PA Leadership Council Hosts Lights, Camera, Education!

I really have to admit that my job is a blast.  Right now I am at the Carnegie Science Center (just below the DEN logo in the picture to the left) sitting in a room with a bunch of wild and crazy STAR Discovery Educators and their guests.  It’s Saturday afternoon, the sun is shining outside and they are inside WORKING! 

And, having a pretty good time based on the laughing, chuckling, and screeching (not really sure how to describe the noises coming from Erik Wittmer’s Video Design Dream Team).  The teams have been extremely creative (see baby-stroller camera dolly to the right) and Joe Brennan has done a great job of leading the workshop. 

Jennifer Dorman, Queen Blogger for the PA Leadership Council, is here and brought STAR recruit Allison Bowman.  Both appear to be enjoying themselves…see image to the left 🙂 

In addition to learning a lot about storytelling and moviemaking, this event provided us with the opportunity to throw a little retirement party for STAR DE Peggy Barger (to the right in pink).  Peggy and colleague Jim Hopton, affectionately known as J-Peg, have done amazing work with the DEN and will be receiving the PSEA Innovative Teaching Award next week in Philadelphia for their project that combines an anti-bullying program with the Lights, Camera, Education! curriculum found in unitedstreaming.  Although technically retiring, Peggy already has ten different ideas on how she (and other STAR retirees) can stay active.

Check out the projects…

Download Pitt.wmv


Thanks to Bridget Belardi and the PA Leadership Council members in attendance (Erik, Jen, J-Peg and Martha) for organizing a fun weekend in Pittsburgh with the DEN!


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  1. Allie Bowman said:

    What a great experience to be a part of anything Discovery! Thanks for a really fulfilling first dive into depths of information and technology know-how. I am convinced of the value of “Star status”. The AFI/Discovery partnership worked for me: Consider me hooked. Thanks to Joe Brennan for all the inspiration and to Lance, Jen, Bridget, and Martha, and all of the brainpower in Discovery for giving me such a great introduction to what else is out there.

  2. Linda Barnes said:

    As a novice to anything related to filming, I was very hesitant about attending this workshop…but I came home very enthusiastic…and I will be a commercial and movie filming critic, based upon the information Joe presented. I know that I will use the info that was presented…I just have to sift through all that was given…think about where it fits…and get started. Thanks so much for making me feel welcome and I am looking forward to attending other DEN workshops. And to Olivia and our group…a package of goldfish will always bring a smile to my face! Linda

  3. Jeri Hurd said:

    This was such a great workshop! I’ve been using digital projects in my classes for several years (commercials, photo essays, documentaries), but still walked away with new ideas and wonderful resources that I can’t wait to try out. I’m completely sold on DEN, and want to be WAY more involved. Thanks to all who made this possible!


  4. Erik Wittmer said:

    Joe did such a great job of teaching all of us how easy it is to help the children make movies. I am so ready to have the kids make their first movie right before school lets out here in PA. If you ever have the chance to participate in an AFI workshop, do yourself a favor and make your calander free to attend. Thanks Joe and everyone from PA for such a great weekend!

  5. Bridget Belardi said:

    Thanks to everyone who made the AFI event a success! I already adjusted my lesson plans to incorporate movie-making into the week! I can’t wait to see what the fourth graders can do! Thanks to Lance for the logistical help and a HUGE thanks to Joe for taking the time to come to Pittsburgh! It was inspiring!

    Even if you didn’t attend the event, I recommend looking at the AFI handbook on United Streaming. It’s a fantastic resource!

  6. Mary Grace Kelly said:

    I was so excited about our experience this weekend, that I sought out my favorite collaborators to put the bug into their heads about some upcoming projects that would be totally jazzed by the option for students to create project videos… Even my principal is on the band wagon. I’m working on the tech folks to help us to make it happen. Thanks to Joe, Lance, Bridget, and all of the others who helped to bring this to Pittsburgh. Having it on a Friday night and Saturday was a real bonus… as it’s tough to get time off during the school week.

  7. Trish Viale said:

    What an amazing expereince this past weekend was! The enthusiasm, skill, and professionalism in the room inspired me not only to make learning more accesible through technology, but also to be a more caring, dedicated teacher at large. Thanks to all in attendance for welcoming the newbie in and thanks to Bridgie for convincing me to come.

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