ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - What started as a class project for 8th grade science teacher Mark Smithey and a handful of students has now turned into a weekly 18 minute newscast.
Smithey said students made a study guide video with a Family Feud theme last semester and wanted to keep making videos.
"So, I invited them to stay after school and see what we could come up with," Smithey said "And they took on this project."
The students stay after school on Tuesdays filming the newscast that they show to the whole school on Thursdays.
Smithey and Melissa Shetterly, language arts teacher and AMS News at Noon co-sponsor, assign the stories, write scripts and edit the video.
8th grader Genesis Salinas is the weather reporter for the newscast and said she has seen a good response from others students
"I remember that there was a group a seventh graders that they were like 'Oh my gosh, good job!' and I was like 'Oh, thank you'," Salinas said. "I mean I appreciate it but, in a way, I didn't think it as big of a deal."
Smithey and Shetterly said they have enjoyed seeing the students work on the project since they do not have dedicated class time, using any free time to work on voicing or writing.
Smithey and Shetterly said many of the students admire YouTube personalities and seeing all the parts of media production has given them a better understanding.
"It has opened the eyes for some of these kids that were thinking YouTube and now are thinking 'I'm enjoying this but maybe I really want to go into broadcasting or news, instead'," Shetterly said.
Smithey said they began shooting the newscast on a cell phone but will soon upgrade their equipment, including a new camera, microphones and backdrop.
He said there are 7th graders looking to get involved next year and hopes to create a newsletter as well as expand this program to the high school.
Smithey said he also wants to teach the students how to edit their own video in the future.
"Really, I don't see a limit for us right now," Smithey said.
Salinas said she agrees.
"I think that we have pretty good people that are amazing at what they do," Salinas said. "I feel like our teammates are just really talented. We can become something with hard work and a lot of effort."
AMS News at Noon episodes are posted to the school's website every Friday and on the AMS News at Noon Facebook page.