WPT Education presents Click Youth Media Festival

WPT has been part of the educational infrastructure of Wisconsin since the station’s beginnings – on television, in the classroom and in the community.

Over 55 educators and students ages 10-18 gathered in Madison this June for the first-ever Click Youth Media Festival, a one-day crash course in journalism and media production.

Over 55 youth and educators attended the first ever Click Youth Media Festival.

Read more to learn about the day!

In the summer of 2017, WPT and the UW-Madison School of Education invited educators from around the state to Madison to participate in a day-long workshop to determine how to best provide young people with the tools and training necessary to amplify their voices while developing 21st-century skills. This group of innovative educators, WPT staff, and UW faculty and graduate students became known as Click, a professional community of educators and students across the state who are working to improve digital storytelling and digital media production.

Out of this workshop came the Click Youth Media Festival, an event designed to give youth and youth educators access to digital media experts, and membership in an active digital media community.

Participants took to the streets to capture b-roll footage and conduct interviews around the UW-Madison campus before heading into editing suites to create two-minute digital journalism packages.

The Click Youth Media Festival engaged students on many different levels, giving junior producers the chance to learn videography, audio engineering and reporting skills.

A student captures b-roll for a story on the Bucky on Parade statutes.

Mandy Wright is a teacher from the Marathon Venture Academy near Wausau, a small public school specializing in expeditionary learning.

“It’s been fun to watch the excitement level of the kids because there was a lot to throw at them early on,” Wright said. “But as [students] started to gain some confidence with the technology… a lot of the kids are really engaged.”

Many of the teacher participants were learning to use the technology for the first time as well.

By the end of the day, with the help of professional mentors from WPT, WPR, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs and the UW-Madison School of Education, teachers not only gained new skills, but also became more confident in teaching those skills to future students.

Students edit their piece with the help of PBS NewsHour’s Elis Estrada.

“This coming school year, we’re actually going to be producing mini documentaries with our students, but none of [our teachers] felt terribly comfortable with that. This was perfect timing for us,” Wright said.

At the end of a long day running around campus, capturing video and putting their reporting skills to the test, participants celebrated their work with a screening in the Wisconsin Union. Here, groups received valuable feedback from experts including PBS NewsHour professionals and UW-Madison School of Education researchers.

While WPT Education’s junior producers still have a lot to learn from their WPT, WPR and PBS mentors, the Click Youth Media Festival sparked an excitement for journalism production in the students and educators who attended.

WPT Education videographer Ryan Hendricks shows a WPT Jr. Producer how to use his video camera.

“I am more excited to use these techniques in class,” Wright said. “At the end of the day, kids said ‘I didn’t know how cool it could be to be a journalist. I might want to do that.’”

The Click Youth Media Festival was made possible with support from Friends of Wisconsin Public Television, the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, the Evjue Foundation, Madison Public Library, and funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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