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Flowery Branch High students waiting for broadcasting equipment

POSTED: April 6, 2008 5:01 a.m.
ROBIN MICHENER NATHAN/The Times

Bailey Fenwick, 16, gets ready to film Falcon Focus in her Flowery Branch High broadcast class on Tuesday.

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FLOWERY BRANCH — The broadcasting lab has been finished since Jan. 4, but nearly $110,000 in equipment has yet to arrive.

Flowery Branch High School students have been making do with old equipment while they wait for cameras, tripods, a boom microphone and other items as part of a state grant approved last year.

"We made our own green screen in the fall," said broadcasting teacher Lori Koser. "We just got green construction paper from the library. It worked."

A green screen is a background used in a technique for mixing two images together, as in TV broadcasts of weather forecasts.

Rhonda Samples, the Hall County school system’s work-based learning coordinator said the district is waiting on the state Department of Education "to release the funds any day."

"Once funds have been released, the new equipment for the lab will be ordered," she said.

The lab developed as a result of the broadcasting program’s popularity.

"The kids like cameras and computers, and we didn’t have enough equipment and I didn’t see us getting enough," Koser said. "So we wrote the grant."

To qualify for the grant, the lab had to meet
certain qualifications.

School system workers ended up closing off an open room at the end of the broadcasting classroom.

The new room, featuring windows, eventually will support a studio, complete with a green screen and cameras.

With current equipment, Koser’s class produces the "Falcon Focus" program for broadcast over the school’s closed-circuit TVs. The show, which features school news, is a 5-7 minute broadcast three mornings a week.

"We do feature stories, like on sports or teacher of the year," Koser said.

Her hope is to eventually set up a low-grade radio station in an audio-control room off the new lab "to broadcast our teams’ sports and student news."

"But basically right now we’re video production ... on location and in the studio," Koser said. "And (students are) incorporating some journalism skills with that, although there’s a separate journalism class.

"They do script writing. They have to write their stories and their (public-service announcements)."

One of Koser’s students, Corey O’Quinn, a junior, said he’s looking forward to the completed lab, which he believes will be one of the best in the state when all the equipment is installed.

But waiting grows old.

"It’s frustrating knowing that (the equipment) is on its way," he said. "That’s disappointing for some of the seniors."



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