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Katherine SelleyCatherine KnoxWKatherine Selley and Catherine Knox win a video contest.Two juniors at Broadneck High School recently won an international video contest and are taking steps to stop the sixth mass extinction.

Katherine Selley and Catherine Knox were awarded $1,000 and took first place in the "World of 7 Billion" international video contest for their one-minute video "What Will Happen to Us?" The pair created the video as part of an assignment for the Science National Honor Society because they believe the sixth mass extinction is a pressing matter more people should know about.

"We wanted to show that this is a pressing global issue," Catherine said. "Both of us have traveled and been able to experience how human life impacts the environment, and we wanted to show that. Also, growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, we have seen firsthand how pollution and population have negatively impacted the world around us."

The girls' video was one of three to win top honors. The other winners were on the topics of diminishing farmland and universal education. Over 1,600 students participated and submitted a total of 865 videos.

"Each year we are blown away by the quality of videos and their incredible ability to relay a meaningful message in such a short amount of time," said John Seager, president of Population Connection, which sponsored the contest.

Katherine and Catherine were surprised by their win.

"I really didn't think we were going to win," Catherine said. "We just submitted a video that we were proud of."

Katherine, a competitive sailor, plans to use her prize money for a sailing clinic in Chicago and is interested in a science career in the future.

"The earth is a fundamental part of human life and it is important to preserve it," she said.

Catherine hopes to use her winnings to study abroad in college. She is considering a degree in environmental engineering.

Click here to see their video "What Will Happen to Us?"

Betsy Stein

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