PBS News Hour Creates Lesson Plan Using Wauwatosa West Student Video


The national nightly news program, PBS News Hour Extra has used a 5 minute long broadcast video created by Wauwatosa West students to create a lesson plan about trail building.  

During the 2016-2017 school year, Wauwatosa West students enrolled in the one semester Media Communication class worked with PBS Student Reporting Labs to produce a story about the Ice Age Trail.  The Ice Age Trail is a 1200 mile walking path that roughly follows the of outline of the terminal moraine of the last Ice Age in Wisconsin.   Maintenance and building of the trail is headed by the Ice Age Trail Alliance in Cross Plains, Wisconsin.

Wauwatosa West teacher applied for the focused program called “American the Beautiful” between PBS News Hour Student Reporting Labs and the National Science Foundation requiring students to report on the National Parks.  Wauwatosa West was one of 12 schools nationwide to participate in the extra program.  Five groups of students enrolled in the English elective Media Communications submitted “pitches” to producers at PBS News Hour Student Reporting Labs program.   The story focusing on the economic impact of the Ice Age Trail was chosen to be produced.   The full story can be seen here

Wauwatosa West has been a participant of the PBS News Hour Student Reporting Labs program since 2015.   The program encourages labs to participate and create content around themes.   Most recently Wauwatosa West submitted content for the Fight for Our Lives National School Walkout and produced two stories for the feature “Working” which featuring stories from 30 schools about around the question of work and working.  Students focused on Dream Bikes and Teens Grow Greens.  The program has no cost to participating schools  

“Students were trained in all aspects of journalism and broadcast news reporting and then completed hundreds of hours of research, submitted a pitch to PBS News Hour, worked with the Ice Age Trail Alliance to organize a day of shooting and then spent many, many hours of research, transcribing, writing and modifying and editing.” said Social Studies and English teacher Chris Lazarski.

Additionally, everyone at the Ice Age Trail was completely gracious, supportive and wonderfully patient with us taking over and really helped arranging some great interviews Lazarski added.

The video detailed what it takes to maintain the trail and the challenges that are faced when creating the trail.

The lesson asks students to plan a hiking trail and gets students to think about how does hiking help build an appreciation for nature?