On Wednesday, March 23, approximately 30 students and their Science Instructor, Ms. Hope Mikkelson, along with VAHS Technology Coordinator and DEN STAR/LC Member, Ms. Rita Mortenson, arrived at the Apple Store in Madison, Wisconsin ready to showcase some student created science videos.
For the past month, students in Ms. Mikkelson’s Biology 2 classes have been learning movie-making techniques while they created their informative science documentaries. The science documentary idea came to Ms. Mikkelson after the popular LIFE series aired last spring. LIFE, the 11-part series by the Discovery Channel, was narrated by Oprah Winfrey and featured segments about mammals, creatures of the deep, unique plants, birds, fish and other interesting living species. This natural history series was a huge hit due to its breath- taking photos, and informative segments. The impact from watching the segments sparked the idea by Ms. Mikkelson to have students create their own documentary.
Using iMovie and Discovery Streaming Video clips and photos, these high school scientists set out to research their selected animal or species related topic, create a storyboard, edit their footage, write and narrate their script, add background music, transitions and more. One student even composed his own music using the software program Logic!
The end result – student created videos that showcased their creativity, knowledge and use of 21st Century Skills. At the “movie premiere” students were asked questions about the movie making process and informed the audience members about how technology has changed the way students learn. The night was a lot of fun and the students were very proud of the work they created.