Antwerp Local has had a broadcast program for several years, but in the past, students used a green screen to produce their shows. Kayla Bagley, the broadcast journalism teacher, had the idea to create a real studio after attending a journalism convention in the fall of 2016. "I attended a session where another broadcast advisor shared the benefits of having an actual studio rather than a green screen, and I was convinced this was what we needed to do to take our program to the next level and provide our students with an even better learning experience," Bagley says.
Bagley began planning for the creation of a studio shortly after returning from the convention, and construction started in the spring of 2017. Overall, it has taken a year to complete and has involved the help of many groups and individuals: Superintendent Dr. Marty Miller, School Treasurer Kristine Stuart, and the Antwerp Local School Board were very supportive of the project and provided financial support. Cathy Barnett, Antwerp's former District Technology Integration Coordinator, helped Bagley write grants to obtain funding for the project. They received a Martha Holden Jennings Open Grant and a Paulding Putnam Co-Op Operation Round-Up grant.
In the spring of 2017, Cord Ehrhart and his Engineering Your Future class helped design and begin construction of the new set. Tim Manz (Director of Curriculum and Technology Integration and Innovation), Harold Gottke (Technology Coordinator), Dan Wiedman (Maintenance), Bagley, and her husband Ryan Bagley all helped finish the set in various ways over the next year. Rick Weirich and his industrial arts students designed and constructed the anchor desk. Sam Smith helped with the studio lighting.
Students were also very involved during the creation of the set. Student Technology Services (STS) students helped set up new equipment, made sure it worked correctly, and troubleshooted when necessary. Other students helped with painting and clean up of the set. Junior broadcast student Iris Sorrell designed the new ALSTV logo.
The completed studio includes a technology control room, two high-definition cameras with teleprompters, three changeable set areas, professional studio lighting, various microphones, a small green screen area, and a professional anchor desk.
"We're really proud of our broadcast program and of our new studio. It's pretty incredible to have something like this in a small school district like ours. It provides a very unique and authentic learning experience for our students. We're the only school in our area that has anything like this," Dr. Miller says.
Bagley adds, "The broadcast program teaches students so many valuable skills: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and the use of many different types of technology. Students have to be invested in their learning because a real audience, not just their teacher, sees their work. The completion of our studio will only add to those benefits."
Once the 2018-2019 school year begins, anyone in the community is welcome to watch Antwerp's daily live broadcasts via the YouTube channel ALSTV Archers Live. Archived broadcasts are also available on the channel. Broadcasts include students in grades kindergarten through 12 and share school news and events, highlight student accomplishments, feature special stories and segments, and more.