By Marah Morrison
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Students at Chaney and East High Schools interested in a career in journalism can get hands-on learning experience in the new television studio at Choffin Career and Technical Center.
Choffin students studying media arts and construction technology joined faculty and media members on Wednesday for an open house showcasing the new $ 130,000 studio on the second floor of the school . The 360-degree studio features green screen walls, new cameras, and teleprompers to prepare students for their careers. The investment was made possible by the Choffin Trust, said Mike Saville, director.
“When people pass [Choffin], they see four blank walls and it’s just not as obvious to a stranger looking inside. There is so much going on, but that’s the way to make it stand out and show great things that are happening, ”he said.
The program allows students to learn skills that they can learn in different industries locally, Saville said. Last year, eight students entered the media arts program and another 16 juniors came “on the promise” that the studio would come, he said.
“Now that we’ve created it, we have a waiting list,” Saville said. “Each program will contain at least 20 and we are on the verge of having a full program.”
The C-TV logo is displayed above the entrance to the circular space built to function as a legitimate television studio. The camera equipment is positioned in several areas, which allows different segments to be filmed simultaneously, like a real newscast. The interior wall is painted green for green screen capabilities.
The goal of building the studio was to get students excited about what they are studying, said Cristen Manion, professor of photojournalism.
“There’s a little more membership compared to if you walk into a classroom and there’s a green curtain hanging on the wall,” Manion said. “It gets students thinking about the different ways they can use technology and it gives us a space that we can put them in. “
Manion’s class is divided into different sections: Photojournalism and Broadcast Video Production. Students learn the difference between writing for journalism and writing for advertising, as well as learning to take photos and edit videos, she said.
Plus, students can learn screenwriting through short films from the new studio, Manion said. Students can now get acquainted with a variety of cameras such as JVCs, Nikon D3500s, Nikon Z6s, as well as teleprompers and tripods, she said.
With the new studio space, students aren’t just sitting at desks writing homework, said Manion. Now they can be industry ready, she said.
Media arts students last year had nothing of what they have now, said India Smith, a senior media arts student. It makes her proud to know where the program started and what it has turned into, she said.
“We’ve come a long way and now we have a studio like WKBN,” Smith said. “We are very fortunate to be able to have hands-on experience, because a lot of people don’t have that experience. ”
Smith isn’t sure what she wants to do after graduation, but she does know she wants to be in video production, she said.
In addition to creating an actual setting for budding journalists, the studio project gave Choffin construction technology students the opportunity to put what they learned into practice. Led by construction technology instructor Kevin Sinkele, the seniors in the construction program designed and built the studio space in four months, Saville said.
One of the students on the build team was Reynaldo Torres Aquirre, who said he learned a lot of new things during the studio building process and appreciated the way everyone worked together.
“We actually did it on time,” he laughed. “It felt good. They trusted us to build something for them.
Students have completed all drywall, paint, flooring and lighting applications, Saville said. They also learned how to lay out the ceiling grids.
“They put a lot of effort into it, but learned a lot of skills depending on the program, so we were able to get them to create the space and then show what they are capable of doing for this program,” said Saville. . .
Getting construction students to create something that media arts students can use to make their own TV show encourages students to take ownership of what they do, Saville said.
“One of the things we can work on at Youngstown is membership and part of that is ownership,” Manion said. “Sometimes the community thinks, ‘Oh, I’m from Youngstown,’ so the fact that the kids can own a studio, have their own kids construction TV show, can build that and say, ‘I was involved. to that. It gives them a sense of pride. ”
Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.