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NNPS-TV has code for successful EDC video

Navy seal on title screenThe EDC intro video title screen for "Coding Our Freedom."
Photos: Video capture

NNPS-TV answered the call of duty recently when the production team was tasked with making a new Engineering Design Challenge intro video.

The design challenge was held in partnership with the United States Navy. Called "Coding Our Freedom," the challenge had to do with solving problems using integrated computer science, technology, and math skills - the types of skills many careers in the Navy require.

The Engineering Design Challenge is part of Newport News Public Schools' ongoing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education initiative. In it, teams of fourth- and fifth-grade students from all NNPS elementary schools use their STEM skills to solve problems and compete the challenge.

"Coding Our Freedom" was held February 7 at Newsome Park Elementary School, which is a Math, Science and Technology Magnet school.

The "Coding Our Freedom" challenge consisted of four challenges. The first challenge was to build a prototype of an unmanned submarine using LEGOs. Student team members then had to solve a secret password using Binary Code. After that, with the password, teams used code to make an Unmanned Surface Vehicle move through a maze. The final challenge required teams to use a computer to code and navigate an object to a target and lead it back to safety.

man with headset at computer
A scene from the video shows a Navy computer science engineer.

The video created by NNPS-TV was played as an introduction to the challenge, giving background information prior to the challenge being revealed. The intro videos (NNPS-TV has made 15 of them) present scientific terms and definitions and relate them to the sponsor and the challenge at hand.

The "Coding Our Freedom" video enabled students to learn visually about careers, computer science, coding, and teamwork.

For the video, NNPS-TV Production Specialist Aaron Moore used exciting footage obtained from the Navy's YouTube site depicting the highly technical equipment used by sailors and aviators on ships, boats, and aircraft. It highlighted computer science engineers and how coding is used to give commands to computers.

Moore put together the Navy footage and NNPS-TV archive footage of students doing coding activities. He made sure to use video clips showing the things mentioned in script. He added graphics and effects to match the theme of coding. For example, the graphics showing vocabulary words were designed to look like block coding.

"I try to make it appealing and informational," Moore said.

"At the end I just used all the explosion videos," he joked.

Moore "added sound effects to some of the Navy footage," Producer Nik Long said, "which was a nice touch."

NNPS-TV Broadcast Engineer Greg Lesko did the voiceover, using a script that was written by STEM Instructional Specialist Kevin Nelhuebel and revised by Long.

The challenges are held throughout the year for NNPS elementary and middle school students.

The NNPS-TV team produced the video with a quick turnaround time, and is on standby to support the next mission.