Each semester we try to have the Critter Club kids do some kind of a project. Critter Club is a program at HAWS for middle school students that helps them get involved in HAWS through educational meetings on Thursday evenings, and volunteer work on the weekends.
This semester I decided to have them create video Public Service Announcements, which meant I had to do some research on them myself. PSAs are advertising to the public with the goal of raising awareness, or changing behavior or attitudes towards a social issues. It is not advertising a product or promoting a company or organizations.
I also learned about what goes into a good ad and passed this information onto the club members. A good PSA is 30 to 60 seconds in length, usually has a tag line, and narrows it's focus onto one simple concept. A PSA that gives out too much information is one that isn't going to be remembered.
I also showed the kids some videos of both PSAs and regular commercials. It was a great trip down memory lane to show the PSA with the Native American Indian crying over pollution and the frying egg showing what your brain on drugs looks like. The commercials I showed were more current and I was able to point out the short duration of shots within a given commercial -- nowadays individual shots last about 2-3 seconds at the most. Apparently modern viewers have a really short attention span!
The kids broke up into 5 groups, chose their topics, wrote scripts and created story boards. Then they got to work shooting video, and went through the process of editing it. Two of the groups finished their PSAs last night and those are displayed here. I'll post the other three when they're done.