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Bringing High Energy to the Classroom ... and Beyond

December 11, 2009
By Carlen Dixon of Kentucky

The Student Technology Leadership Program at South Floyd High School is proving that success at school can extend far beyond the classroom. The program's iHigh website, High Energy Photos, allows the group to showcase their photography, while giving students invaluable real-world work experience.

Greg Moore, information technology teacher and the school's STLP coordinator, says that in their short history, the program's growth has been amazing. "A few years back, the school came and asked if we could design a program for basketball," Moore said. "We got a couple cameras, started going to some ballgames. It's just really grown from there."

Moore says that the STLP program has used their iHigh site to cover events not just at their school, but all across the state.

"During the state volleyball tournament, we talked with an iHigh representative and he explained what they did and how he thought their website could help us. So he set us up with our own site, which we called High Energy Photos. Later on, they mentioned us helping them out with state championships, and we just recently did photos and will be doing video highlights for the 2009 KHSAA Gridiron Bowl."

Even though the school is located in tiny Hi-Hat, Kentucky, the program has garnered statewide acclaim. South Floyd's STLP program won the state title two years ago, and they posted a runner-up finish last year.

Moore says the community has really helped bolster the program's success. "We're in a very rural area, so support from the community is really important," Moore said. "We've gotten great support from many of the local businesses."

The school's administration, Moore says, has been a big proponent of the program as well.

"Our principal and superintendent both believe in what we're doing. They feel that if we're teaching kids skills that they can use in the job market someday, they should have good equipment to work with. We have nine digital SLR cameras, including some of the Nikon D700s. And we use Canon XH-A1 cameras for shooting high definition video."

Moore says that the program's relationship with iHigh has allowed them to really expand their coverage.

"We started just doing school sports, but now we're taking photos and video highlights of different athletic events across the state. We hope to continue our website on iHigh for a long time - it's been really successful for us."

Moore is adamant that his students are the biggest reason for the program's continued success.

"They're a great group," Moore said. "Our class is quite a bit different from most - instead of textbooks, everything we do is project-based. Kids will come in on evenings, weekends - just to help get projects done. We have the best group of kids available. Being able to use equipment like this comes with a lot of responsibility - but these kids have earned it."

When asked how he kept his students so interested in the program, Moore says it was easy.

"When the kids buy into something like they have with this, it isn't hard to sell."

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