Attendance at school functions – from sporting events to concerts to graduation – changed during
the COVID-19 pandemic. At Appleton East High School, the pandemic highlighted the need to
share events with a broader audience than those in the building. Enter Patriot Productions.
Patriot Productions is the home for all media directed, produced or published by students. Most of the pieces make their way to East’s YouTube channel. Through their participation, students gain
valuable real-life skills in project management, recording, editing, teamwork and professionalism.
“Our productions often have more than 1,000 views,” said Nick German, who teaches technology and engineering classes at Tesla Engineering Charter School, housed within Appleton East.
With minimal guidance from German, students researched equipment that would make the recording and editing process easier and the improve the overall quality of their work. They worked with vendors to discuss their ideas and obtain quotes.
“Vendors were baffled they were talking to high school students and let them know how valuable their skill set is in the real world,” German said.
German and his students received a grant from the Appleton Education Foundation to help upgrade equipment. “Our old equipment took maximum effort to move and required some luck to have it work when needed,” one student said. “We now have equipment almost anyone can set up, which also means we can train other students to use it and keep this project going.”
“The grant from AEF changed everything,” German said.