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Keywords: Video Production, Journalism, Chemistry, Community Outreach, Student-Centered
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Information Skills, Photography, Science, Journalism, Chemistry
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Green Tech High Charter School, Albany, NY
Planned By: Chris Priedemann
Original Author: Chris Priedemann, Albany
Students often struggle with making the connection between the content they are learning and the neighborhoods they live in. However, there are many examples of chemistry in their communities. Students will act as onsite reporters to identify and share uses and applications of chemistry with their peers.

Students will be introduced to their project by reading articles from ChemMatters and viewing archived video clips from local news programs that highlight issues founded in chemical principles. Working in small groups (2-4 students), students will brainstorm different video segments they could produce about chemistry in their community. Possibilities include interviews with local business owners about their products (examples: the role of yeast in making pizza, the different octane ratings at a gas station, the purpose of antifreeze in your engine, etc.), chemistry in the environment (examples: weathering of rocks, salting of roads), household chemicals, and the uses of various elements in their everyday lives.

Students will sign out the flip video cameras for a one week period in order to record the necessary footage. Students will then take time in class to organize and edit their video clips into a 3-5 minute video segment. Student videos will be assessed based on the following criteria: Clarity of Message, Quality of Editing, Depth of Content, and Entertainment Value. These video clips will be shown to students building-wide to improve their appreciation for science in their community and to inspire their own interest in video production.
Students crave the use of technology in the classroom. Their lives are so integrated by cell phone videos and photos. This would be a great activity to have students use the technology they love to explore a subject matter they struggle with at times.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
These flip video cameras will be shared with the Earth Science classes who wish to make biweekly weather reports to explain local weather patterns. The Biology class would like to use these flip video cameras to record various habitats and environments to create video segments highlighting different settings in the New York Capital District.
Students will complete a research paper in which they document and explore the role of chemistry in one local profession. Students will be required to provide quantitative analysis of the chemistry involved and include quotes from community members about their understanding of this application of chemistry.
Materials: Flip Video, Batteries, Video Tools