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ASU’s Cronkite School hosts media innovation camp for high school students


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  • Joe Giordano/Arizona State University

Retha Hill (left), Director Of The Cronkite School's New Media Innovation And Entrepreneurship Lab, Works With High School Students At The High School Media Innovation Camp. Photo Courtesy Arizona State University

Twenty-two high school students from across Arizona participated in an intensive, two-week media innovation training camp at Arizona State University‘s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The High School Media Innovation Camp, a joint venture between the Cronkite School, The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com and the USA Today Network, pairs high school students with entrepreneurs, technologists, journalists and professors to learn how to create compelling content for digital audiences.

The residential camp on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus is free to participants thanks to support from The Arizona Republic’s Media in Education program, which is funded by subscribers who donate the value of their subscription during vacations or other temporary stoppages.

Zach Wilson, a senior at Snowflake High School in Snowflake, Arizona, is one of the students experimenting with 360-degree video, virtual reality and game development software at the Cronkite School.

“When I applied for the program, I was expecting to just learn the basics of journalism and virtual reality,” Wilson said. “But we’re going a lot deeper, and I really like it.”

The camp, which started June 18 and ran through the end of June, is led by Retha Hill, director of the Cronkite School’s New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, and Anita Luera, the school’s director of high school journalism programs. Classes are taught by Cronkite faculty and Arizona Republic/azcentral staff.

Hill said the camp is designed to help develop the next generation of technology-savvy journalists. “A lot of these schools are already teaching iOS coding and 360-degree video,” she said. “This camp is helping to create a cadre of journalism coders who can do a whole lot more.”

The program culminates with a competition in which students develop project concepts and pitch them before a panel of judges. The winners have the opportunity to continue to collaborate on their project with industry experts from both the Cronkite School and the USA Today Network.

ASU has topped the U.S. News & World Report rankings as the most innovative school in the country for two consecutive years. The Cronkite School has played a key part in the university’s drive to innovate with recent initiatives that include the hiring of an innovation chief, the launch of a daylong celebration dedicated to journalism innovation and a journalism crowdfunding campaign.

2017 Media Innovation Camp Participants

Michelle Ailport
Greenway High School

Camille Avila 
Mountain Pointe High School

Jamie Bennett
Youngker High School

Samantha Chow 
Mountain View High School

Jamieson Clawson
McClintock High School

Kaleb Clyde
Winslow High School

Anthony Delphy
Maryvale High School

Vaughn Duplantis 
Madison Highland Prep

Jesus Franco
San Luis High School

Jacob Gurrola
North Canyon High School

Saja Indigo Hicks
North High School & Metro Tech High School

Carlos Jimenez 
Western School of Science & Technology

David Jutzi
Phoenix Coding Academy

Samuel Kurtz
Thunderbird High School

Destiny Martin
Cienega High School

Cory Pfeifer
Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center

Carlos Rodriguez
San Luis High School

Sheldon Sargent II
Wiliams Field High School

Miranda Schindler
Horizon Community Learning Center

Ignacio Vazquez
Alhambra High School

Bronson Williams-Shaw
Apache Junction High School

Zach Wilson
Snowflake High School

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