Tag Archives: technology

Behind the Scenes: Students Attend State Superintendent Debate in WPT Studios

“We’re rolling in 3…2…1…”

Students rarely get to see politics in action. Often, they don’t even get a chance to meet the candidates, let alone watch a debate live and participate. But last month, a group of students from Bay View Middle School in the Howard-Suamico School District located near Green Bay did just that.

My name is Amy Arbogash and I am the Technology Integration Specialist at Bay View. Last month, I had the privilege of attending the first-ever Wisconsin Public Television Education Innovation Summit held in Madison. Over the course of two days, educators from around the state gathered to learn, collaborate and create. While there, I learned from the WPT staff that they were planning to do something a little different for the upcoming Wisconsin State Superintendent Debate: They wanted to put the candidates in front of a live audience of their most important constituents — students!

Through the efforts of our administration and teachers, we were able to bring 10 students from Bay View to the debate on March 31. Because we have more than 900 students in our 7th- and 8th-grade middle school, we asked students to apply for the privilege to attend and submit questions to WPT for inclusion in the debate. The students were so excited, many spent hours researching ideas for questions. One of our assistant superintendents even worked directly with students to talk about state and district funding.

Amy Arbogash takes some behind-the-scenes photos of students on set.

On the day of the debate, the 10 students, two social studies teachers and I headed down to Madison. As we entered the studio at WPT, the awe on our students’ faces took my breath away. Seeing the stage, lights, candidates, cameras and WPT production staff amazed them. Getting a tour of the studio and seeing all of the behind-the-scenes action was an unbelievable opportunity. The students got to watch the entire debate unfold in front of them, and several had their questions answered live on television. We ended our night with lots of pictures, discussions with the candidates, and memories to last a lifetime!

Students seated and ready for the live debate.

Wisconsin Public Television has always been a supportive resource for Wisconsin teachers and students, but in the last month, I’ve discovered that their support goes deeper than educational television. WPT Education provides invaluable opportunities in and beyond the classroom for those who seek reliable, accurate, easily accessible and free tools for learning.

For resources on Wisconsin elections and debates, visit  wimedialab.pbslearningmedia.org and www.wisconsinvote.org.

For more of Amy’s thoughts on education, follow her on twitter @amyarbogash or check out her blog at amyarbogash.weebly.com

Will technology save the planet?

Watch Nova: Power Surge at 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 on Wisconsin Public Television.

We’ve seen the high-efficiency windmills and have screwed in compact flourescent bulbs, but is that enough to make up for years of burning coal and petroleum for our energy? These particular advances are just the start of a technological revolution aimed at providing green and clean energy around for the world. Travel around the globe with Nova to meet the scientists and engineers that are designing new products and innovations that could change the way we heat our homes, fuel our cars and light the night skyline.

Watch a preview of this intriguing program below: