Video production teaching MHS students career skills
Teaching video production at Marshalltown High School for seven years, Jocelyn Frohwein remembers using an old camera in-class nicknamed “Grandma” during her first year.
“She was an old DV tape camera, it’s like a mini VHS tape,” Frohwein said. “I was handed a textbook that looked like it had been typewritten and Xerox’d off.”
Now video production students in Marshalltown are live streaming sporting events to more than 1,000 viewers, learning to optimize video for social media platforms like Snapchat and creating media packages containing professional marketing production.
In August, Marshalltown High School’s video production program received a STEM BEST grant for $25,000, which is aimed toward building partnerships between schools and businesses.
“I really want our students to have a community presence because I believe they are doing some amazing things here,” Frohwein said.
To receive the grant, Frohwein along with Secondary Curriculum and Professional Development Leader Pam Brewer-Michael and Communications Director Adam Sodders submitted a proposal to the Iowa STEM Advisory Council containing a video production project meeting the outlines of the grant.
The project is underway, with the goal to build a readily available library of videos unique to Marshalltown, showcasing different STEM careers and businesses in the area.
“To me that’s what is most exciting,” Brewer-Michael said. “An experience for kids who are really into video production is going to have the opportunity to touch virtually every student in middle school, high school and their parents.”
Brewer-Michael said nearly all of the grant’s money has already been spent, and an added value of purchasing new equipment for the STEM project is enhancing the video production course overall.
Video production students have access to new computers, up-to-date editing software, three types of cameras, a wall-mounted green screen, a teleprompter, studio lighting and more for all video production projects like the live-streaming Bobcat News Network YouTube Channel.
“We service not only the kids’ needs in the classroom, but we also help them get ready for careers outside of the classroom,” Frohwein said. “Kids are getting really hands-on career training. If they were to go over to University of Northern Iowa and take their video production program they would be able to be on a camera right away.”
More than just learning how to shoot and edit video, video production class is designed to teach students professional skills universal to all career paths and prepare students for their next placement after high school.
Professional skills learned through video production include meeting deadlines, cooperation with coworkers and other businesses and how to deal with high-stress situations. Students have also had the opportunity to talk to professionals to get a feel for what a potential career would be like.
“We want to drive kids to make a career choice,” Frohwein said.
Video production has also been expanded to the middle school’s career exploration modules, and collaboration has been done with the Marshalltown Community College’s video production program.
“This solidified a career pathway for kids right here in town,” Brewer-Michael said.
Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or