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September 2, 2014, 10:41 am

Roxborough students design 21st century technology

More than 60 sophomores, juniors and seniors in the Communications Academy at Roxborough High School put their tech savvy to the test in a Public Service Announcement (PSA) and Story Board Poster competition on Dec. 16.

Presented by Philadelphia Academies, Inc. — a nonprofit youth development organization that introduces career-focused programming into public high schools — the competition leverages the power of digital technology to strengthen students’ 21st century skills, improving literacy and web proficiency.

On the video design side, 35 cinematography students wrote, directed and produced a technically sound, 30- or 60- second PSA that brought awareness to a problem or cause in society. Students utilized programs including Photoshop and Final Cut Pro for video production, and screened PSAs on topics ranging from cancer to domestic violence. In order of first to third place, Eric Krok, Brionstar Minyard, Jabar Small and Dinisha Hanible won in the cinematography category.

The literacy element of the project tasked 30 Web design students with creating a Wire Frame story board, also known as a flow chart, for an adventure video game. Detailing a game plan plot, conflict, character details and “win” requirements served as the students’ first steps in building and designing a game platform. Web design collage winners were Brittany Baxter, Mark Matthews and Guia Longasa. Film Poster winners were Nina Longasa, Mike Vacante and Brittany Fisher.

The judges of the competition were Mick Weeks of Apple Computers, Neil Kleinman — Professor of Multimedia and Communication at University of the Arts and Larry Bender — Creative Director at Drexel University.

The Communications Academy is one of 10 Academy career areas. Other career areas include: Applied Electrical Science; Automotive and Mechanical Engineering; Biotechnology; Business and Technology; Environmental Science; Health and Life Sciences; Hotel, Restaurant, Travel and Tourism; Process Technology; and Urban Education. For more information, visit