They visited the Makerspace to record about-me speeches as part of a classroom project.
Now the 21 students of Nicole Parker’s public speaking class are producing an all-new weekly student-run news program for New Richmond High School titled Roar on the River (ROTR).
The inaugural episode, which premiered Jan. 31, was a mix of serious news and fun features including a blind taste test between Gold Star and Skyline Chilis.
Plans call for each 10-minute episode to be produced by a team of seven students. The three teams will be on a rotating production schedule.
To create the newscast, students are leveraging the tools and technology that are available in the NRHS makerspace including a green screen and camera equipment.
Since the beginning of the school year, Principal Mark Bailey and Director John Frye have pushed for the launch of a school news broadcast.
“I’m very excited about our student-run news program Roar on the River,” Mr. Bailey said. “Through the hands-on use of technology, students will be able to further hone their skills in writing, time management, and team decision making.
“Students will develop public speaking and communication skills. They will learn how to locate sources, conduct interviews, and write scripts about their school and their hometown. The most exciting end result will be to watch our students develop skills that will transfer from the high school classroom to college/career as they prepare for the competitive 21st-century workforce.”
The administrators were not alone in their wish for a student news program. NRHS seniors Emily Justice and Leah Heiden said they had talked about the possibility in recent weeks. They even approached makerspace coordinator Dakota Smith to see if they could create a news program. That’s when they learned such an effort was underway.
Both Justice and Heiden were part of the team behind the inaugural newscast.
Smith is collaborating with Parker on the project
Students from the public speaking class are responsible for 100 percent of the production: from research, writing, anchoring, field reporting, and editing to the behind-the-scenes lighting, sound design, and graphic design, Smith said.
“With the equipment we have here at the studio, the students can learn virtually all aspects of the production process and will get a chance to try their hand at each one,” he said.
Students behind the first episode recognized that they were making school history. Because of this, they were confidently moving forward with a plan to produce a program that delivered a good mix of fun and actual news, according to Zoe Fisher.
These two elements will be key to the program’s success, according to senior Brien Bell.
The makerspace is a great idea and addition to the school, Bell said. It offers many opportunities that weren’t available before, like the ability to create a news program.
Once students see the news program, Bell and the other creators of the first ROTR think it’s only a matter of time before more of their classmates begin taking advantage of all the makerspace has to offer.