Election day has come and gone. You might have been too young to vote, but that doesn't mean you don't have opinions on important national issues like gun control, climate change and the COVID-19 crisis. Maybe you're trying to make sense of it all. Whatever you're thinking, you know this new presidential term will have lasting impacts and Americans need to advocate for policy decisions that benefit the country's future. What political issues should be top priority and why?

We invite students in grades 6-12 to submit commentaries. Commentaries are short, first-person opinion pieces that make an evidence-based argument rooted in a personal experience. Tell the President-Elect what matters to you and why they should consider your perspective. 

You can record a podcast, selfie video, a narrated slideshow or create an original animation. Keep it short though-- 400 words max and under two minutes. Your media will be featured on a public showcase and some will be shared on public media channels!  

To submit, students must have a KQED Learn account under the direction of a teacher or mentor.
Don’t have a Learn account yet? Convince your teacher to sign your class up for this project by sending them this link.

Watch an example of a student commentary created for the challenge. Explore all of the youth media pieces on the showcase.

Choose your topic. If you're not sure, here's a list of the top 5 election issues students are interested in (according to students). You can also check out the Above the Noise Election 2020 YouTube playlist.

Components of a CommentaryFind EvidenceScript Template

Get started writing your commentary! Your script should be less than 400 words. Click on the buttons below for support. Use the template provided or create your own!

How to Write a Great Commentary

Record! Decide whether you'd like to make a video or an audio commentary. Recording a selfie video or audio narration is easy with these helpful tips.  

Upload your audio or video file to Soundcloud, YouTube, Vimeo or another other streaming service (make sure to adjust your privacy settings to public). Then, add your link and transcript in the submission portal in your KQED Learn dashboard. 

Don't forget to give your piece a unique and powerful title! Avoid titles like "Fashion video by Freddie C. 5th Period Mr. Smith" and go for something more like "Fast Fashion Impacts All of Our Lives." 

Go To DashboardExample Script

Video Styles With Myles

Audio Styles With Myles


WeVideo (freemium, Chromebook, Mac or PC)     


iMovie (free with Mac)        



Audacity (free for Mac or PC)


Soundtrap (freemium, Chromebook, Mac, PC) 


Student Instructions

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