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Marshall ELC students tour NNPS-TV station

Marshall ELC students tour NNPS-TV station
Station Manager helps kids with video production equipment
NNPS-TV Station Manager Jim Anklam helps the kindergartners hold video production equipment in the studio.
Beth Scott photo

NNPS-TV recently welcomed kindergartners to the station for a tour. Most tours are for elementary school students and above, but Producer Nik Long agreed to host the students from Marshall Early Learning Center because of what they are learning about in class.

"They are specifically studying video - how to tell stories through moving pictures - and I felt we can help them more if they come to us than if I visited them with just a couple cameras," he said.

So Long and Station Manager Jim Anklam started the tour by talking about storytelling. They explained to the children about writing a script and also showed them various pieces of video equipment. The kids were allowed to pass around small lights and microphones to get a close-up look.

The most fun albeit chaotic part of the visit was when the students were divided into about four or five groups and rotated through different activities: holding the boom microphone, folding up the light reflectors, and pressing the button to raise and lower different backdrops. The students worked together and were very well behaved as they waited to take their turn.

After that, they divided into two groups and went to the editing suites used by Long and Production Specialist Aaron Moore. There they could see how the digital video was put together to tell the story. Moore showed them how to speed it up or slow it down and how the audio was a separate file.

aerial photo of visitors and TV truck
Visiting students and teachers pose in front of the remote video production truck for a photo taken by the drone.

The students then went outside and divided into groups to go inside the remote video production truck, which houses all the equipment needed to broadcast live from a remote location.

"We're exploring," one girl said as she waited her turn to go into the truck.

Inside, Broadcast Engineer Greg Lesko showed them the switchers, monitors, sound equipment, and other gadgets and told them about how NNPS-TV uses it all to broadcast football games.

The children also got to see the drone in action, which is always fun and exciting for young students because it is very much like a toy. The drone flies with four rotors and has a small video camera attached to it. NNPS-TV's production team uses it to capture aerial footage for their shows. The students were thrilled to watch the drone in action.

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While Anklam piloted the drone, each student was allowed to control the movement of the camera. Long was able to capture images of the students and teachers standing in front of the remote video production truck outside the station.

Visiting NNPS-TV gave the students from Marshall Early Learning Center a good idea of what a television studio is like and what video producers do. They learned how video can be used to tell a story, and all the steps that must be taken to complete that goal.

The students can put this knowledge to work now and in the future as they tell stories of their own.