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High school students immerse in media creation during summer workshop

Over the summer, 30 high school students had the opportunity to get a hands-on experience with media equipment and spaces at Ohio University.

Held from July 26-29, the High School Media Workshop was hosted by the The School of Media Arts and Studies in Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication. This year marked the return of the four-day overnight, on-campus format, as last year’s was shortened to one day due to the pandemic.

The attendees included students in grades 9-12 as well as some rising first-year college students. While most were from Ohio, some students traveled from North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana to attend the workshop.

“It felt so good to be back in person and for the students to be able to really experience campus,” Andie Walla, associate professor of instruction and workshop director, said. “It was also beneficial for them to have more time to let creative ideas sink in, develop a concept and not be rushed as much.”

OHIO faculty and students help high school students create animations in computer lab
Ohio University faculty and undergraduate students helped the workshop attendees with producing content for the short films, like this animation lab. Photo Credit: Dylan Benedict/Ohio University

The students were able to pick from four session topics to focus on: video production, music production and technology, animation, and audio for cinema. OHIO faculty members and undergraduate student leaders helped the students learn more about each of the media elements and programs.

Divided into two groups, students used each of the media elements to produce two short films, “Oodles of Noodles” and “Office Voodoo.”

“The projects that these high school students created were top notch,” Walla said.

While the films premiered before they left to go home, Walla shared the files with the students so they can continue to grow in their editing skills after the workshop ended. Fostering creativity and allowing the students the chance to produce their own content is a goal of the workshop.

The workshop was also an opportunity for OHIO undergraduate students to mentor and share their tips with the attendees.

Crewe Edens, a junior games and animation major, assisted Tyler Ayers, associate professor, with helping the students produce animation content for each of the short films. Edens was impressed with the experience the students already had with the animation programs.

Students in a recording lab with guitars and drums.
Workshop students produced original music for each of the short films. Photo Credit: Dylan Benedict/Ohio University

“It was cool to hear about how proactive they are in pursuing this passion for art and animation and it was also reassuring to see that more K-12 schools are introducing kids to these career fields,” Edens said. “I just hope these kids keep creating.”

Akira Jakkson, a senior majoring in integrated media production and minoring in film, was a student leader in the video production section for a second year.  

“I came back because I had a lot of fun the first time and was happy to return for another round,” Jakkson said. “The kids that come in blow me away with their skills and are always receptive to instruction, and they’re so ambitious and creative. Seeing them take a basic idea and make it their own is fun to watch, and it feels nice to be able to give some guidance from what I have learned here at OHIO.”

Walla was proud of all of the OHIO student leaders that took the time to share their time with the workshop attendees.

“It is a great experience for the undergraduate students to be able to share their knowledge of production in each of the different disciplines with the high school students, but they also get to have candid conversations with them about what college is like,” Walla said. “Hopefully then they will return to be Bobcats of their own.”

High school students attending the High School Media Workshop on Ohio University's campus
Attendees had a chance to experience campus life as well as learn more about the School of Media Arts and Studies. Photo Credit: Dylan Benedict/Ohio University
September 9, 2022
Jalyn Bolyard