponsored by the Ohio Turnpike to promote safe driving habits (view video). And last year, she was honored by the Ohio chapter of the National Center for Women and Information Technology. The group award honors high school students for their computing-related achievements and interests and seeks to increase female participation in technology careers.
Her first attempts at visual communication were PowerPoints in 8th grade. Then, with encouragement from her science teacher Paul Genzman, she moved on to using iMovie and making videos. “I remember the look on Mr. Genzman’s face when he saw how that first video turned out,” Ella recalls.
She’s currently working on a public-service announcement video about vaping, which she plans to enter in a contest sponsored by the Ohio Department of Health.
Her skills are all self taught. She uses Premiere Pro (courtesy of the district’s system-wide account with its developer Adobe) to produce the videos, which she shoots either on her phone or a GoPro camera (which she won in the Turnpike contest). She uses Audacity to edit the sound and her school-issued laptop for all the production work.
About National Poison Prevention Week:
Established in 1961, National Poison Prevention Week raises awareness of poison prevention nationwide during the third full week of March every year. The week is an opportunity to highlight the dangers of poisonings for people of all ages and promote community involvement in poisoning prevention.