7 Billion
2nd Place



2017 High School Winners

2017 Rapid Urbanization


By: Eric Traugott

Alpharetta High School
Alpharetta, Georgia


A 10th grader at Alpharetta High School in Alpharetta, Georgia, Eric Traugott created his video as an assignment for his Audio/Visual class. He produces videos as a part-time job and was excited by the opportunity to utilize his skills by taking on a more personal topic.

Eric drew inspiration from personal experience when deciding how to frame the issue of urban sprawl. He has watched his own town of Alpharetta rapidly expand.  He said he was frustrated by how these commercial and housing developments were approved without giving thought to their environmental impact. He points to a housing development that was built right across from his school that resulted in the destruction of a swath of forest as an instance that drove him to highlight the issue of sprawl to a wider audience. He was able to do so in part because of his previous experience with filmmaking. All of the footage was shot from his drone, which he says was important in helping him to illustrate the effects of sprawl in a visually compelling manner.

Away from school, Eric produces videos for a wide variety of clients such as real estate agencies and the entertainment industry – including some music videos. He thinks he’d like to go to pursue a degree in business someday, but noted that he has a couple of years before he has to really think about it.


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