FARMINGTON -- Three Farmington High School students are getting real-life experiences this year by producing short, high-quality videos to spotlight different businesses that are members of Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce.
The three, all juniors in the school's Broadcast 2 class, have produced two business features that can be seen on the chamber's website: Briar Rose Bakery & Deli and Cardinal Care Center.
Clayton Williams, assistant high school principal and a member of the chamber's board of directors, said he wanted to come up with a real-world project that allowed students to interact with businesses.
"This is a great way to give students experience on the equipment and then to have business leaders provide input to them," Williams said.
Students Carter Bunn, Zac Greganti and Sean Jackson have worked together, each with his own responsibility, to videotape interviews with business owners and then edit that footage into a brief piece to showcase the business for the area.
Bunn interviewed the business owners and Jackson worked on the editing and technical aspects of the video. Jackson's challenge was to condense 18 minutes of footage into a much shorter commercial only a few minutes long.
The school's broadcasting path starts with journalism the first year and then students can move into Broadcasting 1, 2 and 3.
Jackson said the students learned how to use the equipment and software programs last year in Broadcasting 1. This year, they are taking that to the next level with the chamber videos by being able to interview "real-world clients," he said.
"At school we learn the skills but having the ability to work with people outside the environment is very important," Bunn said.
"This is what we would use in a real job doing this," Greganti added.
Initially, Williams said the plan was to produce one business spotlight per month but he quickly discovered that was rather a "grandiose plan" because of how much time is required for each one.
With graduation and other end-of-school activities going on, Williams said the students will start working on their third business feature at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.
In addition to the hands-on experiences, the students said they've enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people in the community and learn more about them.
"They are helping me figure out more about my community," Bunn said.
Bunn learned, for example, that Larry Bowden, owner of Briar Rose, lived in California, worked all over the world and then retired to Farmington and decided to open up a new business.
Greganti added, "We're learning more about what Farmington has to offer and we're getting more into the community."
Another advantage to the project, Bunn said, is that "broadcasting gives you an excuse to talk to important people."
Williams points to the soft skills the students are learning through the chamber videos: marketing, cooperation with others, communication and coordinating time schedules.
Sherri Gansz, owner of Cardinal Care Center, already is involved with the high school through its mentoring program and when asked if she would be interested in being the next business spotlight, she immediately responded she would.
"I think it's fantastic," Gansz said. "I loved it. I think they did a great job."
Gansz said the project also helped her in that she had to think about her business and what she would want to highlight about it.
Chamber President Josh Frye also has been on board with the spotlights.
"I think it's a unique and awesome opportunity to allow students at our local high school to put these together," Frye said. "These are professionally done and they look really great."
Short videos are the new "hot" thing in media advertising, Frye said, and the students and chamber are getting in on this latest trend.
In a way the project goes full circle, Frye said.
Each year, the chamber hands out college scholarships to Farmington graduates. Chamber dues help fund these scholarships and now, Frye notes, Farmington students are helping the chamber free of charge.
General News on 05/29/2019
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