Henninger Students Experience NY Geology through Video Narratives

     Published on 8/2/16   Tagged under:    District News    Academics    Henninger High School   

“Geology can sometimes be boring, and Ms. Stratton wanted to make it interesting for us,” Henninger sophomore Yaser Hernandez explained. “So we went to Ithaca to shoot footage that we will edit into a three-minute video narrative.”
Henninger students in Earth Science classes led by Ms. Stratton, Ms. Stevens, Ms. Archambeault, Ms. Banks and Ms. Corcoran experienced an exciting new way to study geography this year, thanks to a grant awarded by the SCSD Educational Foundation.
After learning about New York’s geologic history in class, students enjoyed a field trip to Ithaca where they split into groups and explored Buttermilk Falls, Treman or Taughannock Falls State Park, hiking trails with a park educator. Using a Go Pro camera, students examined a waterfalls and other landscape features, saw evidence of landslides and took note of the shale present and how rock formations occurred.
“Getting to see what happened rather than just hear about it from our teacher was really nice,” sophomore Tommiesha Hertik said.
“Our videos will be used in future Earth Science classes,” freshman Arianna Brown said. “I feel like we actually learned something on this field trip, compared to some of our others. And just feeling the breeze from the waterfall and getting to hike up and down it was awesome!”
Teachers said the students were also in awe of the glacier deposition, trees growing out of rocks, walking limestone bedrock and seeing glacial and plate tectonic cracks, noting how engaged students were with geologic material.
“We attracted to students with the project who do not necessarily love science, but love film-making and photography and are interested in a career in the arts,” Ms. Stratton said. “We knew that in order to create their videos, students would have to pick up a lot of geologic vocabulary and concepts along the way, so the project reinforced our curriculum beautifully!”
The project also brought guest speakers into the classroom. Nottingham graduate Solon Quinn, president of Solon Quinn Studios, LLC, and SU Digital Media graduate student Lauren Stevens offered students tips for creating a quality video.
In future years, Ms. Stratton said she hopes to continue this project, expanding to other areas locally such as the Adirondack High Peaks, Niagara Falls, the Catskill Mountains and more. Thank you to Ms. Stratton and the SCSD Educational Foundation for making it possible. This is one of 19 projects funded in 14 schools this year, totaling $50,000. The SCSD Educational Foundation has funded more than $750,000 in SCSD projects since 2003.