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ALTV sending crew to Warm Springs to cover the eclipse

Students will interview NASA, UW scientists, other students

By Jayati Ramakrishnan

East Oregonian

Published on August 16, 2017 5:46PM

Last changed on August 18, 2017 8:04PM

Hermiston’s Armand Larive Middle School will send several students from their television program to cover the eclipse. Pictured are Daytona Tracy, teacher Robert Doherty and JaLay Burns. Tracy was sporting a solar eclipse hat, and Burns, solar eclipse glasses.

Staff photo by Jayati Ramakrishnan

Hermiston’s Armand Larive Middle School will send several students from their television program to cover the eclipse. Pictured are Daytona Tracy, teacher Robert Doherty and JaLay Burns. Tracy was sporting a solar eclipse hat, and Burns, solar eclipse glasses.

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They weren’t alive during the last eclipse, but the students from Armand Larive TV will be hard at work to document this one.

Five students from the Hermiston middle school’s television class will travel to Warm Springs this weekend to interview scientists, professors and viewers during the event.

“We saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Robert Doherty, a science teacher at Armand Larive, and the advisor for the TV program, which is a class available to seventh and eighth graders at the middle school. The team produces a program each month, where they try to average two news stories. They also livestream events around the school and community, including the Breakfast of Champions and sporting events.

For the eclipse, the team will attempt to livestream a show on Sunday evening, as well as the eclipse itself on Monday morning.

“Because it’s internet-based, there may be so much internet traffic we can’t succeed with the livestream,” Doherty said. “But we’re still going to do the news story and put it in our monthly show.”

The five students taking part are Tanner Bales, JaLay Burns, Katherine Haight, Tristan Stephenson and Dayton Tracy. Burns is an incoming eighth grader and the rest are about to enter Hermiston High School. They will be camping on the football field at Warm Springs Middle School, along with people from all over: scientists from NASA, professors and students from the University of Washington, and 50 students from the Warm Springs K-8 Academy.

The students all have the opportunity to learn every aspect of producing and anchoring a TV show, Doherty said. But many soon find they like one aspect best, and hone their skills.

Tracy and Burns both enjoy anchoring, and will be interviewing people and reporting live on the event.

The two have prepared by studying the eclipse, and thinking of interview questions before they leave for Warm Springs.

“The first thing I did was take a class that taught me what the eclipse was,” Tracy said. “Next, I made sure my glasses worked.”

She also started coming up with a list of interview questions to ask people, especially the scientists at NASA and University of Washington.

“I might ask them how long it takes for an eclipse to occur, what did they do to learn about the eclipse,” she said. “I’d ask people from far away why they traveled so far.”

Burns said she would look for people who might have seen an eclipse before.

“I’d ask them if they enjoyed it, and what they expect,” she said.

She said she would also be interested in talking to scientists about how and why an eclipse happens.

The two said they were excited, but a little nervous for the event.

“I want to get good answers from people,” Tracy said.

Burns said while they have interviewed complete strangers before, there would be some unique challenges for this project.

“I think it might be slightly different because we have NASA and University of Washington coming,” she said. “I think we might have more options to chose from rather than just people walking around.”

Doherty said while the team is very used to producing and filming shows in the area, this will be the first livestream they’ve attempted from out of town.

While the school has purchased a filter for the camera that makes it safe to film the eclipse, Doherty said the team might also try to use footage from NASA, which is available to the public.

He said that people in Warm Springs are aware that ALTV is coming, and have been very supportive.

“I hope since our show is geared toward middle schoolers, we’ll get the chance to interview some students camping out there,” he said.

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Contact Jayati Ramakrishnan at jramakrishnan@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4534



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