Teen Journalists Report on National Parks
February 23, 2017
Researchers Su-Jen Roberts and Rebecca Joy Norlander visited Zion National Park with 14 students from Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, UT. The visit was part of NewKnowledge’s partnership with PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs, a training program for teen journalists across the country. Teens learn to produce original news broadcast segments — including all aspects of research, interview, filming and editing — many of which go on to air on local PBS stations, and sometimes even the national news! Through funding from the National Science Foundation, 21 schools are working on STEM-related stories featuring National Parks, including Zion.
This past weekend, students spoke with rangers, interviewed visitors to the park, and shot background footage to be edited for broadcast and social media. Story topics included raising awareness about invasive plant species, the dangers of flash flooding, and how the park is handling an increasing number of visitors who come to Zion each year.
As research partners, NewKnowledge is working to measure program outcomes, such as student skill building and interest in media or STEM fields, and the effect of teen-produced news stories on local communities.