OSWEGO, NY – Several years ago, it was common for the Oswego High School WBUC broadcasting teams to be covering a variety of athletic and extracurricular events.
However, the extensive hands-on educational experience was trimmed back considerably for a variety of reasons.
Recently, as the result of a $196,000 ARRA EETT (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Enhancing Education Through Technology) grant the WBUC television station will be on the scene once again.
A mobile studio made its debut recently for an Oswego High School varsity lacrosse game and in the months ahead the students will be visible throughout the community providing programming spotlighting Oswego.
Teacher Steve Cass said, “The first taping was a success and aired on WBUC, Time Warner channel 16. The crew, made up of three eighth graders and 11 high school students, under the supervision of Jamie Sykut and me, were able to successfully use the new parabolic microphones, instant replay, and the new video board.”
Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist is proud of the project.
He said, “The mobile production trailer will expand what we do in not only the district, but in the community. We want to highlight the good that goes on with the students. This grant really helps this program as we were also able to replace our studio equipment at the Oswego High School. This will give our students the opportunity to do more innovative work.”
Sykut and Cass were a technology team at the Oswego Middle School last year and created a television program for the seventh and eighth graders.
Cass explained, “Middle school students broadcast varsity sporting events using a wagon that contained the cameras and equipment needed. This was the same wagon I had used when a student with WBUC back in the late ‘90s. A better way of transporting the cameras and equipment was needed.”
Continuing he said, “When I moved to the high school for the 2010-2011 school year, Mary Beth Fierro applied for and was awarded grants that enabled WBUC to get new equipment needed to upgrade the TV studio. The grants enabled me to use district funds to purchase the new WBUC production trailer.”
The production trailer will be seen throughout the community in the future. It is 20 feet long and eight feet wide, outfitted with shelving for equipment, access from the outside to connect power and audio/video cables and can be towed to remote locations.
Cass said, “The production trailer is big enough for students to work inside and produce a live broadcast. Four students man cameras around the field while five students use the equipment inside the trailer, mixing the audio, setting up the instant replay, putting up graphics, switching from camera to camera following the play on the field and two students doing play by play and color commentary.”
The plan is for high school and middle school students will be broadcasting two sporting events each week during the spring sports season which began with the OHS-Auburn varsity lacrosse game March 30.
WBUC would like to thank Superintendent Crist, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Chamberlain, Assistant Superintendent for Business Pete Colucci, Technology Director Brendan Fear, Oswego High School Principal Brian Hartwell, Ms. Jodie Smith and Ms. Margie Cherchio and Mr. Clapp from Oswego County BOCES, as without all their help, the trailer would not be a reality.
Special thanks go to Nikole Bonacorsi, an OHS senior, for her original design of the logo on the trailer.
Luther’s Way-Out Grafix printed and applied the graphics on the trailer.
Chuck Rowlee assisted in the trailer set-up and Steve Flack from Building and Grounds transported the trailer to the field for the taping.
The grant not only covered the cost of the equipment, but also allowed for teacher Mike McCrobie to return to the WBUC program. McCrobie brings the English component to the team teaching television program.
Cass noted he really wanted WBUC to return to its previous level.
He said, “Broadcasting sporting events was something I enjoyed doing in high school with WBUC with Mr. Bill Bellow and Mr. Tom Frawley during the seasons I wasn’t participating in sports. This combines two of my favorite past-times: sports and video. WBUC is planning to broadcast concerts and community events as well as sports. Now that WBUC has this production trailer, a class will be offered during the next school year so that OHS students can be given more opportunities and experience in broadcasting live events.”
Continuing he said, “We have more alumni who are sports directors and anchors; one works for ESPN another at TV Guide Channel, History channel, an assistant to the creator of Two and a Half Men (Chuck Lorre), another works at EVS which provides equipment to the TV industry. Overall we have a lot of alumni who owe where they are to WBUC.”
Linda Doty and Mary Beth Fierro shared writing sections of this grant.
Fierro said, “What a wonderful real-life experience for everyone involved. So glad we were able to secure the grant to help support the ongoing success of our student–run TV studio.”
WBUC is alive, well and now on the road to provide a tremendous learning experience for children while supply a much needed community service.