Get Real Action Camp Afternoon Sessions: Media Literacy

Get Real! Science Tests Media Savvy in Afternoon Sessions
Middle-school campers investigated and test water quality at Ontario Beach and then used media tools to raise awareness of their findings at the Get Real! Environmental Action Camp. Meg Callahan, assistant professor teaching and curriculum, led the afternoon sessions.

To learn about the morning sessions, go to www.rochester.edu/warner/getreal .

See photos from the afternoon sessions!

Daily Summary for Afternoon Sessions

Monday, August 2, 2004
The Get Real campers were quickly immersed in the techniques and purposes of commercial media. In their newly-formed production teams, they visited four different stations where they examined a McDonald's commercial, Mattel's interactive Barbie Web site, a "got milk?" print advertisement, and a buckle-up public service announcement. At each station, student teams discussed who created the piece, who was the intended target audience, the purpose of the piece, the persuasive techniques used, the lifestyle presented by the piece, and what information is being left out. After debriefing what we learned about how the media creates persuasive messages, student production teams chose environmental topics, and quickly got to work planning ideas for their 90-second public service announcements. All of the topics were chosen in conjunction with our sponsor, the Water Education Collaborative.

The production teams and their topics are:

  • "The Freaks" (Melissa, Gillian, and Nick) will be getting the word out about Water Conservation.
  • The C.U.P.'s (Aya, Eric, and David) will be raising awareness about Environmentally Friendly Household Cleaning Products.
  • The Helpers Helping the Helpless (Jarrett, Dakota, and Paige) will be advertising for the Annual Coastal Clean-up.
  • The Beachsavers (Richie, Sara, and Melissa) will be teaching us about hazardous household waste disposal.

Lots of fantastic ideas were generated, and we're looking forward to some amazing PSA's!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Today, the campers visited Rochester Museum and Science Center in order to interview a panel of experts from the Water Education Collaborative, the sponsor for our PSAs. Each production team generated questions for the panel, and they took turns asking about issues related to their specific topics. We spent about an hour grilling our panel with great questions, and we learned a lot about how to conserve water, the relationship between air pollution and water pollution, the ways that pollutants can get into storm sewers and ground water, and a great deal more... I'm pretty sure our panelists were impressed by the fantastic questions, and the professional way that students introduced themselves. We had a few minutes at the end to visit some exhibits in the museum, and a few campers braved the waters of Lake Ontario in the simulated BUBL ride. After having done all this information-gathering, tomorrow the multi-media work begins in earnest.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Brian Bailey (our technology consultant) began our camp today with a brief overview of the program iMovie; his goal was to get the campers thinking about how to plan for their PSA compositions. Following this, Beachsavers team-leader Shana gave a quick introduction to storyboarding as a way to plan the specific elements of the multimedia productions. After this, each team leader worked with groups to create storyboards, and to solidify the plans for the PSA's using all that we've learned about media techniques and water quality issues. As each production team became comfortable with their plans, they grabbed digital video cameras, and moved out to various locations to film. By the end of the day, each group had finished their filming and begun importing footage to iMovie for editing.

Thursday, August 5, 2004
Today was editing day!! The whole camp time was devoted to getting the raw footage and storyboarded ideas into iMovie. Some campers stayed past 4pm in order to get all the work done for tomorrow's presentation. Though sometimes a tedious process, I think Friday's results speak to the fact that it was ultimately a fulfilling process.

Friday, August 6, 2004
Media literacy groups met from 11am to 12 noon today to pre-screen the Public Service Announcements. For most of us, it was the first time we'd seen the final pieces. We also used this time to set up and practice our presentation format. After lunch, we spent about a half-hour practicing providing feedback and asking questions by viewing the PSA's created by the English education graduate students (Anne, Angela, Rob, and Shana). After this viewing, many of the campers requested copies of their team leaders' PSA's. Once we had practiced our feedback/questioning on the graduate students' PSA's, it was time to move over to Rush Rhees library for the public showcase at 2pm. This symposium and screening was a great success, and I thank all the campers for their hard work and great poise during this showcase. Bravo!!

Don't miss our daily photos.

Tags: Get Real! Environmental Action Camp, Get Real! Science, Meg Callahan, science