Previously, we spoke with Crosby Independent School District (ISD) about their new video displays and how students were getting in on the action, running equipment during games and earning high school credits. We caught up with Crosby to see where they’ve gone from there.
BACK TO SCHOOL
For many, the final years of high school signify the end of an era. For some, however, it’s just the beginning.
Last year, Crosby ISD gained several new Daktronics video boards around their facilities for various sporting events. Students in A/V courses learned the ropes of running the boards while gaining valuable real-life experience.
But why stop at high school games? Crosby teacher Ryan Carrington thought students could learn even more from watching the pros put their skills to action. They put in a few calls to the Astros team in Houston and explained how their students were running the boards and could gain valuable information watching inside their operations room. The Astros and their Daktronics staff member agreed and set the date.
Daktronics visited with Carrington to see what impressions the game left on him and the students.
Q: What were some of the things you noticed that are different between your setup and the Astros?
A: We have a couple of screens that are split to show different camera angles while the Astros have a 32” screen for each camera shot! It was like a wall of screens. Each of their cameras was focused on a single player, instead of going around the field. They also had one staffer for stats, one for replays, one for highlights, etc.
Q: How did you prepare for the game?
A: I told the kids to look at the bigger picture and treat this like it was a job opportunity. It’s an important day.
Q: What do you think the students gained from the trip?
A: Some of my kids had never been to downtown Houston, so that in itself was a huge experience for them.
Inside the operations center, it gave them a better understanding of the game and which graphics to use with what’s happening on the field. Oftentimes, my students aren’t athletes themselves, so they really are learning about the sport itself and how to run the equipment, as well.
We do have a few athletes in the class now, and they help teach the non-athletes about the game, while the reverse is true regarding the equipment. It’s great to see them trying to learn from each other.
Q: How many students went on the trip?
A: About 20. I have 30 students in my advanced class, and this is my third year of teaching. The first year, I had 3 students. So, we’re rapidly growing the program.
Q: That’s quite the leap! Tell me more about the program’s growth.
A: It’s gone from the early phase of figuring things out to one of the more popular classes. We’ve got some great kids; they started out learning the ropes and put in lots of volunteer hours for the class, and we felt it wasn’t right to ask them to put in so many hours without being compensated for their work. We now pay them to run the games, and they’re excited to be there and earn a little money! We see our seniors stick around longer, too.
Q: What do you mean?
A: Our seniors can do what’s called early release, where they’re free to go once they’ve earned their credits. Before the class, they would be out, but now they want to stay and work. We’ve had kids come back after they’ve graduated, too, and offer to help run the boards while they’re visiting. It’s been a mindset shift for them. The kids now consider this as a career path to pursue in college; they have some experience under their belts and can hit the ground running with that extra advantage over their peers.
If you want to learn more about the Astros’ Education Tours check out their site and be sure to check your local professional teams for similar opportunities!