Incorporate broadcasting projects into your curriculum to help engage students while deepening their STEM knowledge and understanding.
There is a lot more to the television and radio industries than students realize. By assigning broadcasting projects to students, teachers can begin to make connections between their STEM classes and an industry they are passionate about.
1. Design for Airtime
In the broadcasting industry, graphic designers are integral to supporting stories through images and pictures. Through graphic-design based broadcasting projects, show students how STEM concepts are used to measure elements within images and technology to manipulate designs and create the perfect accompaniment for televised stories. Turn this activity into a station-based learning session, through which groups of students will create a visual to accompany a televised segment on a subject selected by their teacher. Teachers can have students design an infographic that summarizes important ideas from a current unit, explains a complex concept, or illustrates the relationship between connected ideas in their classrooms. In math, teachers can incorporate a lesson about misleading displays as part of a statistics unit. Adobe offers deep teacher discounts for their Creative Cloud package, but other free options exist through Daz 3D, Vectr, INKSCAPE, and SketchUp.
2. On Location in Class
Instead of inviting a variety of professionals to class, reach out to local radio and television stations and organize a broadcast career day. Enlist systems supervisors, broadcast engineers, camera operators, and lighting and sound technicians, to bring equipment to the classroom and explain how each piece works. Have any guests focus specifically on the path they took to their career in broadcasting, the training required, and how they use STEM skills every day. As one of their broadcasting projects, students will imagine their own possible career paths, from technical school or college, to internships and their first post-graduate jobs in these fields.
3. Broadcast Players
Not all teachers have access to the technology that would allow students to navigate around different broadcasting projects. By employing the “fake it till you make it” mentality, teachers can still educate students regarding the broadcasting industry through staging a television, or radio, segment through role play. Students should be assigned jobs, such as studio manager, lighting, film crew, producer, audio technician, director, tricaster technician, and teleprompter technician. After researching their assigned jobs and the STEM concepts involved, students will engage in a staged production of their broadcasting projects within the classroom. The focus of the broadcast can be any subject of your choosing!
Tell students to pick an important topic from your curriculum and ask them to record a news presentation covering the subject. Students can use the camera on a parent’s phone, their own devices, or those available in school computer labs and public libraries. Before sending students off to record their broadcasting projects, educate them regarding guidelines of quality reporting and legitimate information gathering.
5. Back to the Studio
After studying the industry and completing broadcasting projects that teach students about this field, organize a field trip to a real studio where programs are produced. The visit doesn’t have to take place in a big, fancy newsroom or well-known radio station. Taking students to a college studio is an excellent option, or high schools that have a student-run station can also provide important hands-on experiences for students. Arrange for students to engage in broadcasting projects that allow them to produce a mock segment, using the equipment they learned about with proper support.
As the demand for high-tech broadcasting and streaming services increases, the industry will yield more jobs that require a strong STEM background, such as the position that 16-year-old Jermonte Simmons of Cleveland, Ohio secured as a STEM-focused sports-radio host. Encourage students to think beyond the classroom by imagining where their broadcasting projects could take them in this exciting, evolving industry.
1. STEM Jobs
3. Daz 3D