The amazing Green Screen Team at Tuskegee Public School is something you have to see to believe. ECHOboom has made it easy for you to become a believer. Just scroll to the bottom of this page to watch the video. But first, please read this blog post.
During my long career as a news anchor, I worked at several television stations. When I became a public relations consultant, I adopted a practice of accompanying clients to television studios. In all of these places, Chromakey technology was part of the environment.
So my jaw practically dropped to the floor when I visited Tuskegee Public School, briefing students on the T-100 project and saw how they have become Chromakey or “green screen” experts. As I was presenting, I could see the children absorbing the information. I witnessed them convert it into a video production and I marveled as they owned the project from fact-finding to final cut.
Using their iPads, they navigated the Internet and located the Website, www.airmenlegacy.com where they conducted background research. They clicked on “Talking Points” and reviewed the facts about the T-100. The teacher, Mr. Ferris Moore selected 4th grader Ashana Woodson to be a Robin Roberts clone. And then he moved to the sidelines, advising or admonishing the class when he felt it was necessary.
The students ran the studio like professionals and actually produced a T-100 video for the school’s Youtube channel. There was a sound technician who clipped the microphone on Ashana so her audio would be clear. The production crew set up a two-camera shoot. Floor directors gave a 3-second countdown letting Ashana know when she was in prime time. And if you have ever seen a television meteorologist work in front of a green screen, then you know it’s almost magical.
The green screen is transparent and a skilled technician can make the green go away so that a person, picture or graphic is what the audience sees on their television monitor. I watched 4th, 5th and 6th graders handle Chromakey technology as well as anyone I ever worked with in a big city television station.
Cool as a Popsicle fresh out of the freezer, Ashana looked directly into the camera and introduced herself to the audience. Without missing a beat, she stated the T-100 could bring jobs and boost the local economy. She incorporated the new rallying cry “When We Win” and set the stage so that sound bites from her classmates could easily follow. 6th grader, Jamarius Moore said ‘When We Win” he wants more restaurants and places to shop. Another student, Cynthia Alcanzar wants more playgrounds, a Dave and Buster’s, a bowling alley and a program with people volunteering to build houses for the homeless.
Ashana, who is poised beyond her years, schooled me about the Green Screen Team saying, “We produce informational videos for those who don’t know about Tuskegee Public School and what’s going on here.” The videos are posted to youtube at WTPS News.
The Macon County school system also has an emphasis on STEM learning and an innovative Career Tech Center with several skill training programs including robotics. This is an aspect of the community that Leonardo DRS executives may want to add to a future itinerary. Seeing intelligent, motivated students will confirm that Macon County school administrators are as committed to educating local children as Leonardo is to global business matters.