The Winners of Our 2020 Vocabulary Video Contest for Middle Schoolers

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The Winners of Our 2020 Vocabulary Video Contest for Middle Schoolers

One of the top three winners of our middle school contest: cartographer by Soobin Lee.


This is the first year we have been experimenting with offering our contests, which have long been open to students 13 years old and up, to younger students. And so far, we have not been disappointed with the results.

Last month, we honored nine middle school students whose reviews of art and culture blew us away. And now, we’re excited to announce the winners of our first ever Vocabulary Video Contest for middle schoolers. (You can see the winners of the high school contest here.)

We received nearly 350 entries from students ages 10-14 taking us up on our challenge to define one of our Words of the Day in just 15 seconds. Of those entries, we selected 15 finalists — three winners, five runners-up and seven honorable mentions — whose work we’re featuring above and below. We chose these videos for their originality and how well they showed an understanding of the word they chose. And, of course, they had to follow our rules.

Not to sound too cliché, but we hope you’ll find these 15 videos a balm for your worry in these uncertain times. We know they have been for us.

Teachers and students, if you enjoyed this contest, check out our Editorial Contest, going on now, and our Podcast Contest, beginning April 9, both open to middle school students.

Thank you to everyone who participated!


cartographer by Soobin Lee (See top of this post.)

macabre by Xhaiden D’Souza

mishap by Paul Slawson IV and Raina Lath

accessory by Aurelia Viner

anticlimax by Natalie Lankford, Jacqueline Myers, Audrey Norris and Karen

arsenal by Keira Kawada, Shaan Sidhu, Josh Spooner and Liam Wills

balm by Emma Hirsch

gawk by Marion Cook and Robin Linden

hypocritical by Celeste Roselli and Ismini Vasiloglou

pessimism by Ava-Joan Osuagwu and Omera Wahid