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NNPS-TV flies high with new Design Challenge video

video shoot at airport
Jessica Wharton, Director of Air Service, Marketing and Public Affairs for the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, works with Nik Long and Jim Anklam of NNPS-TV as they gather footage for the "High Flyers" Elementary Engineering Design Challenge intro video.
Photos: Kevin Nelhuebel

The NNPS-TV production team created another fun and informative Elementary Engineering Design Challenge intro video, which was made for the EDC held June 9. 

The Engineering Design Challenge is a day-long STEM exercise in which four-person teams from each NNPS elementary school compete to solve an engineering problem. It is held four times a year.

At the start of each Engineering Design Challenge, NNPS-TV's intro video is played for the students, giving them background information and introducing their challenge. The students then try to accomplish the goal using their STEM know-how.

A local business sponsors the challenge, helping to create the scenario for the students to work through. The NNPS-TV production team - Station Manager Jim Anklam, Producer Nik Long, and Video Production Tech Aaron Moore - work closely with the sponsor and the NNPS STEM team to make an introduction video that is visually appealing to students and conveys information about the challenge. The sponsor helps with the script and provides the location and a spokesperson for the video. The Port of Virginia, Jefferson Lab, and Busch Gardens are among past sponsors.

The latest challenge is called "High Flyers," and it was sponsored by the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. The NNPS-TV video crew was escorted around the airport by Jessica Wharton, who is the Director of Air Service, Marketing and Public Relations for the airport. She assisted the TV team by giving them ideas for the video, recommending they arrive in time to see and record a jet during boarding and take off.

High Flyers logoNNPS STEM Instructional Specialist Kevin Nelhuebel wrote the script and went on the shoot, too, and worked with the NNPS-TV video team throughout the production process.

There was some extra excitement during the shoot, when an arriving plane was unsure if its landing gear was down. Airport Assistant Executive Director Melissa Cheaney, who was accompanying the videographers, was able to verify that the landing gear was in place and reassure the pilot it was safe to land.

Wharton served as spokesperson on the video. The team video-recorded her on the tarmac, in between flights to keep extraneous noise at a minimum. The recording went smoothly and the audio was fine.

"We always double mike," said Anklam, referring to using two microphones so there is an extra one for backup.

"The wind was a bigger issue, but we got good sound," he added.

This part of the shoot went quickly and smoothly because they brought a portable teleprompter, so the "talent" (Wharton) did not have to memorize the script and do numerous re-takes.

The TV crew also shot aeronautical footage including the hangar where ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company) keeps its tactical aviation training planes.

The NNPS-TV videographers were prepared for an in- or outdoor shoot, and were pleased they were able to video-record outdoors on the runway.

Also included in the video is an NNPS Aviation Academy student, Amoy Jones, who describes the four forces of flight: weight, lift, thrust, and drag.

Anklam and Long get more footage in the ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company) hangar.

The Aviation Academy, located at the old Newport News/Williamsburg Airport terminal, is part of Denbigh High School, and its students learn piloting, aircraft maintenance, engineering, and aviation security/safety.

Jones was video-recorded in the airplane maintenance shop at the Aviation Academy, where they work on airplanes and are even building a new one.

Moore edited the footage to create the video used at the EDC. He used the NNPS-TV video shot at the airport along with stock footage from other companies including American Airlines. He also added animated graphics and sound effects.

The NNPS-TV production team has now created nine Elementary Engineering Design Challenge intro videos and one for a similar challenge for middle school students.


Watch "High Flyers" on YouTube | See other challenge intro videos | NNPS-TV coverage of the Engineering Design Challenges