Classroom experiences that have real-world application are a great way to keep students engaged in their learning. For a group of students in Central Gwinnett HS’ Fine Arts and Communications Academy, that classroom experience led them to create a commercial product that will be used to promote an upcoming event for manufacturers.
Central Gwinnett is one of seven GCPS high schools that have been transformed into a College and Career Academy. These schools provide our students with a rigorous curriculum delivered through the lens of a career. Academies help students make connections between the academic subjects and their application in the real world or in a specific career pathway.
Community and business partners ensure that Academy students have exposure to hands-on work experiences, access to professionals in the field, and opportunities to learn more about careers and the postsecondary training and education required to successfully pursue those careers.
Thanks to a partnership between the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance and Central Gwinnett’s Fine Arts and Communications Academy, the students had the opportunity to complete the 60-second a video promoting the Georgia Manufacturing Summit, an event that draws more than 700 manufacturing professionals from around the Southeast. The Summit, which features keynote speakers from Chik-fil-A and Coca Cola, is set for Oct. 25 at the Cobb Galleria.
“It’s been well documented that the film industry has become one of the largest opportunities for the future workforce in Georgia,” says Nathan McGill, a filmmaker-turned-teacher at Central Gwinnett who serves as an industry partner on the Academy’s Fine Arts and Communications Advisory Board. “Giving students at Central Gwinnett High opportunities to work for companies and organizations that need that type of video production is what we are always looking for.”
One such opportunity came from Jason Moss, the CEO at Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, an organization that partners with Central Gwinnett’s academy. The Georgia Manufacturing Alliance is the leading voice in Georgia’s manufacturing community. With growth, the need to promote its events has also grown. While the Alliance typically would hire video producers to create its commercial content to promote events like the Summit, the partnership with Central Gwinnett gave Mr. Moss another avenue for producing the video while providing valuable experience to the students.
“This project has helped expand what [the students] will be able to use in a portfolio for future employers,” says Mr. Moss. “We are excited to continue this partnership because our entire organization is based on promoting workforce development, and through this partnership we get to reach future workers early and have an impact on them while they are still in high school.”
With the Academy school model, partnerships like this one have become a great tool for increasing workforce development and educating students for real jobs in the community.
“When we heard the need for a promotional video, I immediately knew that my students could deliver the project based on what we have been learning in class,” says Mr. McGill. Three students volunteered for the special project-based learning assignment— Nigel, a junior, on the production side and Robert and Jakcob, both seniors, on the editing side.
“The best thing we can do for our students is give them the validation that they can perform well in the industry,” says Mr. McGill who was a director/producer for “American Made Movie,” a feature documentary about manufacturing in the U.S. that was released to theaters in 2013. “It is incredibly satisfying for the students to know they have successfully delivered a project that would have cost that partner thousands of dollars to create with a professional.”
With experience like this on their resumes, our students are one step closer to becoming film professionals themselves.