Lights, Camera, Action . . . Thanks to Donations from the Student Research Foundation, Students in Arkansas Are Creating Multimedia Projects

The ability to create videos and multimedia presentations is a skill that can open doors to careers in corporations, news organizations, online enterprises, and other companies today. Yet students cannot learn the skills they need unless they have basic equipment like LED lights, backgrounds and microphones.

Although the cost of that equipment is actually quite modest, few school systems are able to fund it. That explains why Mr. Utsler, a 10th-grade teacher at Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale, Arkansas, decided to post his need for $360.00 worth of equipment as a project on He called his project, “Quiet on the Set! Lights, Camera, Action and Learning!” And now, thanks to donations from the Student Research Foundation, his project is fully funded. His students, many of whom come from low-income households, are using their new equipment to make videos.

Mr. Utsler Explains

“Face it. Multi-media is how today’s students learn and interact in today’s society. The experience of using this photo/video/audio technology will give them the knowledge to create their own projects and confidence to be successful in a vast range of visual and communication arts career fields. Using these studio lighting, background and audio kits will allow our students to create interviews, public service messages, whole school broadcast and hands-on experiences to enrich their learning across our curriculum offerings. This equipment will be an asset not only to our Visual Arts and Communication classes, but serve all curriculum courses. Imagine a history class interviewing George Washington and his experience of crossing the Delaware and surviving the harsh winter in Valley Forge, or a health class creating a public service message to encourage fellow students and teachers to sign up for a community blood drive.”

Thanks from Mr. Utsler

Dear Student Research Foundation,

The moment the kits arrived they went immediately into use with a graphic design class creating product advertising with the lighting and product studio cube kit. This help create great product photos especially since we could change the background colors for better contrast. The audio kit was used to record studio and staff interviews for public service announcements.

Students are using the lighting and background kit for both video and photography products experimenting with different lighting arrangements and how to use the green screen to create innovative productions.

These kits will serve us for many years and will be a great addition to our new communications department.

With gratitude,
Mr. Utsler

We are excited to hear about how many of these students decide to pursue careers or college degrees in fields related to the skills they learned using their new equipment.

We look forward to writing about additional teacher projects here on the Student Research Foundation blog. Stay tuned!

We invite all students to explore their career options by participating in our career and college studies. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.

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