Austintown Fitch's Channel 19 is a long-running public TV station, however, the equipment is getting old. One Fitch senior took steps to try to get it replaced.
Zoe Logston found out about the Follet Challenge and decided to give it a try. The Follet Challenge is put on by Follett School Solutions, a company that supplies educational materials and technology to schools around the world. Schools participating make a video and send it in. The video is posted on the Follet Challenge web site and voting begins. On the line is $200,000 in prize funds that can be used to purchase items for the school. The grand prize is $30,000 and there are ten $5,000 prizes for people's choice. The Follett Challenge was created to find and reward schools for their work in applying technology, content, and creativity in ways that engage students, foster literacy, and promote critical thinking.
''I got to do an independent project and I thought the Follet Challenge was a neat way to get new equipment for the studio,'' Logston said.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
TV Production teacher Gina Cardillo works with senior Zoe Logston as editing is done at the Channel 19 studio at Fitch. Logston recently completed a video that was entered into the Follett Challenge that could bring in new equipment for the school.
Her independent project was to film, edit and complete a five-minute documentary about Fitch High School's innovations. She wanted to showcase the arts, technology and TV production. The finished product would be submitted to Follet for the contest.
Logston interviewed TV Production teacher Gina Cardillo, life literatures teacher Steve Ward, STEM teacher Seth Basista, and Fitch High Schools head principal Chris Berni. The video was set up to show the collaboration between these three teachers and their classes as they work together to create a commercial campaign of a consumer item.
''We're working really hard to develop coursework for students who have a desire to be in STEM. We are also working with agencies that are supporting us, as well as Youngstown State University, and we're really excited about the different opportunities that we are expanding here at Fitch High School for our young people,'' said Berni.
Logston's video joined hundreds of others from across the nation and votes started coming in. Cardillo said the votes are only a part of the judging for the prize money.
''The votes are 30 percent of the grade,'' Cardillo said. ''The rest involves how the students show creativity in the video. Zoe set out to create a film that showed the way Fitch teachers use 21st century skills and project based learning to provide our students with a unique learning opportunity and she did an excellent job.''
The videos will be judged on critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration. Judges will come up with a score, then will add in the votes to determine who the winners are. To view the videos, visit . The final results won't be known until mid-April.
As for Logston, it is a big project finished, but her career path is in the early stages. While a student at Fitch, Logston also attends a Kent State University TV production class with the intention of going into that career field.
In the meantime, its keeping fingers crossed and hoping for enough votes.
''If we win, it will be super exciting,'' Logston said.