Students produce and star in broadcast


March 17, 1998|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TWISTER NEWS LIVE can be seen beginning at 8: 35 a.m. each school day at Oklahoma Road Middle School.

The morning news show is produced, directed and anchored by 30 seventh-grade students in the Extended Enrichment Program with guidance from teacher Frank Tippett.

Beginning at 8: 15 a.m. each day, the production room adjacent to the school's media center buzzes with activity as the students review and edit local and national news from the daily newspapers. Tippett may offer suggestions on the choice of stories, but more often than not allows students to chose the stories for the 10-minute broadcast.

Auditions were held for the 10 weekly anchor spots and the sports and weather jobs. Jobs in camera work, sound and stage management keep all the students busy as they work to produce the broadcast. Students rotate jobs so everyone has an opportunity to learn various aspects of the production.

In addition to local and national news and a pledge to the flag, the broadcast features such information as the lunch menu, sports scores, weather, school events and a trivia question.

Recent morning highlights have included taped segments of vignettes on prejudice and tolerance written and acted by eighth-grade students.

The daily broadcasts began in January after the students spent several weeks perfecting camera techniques and news writing skills. Set designs -- including the shelves of books displayed in the background, the school flag and props on the sports anchor's desk -- were chosen by students.

"The show is evolving and changing as the kids are learning," Tippett said. "We are planning to do a little more with the news as the show goes along. They've really done a super job so far."

Mind games

When it comes to minds, two groups of area teens proved that theirs are tops.

Two Odyssey of the Mind teams sponsored by the Freedom Optimist Club competed in the western regional competition last month in Hagerstown. Each team captured first place in the middle school division. They competed against teams from Allegany, Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties.

With coach Dave Sivert, team members Jenna Hess, Nicole vTC Hladky, Erica McMonigle, Emily Sivert and Neimh Tighe worked on a problem called "Marvelous Mentor."

This problem required the team to write and perform an eight-minute play that included a commercial for an original nutritious product.

The product had to be endorsed by their mentor and the commercial had to include an original song set to original music. The group chose to have William Shakespeare endorse their ham and egg omelet -- Hamlette.

"Morph Magic" was the problem faced by team members Ariel Canter, Michelle Carlquist, Andrew Dietchman, Lindsay Podobnik, Michael Robbins, Andrew Sensel and Timothy Sensel.

With coaching by Sue Sensel and Robyn Robbins, this team took the character of Elvis and transformed him through six stages into a lioness, as required by the rules of their problem.

The team was required to have their animal character face a plight affecting other animals and to solve this plight, all in eight minutes or less.

With first-place finishes, both teams have been preparing to face even tougher competition at the state level. That contest will be April 4 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Those winners will compete at the world competition in Orlando, Fla. in May.

Drama performance

A group of aspiring young actors known as the Drama Conservatory Troupe will present a free performance at 4 p.m. Thursday in the meeting room at the Eldersburg branch library.

Valaries Mares is the troupe's adviser and the director of the play, which features students Jenelle Conaway, Stephanie Fultz, Julie Haddaway, Eric Hamper, Shannon Huber, Stuart Kaufman, Matthew May, Julia Schaffer, Lauren Topper and Jessica Uhland.

The group will perform at Piney Run Park on April 26.

Pub Date: 3/17/98

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