What is your name?
What school do you teach at?
Mepham High School
What city and state is your school located in?
Bellmore, New York
What different media are produced at the school?
Bellmore Merrick Broadcasting produces two weekly shows (Midweek Update & the Morning Announcements) along with two monthly shows (BMB Sports Talk and Talkin’ Cookies) along with weekly sports and events coverage from around the district.
How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
Describe your space for us.
Six years ago our district repurposed the old Home Economics classroom into a studio space. We have a classroom/news room area with 24 work stations on one side of the room and 20×25 3 camera studio on the other side. When the room was repurposed the only supply closet that runs the length of the studio side was converted to be a control room. Once we returned to school during the pandemic we appropriated a nearby office to serve as “Studio B” so we could have two anchors appear on camera together while being socially distanced.
What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
We have a large space that (pre-covid) allowed us to have a large number of students involved in our studio productions. The space also allows for multiple activities to take place at the same time (shooting, editing, writing, reporting, etc.)
What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
Our studio space is conducive to creating relationships and collaboration. Our program stretches across four grades so it is common for us to see Freshmen working alongside and learning from Juniors and Seniors in our program. Early on our program became one part academic and one part family and I think the students who choose to embrace it not only benefit from it but really enjoy how “broadcasting” has created its own community inside the larger school community.
What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
Adobe Premiere for editing, Photoshop for graphics, Stoyblocks for stock footage and music, Otter.ai for transcription, Trello as a virtual whiteboard.
What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
We are fortunate to have a lot of equipment at our disposal. 24 PC workstation, an 8TB EVO for remote storage, 4 Panasonic AG-AC8PJ cameras, 4 JVC GY-HM620 cameras and 20 Cannon Vixia Cameras
Aside from the computers and the programs, what are one or two pieces of equipment that you have that you think other programs should have.
We upgraded from a Tricaster Mini to a TC1 in year 3 and it made a huge difference for us as it allowed us to get more students involved in our live productions. On a smaller scale the Rode Wireless Go mics have been a fantastic investment not only as mics but also as a way to transmit sound wirelessly. We use them to make our boom wireless, we use them as an IFB to communicate with talent while they’re on air. There are a bunch of great youtube videos on hacks to use them for multiple purposes.
How is your workspace funded?
We are a district funded program.
Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
The big thing on our wishlist regarding space is a door to connect our Studio and Studio B spaces. As our program has grown we have students working on multiple projects at a time, especially after school. A door connecting our two studio spaces would allow one adult to supervise students in multiple locations and give our kids more space to work.
(This is one of a series of posts where high school newsrooms are showcased. We’d love to showcase your newsroom on the site. To find out how, check out the information here and submit yours today.)