Tyrone middle school students use humor in environmental awareness video contest

They always say, laughter is the best medicine. Could it, somehow, be true when speaking of repairing environment.
Four Tyrone Area Middle School students thoughts so and used the concept to develop a 30-second commercial for the Eighth Annual Environmental Awareness Video Competition sponsored by the Blair County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling. This year’s theme was “Recycling Saves Energy.”
Because of their efforts, the judges awarded them as honorable mentions, and as a result, they will be recognized by the Blair County Commissioners on April 20.
Those being recognized include Rachel Emigh, Niko Lambert, Andy Brokenshire and Kaitlin Spangler.
Teacher Kerry Nailor who assisted the students, as well as Juniata College faculty member Nathan Wagner and TASD art teacher Eric Feathers, said the students started brainstorming commercial ideas in January.
“We first went over the kind of appeals made in commercials, things like humor, statistics, emotion,” said Nailor, “and the kids decided they wanted to go for the humorous angle.”
Nailor said they then drew up story boards and scripts.
“We shot the video in several different locations over a period of a week,” said Nailor. “Then the folks from Juniata came back for another training session, which is when the kids, along with me and the Juniata people, edited the video using the school’s computer editing program.”
Nailor said the students learned a lot of valuable lessons about planning, and said they were able to apply their creativity and their sense of humor. He said they also learned a lot of valuable lessons about photography, as well as editing.
“They picked up on the editing portion of the work quickly, and that’s not easy to do,” said Nailor.
He said the project was special for the Tyrone Middle School due to tow reasons: that it is one of the first “big” projects done with the new digital video equipment the district received last summer; and that it incorporates technology into the sixth grade classroom.
“In all, the project, probably took around 24 hours of work for 30 seconds,” said Nailor. “But it was worth it, especially when I saw how excited the students were. We will definitely do this again.”
Nailor said his role was basically to assist the students.
“I gave them the rules, sat in on all the meetings and tried to guide them, and set up the camera for the shooting because all of the students were ‘on screen,’ he said. “But the idea, the planning and the editing was all the students.
“With a little explanation, they took this idea and ran with it, and created what I think is a really funny commercial.”
Nailor said a similar project was attempted in 2000 with VHS equipment, but was not successful.