Halls High School students win statewide video contest
Residents across the state are learning the importance of driving safely in a work zone thanks to the hard work of one group of students at Halls High School.
Students in Stephen Korpi's multimedia class at HHS recently produced a 25-second video showing the tragedies that can take place when a group of teenagers makes a bad decision while traveling through a work zone. The HHS class project was chosen from 76 entries across the state to win the Tennessee Department of Transportation's first Project Orange Video Contest.
Students in Korpi's class were surprised with a special assembly in the HHS gym last Monday morning. The assembly kicked off Work Zone Awareness Week by announcing the contest's winning video and honoring the 18 students who took part in the project.
"What a great way to kick off this important safety week in Tennessee by announcing our first-ever teen safe-driving video contest winner," said Governor's Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. "This has been a great experience, a wonderful educational tool and we have a number of creative videos from teens across the state that we hope to feature on our Between the Barrels Web site and Facebook page in the months to come."
"We are so proud of these students for their tremendous efforts in creating this safety video," said HHS Principal Andy Pugh. "These teens worked very hard and I hope their message helps educate and save the lives of not only their friends here in Halls, but also other teens across Tennessee."
The HHS safety video won the Memphis Regional Competition on March 16 and went on to defeat four other regional winners from the Tri-Cities, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville.
The students were invited to travel to Memphis to re-record the audio for their public service announcement in a professional studio at WREG, which partnered with TDOT on the Project Orange video contest and provided the students with a tour of the studio.
The video is currently running as a public service announcement statewide.
Several Tennessee Department of Transportation officials were on hand for the assembly, with representatives of the Tennessee Road Builders Association presenting $2,500 in gift cards to Best Buy to the winning team. The funds were divided into a $138 Best Buy gift card for each student.
Karen Fair of the Dyersburg Bridgestone facility drew names for certificates for five sets of Bridgestone tires. Bridgestone representatives also encouraged the class to enter its video in the company's national teen safety video contest.
"The best way to educate teens on the importance of safe driving is to engage them in the process," said TDOT Between the Barrels Statewide Coordinator Christin Hayes. "We received a tremendous response to this contest and our hope is that the Project Orange Video Contest not only helps engage Tennessee teens, but also educates them on responsible driving and the consequences of bad decisions behind the wheel."
Students involved in the project included Kenny Bishop, Shawnee Burris, Brad Cain, Corey Clevenger, Josh Collins, Stephanie Conder, Reginald Glass, Alyssiah Harrell, Bianca Jackson, Curt Latham, Rebecca Morris, Tori Pease, Brandon Ray, Kelli Reynolds, Jessica Roberts, Brittany Ward, Shamona Wells and Kristin Obie.
Creating an educational video drove home TDOT's Between the Barrels focus.
"We learned to drive slow in work zones," said Brandon Ray.
But making the video itself also provided an education for the students participating in the project.
"We came together as a class and helped each other out," said Stephanie Conder. "Not everyone gets that experience (to visit a television station.) For us, being so young, it could give us an outlook on careers and stuff for the future."
"(We learned) you have to have patience," said Alyssiah Harrell. "It was fun."
"I enjoyed working on the video more than class work," said Brad Cain. "And we got money!"
TDOT's effort to surprise the students was successful for most of the class.
"They did a good job keeping it a secret," said Korpi, who polled the class and found that half of them were surprised at the assembly.
"I never had a clue," said Curt Latham. "I was shocked, especially to get $138."
The Between the Barrels Project Orange Video Contest is sponsored by TDOT's Governor's Highway Safety Office, Bridgestone Americas, the Tennessee Road Builder's Association, Regal Cinemas and WCYB, WBIR, WTVC, WTVF and WREG television stations.
To view the video, visit www.tdot.state.tenus/wzsafety/ or http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=ystrFDo1xuQ. Teens can also visit Between the Barrels Project Orange Facebook and MySpace pages and become a fan or add the organization as a friend at http://www.facebook.com/home/php#/pages/Nasahville-TN/Between-the-Barrels/ 111080125513?ref=mf or http://www.myspace.com/betweenthebarrels.