Author Archives: mediateenschicago

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Graduation 2011

Please see our graduation photos here.

Today our mentors and students shined! We are so proud of our graduates and mentors. Below are the videos we showed during our graduation.

This video gives you an overview of our program:

The following two videos are from our capstone project for the year. Students were asked to explore a problem that affects their community or a positive topic that will affect their future.

The following two videos are from the My Philosophy project. Modeled after Oprah’s show “Master’s Class,” our project helped students gain confidence in front of the camera.

We wanted help our students make a time capsule video that they could look back on and say, “This is the way I thought when I was 16.”

The following videos are live shots, just like you would see on the nightly news. Watch our students report live from the scene!

Students were asked to report on an unusually warm weekend we had in February, following the great snowstorm of 2011.

Students were asked to report live from the White House after President Obama released his long-form birth certificate.

Thesis Project Resumes

Kimberly Lee, Medill 2013

With only three more classes until graduation, students worked hard to collect b-roll and edit their thesis projects. Many students came to class with two to three clips of great video they could use to convey the themes chosen last week. These themes are pertinent to their daily lives and include a variety of different topics. Jonathan and Diamond chose to do their project on the benefits and costs of going to college. They hit the streets with their mentors to collect b-roll and interview student/faculty members at a local university. They applied everything they had learned in interviewing and framing shots. Back in the classroom, other groups edited b-roll and interviews together alongside their assigned mentors. Students also watched each others “My Philosophy” videos. They analyzed what they liked about each one and also highlighted areas of improvement.

Thesis Project

Elena Schneider, Medill School of Journalism ’13

Violence, drama, stereotypes — these are just a few of the topics the Media Teens students will be exploring in their final project of the year. This week, the students brainstormed ideas for their issue-based video in pairs. They planned to spend the following week conducting interviews and collecting b-roll. For example, Tiara and Tatyana wanted to talk to their friends about why they fight? They planned to interview both friends and teachers to get their perspective on why violence is so prevalent. All the students were enthusiastic about laying out their video on “story-boards” so they could more easily plan their video. These videos will be presented at the students’ graduation in May.

End of Semester Field Trip

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View our trip album here!

This week, our Media Teens and mentors stepped out of the classroom and into the newsroom! Our gracious hosts at WMAQ–the NBC affiliate in Chicago–took us behind the scenes to show us what it takes to get a newscast on-air. Our students spoke with morning news anchor Kim Vatis and learned all about floor directing from Nadiene Aloisio. They saw how the show is run from the control room and even got to sit at the anchor desk.

It was truly a wonderful experience for our teens. Thank you to everyone that made this trip happen, especially our tour guide Carl Hickman.

Introduction to Design

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By: Kimberly Lee, Medill 2013

This week, students learned all about design from Jeremy Gilbert, assistant professor at Medill. The day started off with an interactive powerpoint presentation on the importance of font and color in branding a social media site. With the examples of news sites, students could see the deliberate design decisions companies around them make everyday. Then, students got to test the design waters themselves by learning how to use Adobe Photoshop. They began by creating their own blog headers to learn the many features of the software. They imported pictures, altered layers and learned the difference between a JPEG and GIF. For the last part of class, they worked on creating a new blog header for the Word Press site they will make in a couple weeks. The designs were all really unique and showcased their individual personalities.

My Philosophy Project

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My thoughts on life…
How I’m feeling about being 15…
Pretty much the only thing I care about is music…
You have to stay strong…
Becoming a man…

These are some of the topics our teens are discussing for our fall video project called “My Philosophy.” The idea is that this video project will not only show a glimpse into the world of our teens, but it will serve as a portfolio piece as well as a time capsule so that the students can remember who they were at this point in their lives.

Because this is the most in-depth project we’ve attempted thus far, we are not posting videos on a regular basis like we did last quarter. But rest assured… these videos will be worth the wait.

Interviewing techniques

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Megan Marie Joyce
Northwestern University Class of 2014

This week at Media Teens, the mentors continued to work with the high school students on their “My Philosophy” assignments. We set up two rooms with a studio light and a plain background where they could sit and be filmed for their on-camera part of the project. We had two cameras filming (one focused on their face, the other on just their eyes) as the interview was conducted, because that is how the set-up was for the Jay-Z episode of “Master Class” that we watched last week. This way, they have different kinds of shots of the interview they can use when editing. The students had paired up the previous week, so that their partner could ask them questions during the interview. The teens were then all able to sit on camera and have their interviews filmed, as they answered the questions they came up with last week. They practiced looking at the person who was interviewing them while talking, rather than at the camera. Also during the week, the teens had filmed b roll for their projects and will continue to do so this week. Towards the end of the session, we had an interviewing workshop for them, where the mentors sat at the front of the room and let he teens practice coming up with good interview questions by having them interview the mentors. The stronger the question that was posed, the stronger the answers were. Addtionally, we talked to them about the importance of coming up with open-ended and follow up questions.

Fall Quarter Celebration

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On Saturday, our Media Teens graduated from their fall semester of classes! Family and friends joined our teens and mentors for a wonderful celebration. The teens presented short skits that demonstrated what they had learned fall semester. The topics included, “Positive Social Networking,” “What is Journalism,” “Video Shooting and Editing,” and “How to Conduct a Good Interview.” In between each skit, the mentors spoke about their favorite mentoring experience.

After our presentations, each student received a certificate stating the following:
“This award is presented to student’s name for successfully completing a semester of journalism and media training, demonstrating proficiency in video production and showing great promise as a young journalist. Congratulations on your excellent effort.”

We finished the celebration by eating lunch together. We also dove into two beautiful cakes that read, “Congratulations Media Teens Chicago!” Congratulations to both the teens and mentors. This was a great start to what is going to be an amazing year.

Presentation preparation!

Today was a day of preparation. When the students filed in, we immediately went to work on planning the presentations that the students will perform for their friends and families during next week’s party. The students were divided into four groups, which were each assigned a mentor. The first group came up with a presentation about effective interviewing techniques, the second group planned a lesson on proper video shooting and editing, while the third group discussed social media and the fourth created a skit to define journalism’s role in the modern world. When the class reconvened, the groups practiced their presentations in front of the class. The hilarious skits had everyone bursting into uproarious laughter, and the students seemed confident and prepared for the upcoming festivities. The last two hours of class were devoted entirely to editing the videos that the students shot in their neighborhoods and in Millennium Park. The finished products, which were uploaded to our YouTube account, will be screened next Saturday.


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