Video equipment donated by MIT to the Cambridge Public Schools will provide Cambridge Rindge and Latin School with a multicamera studio and offer its students valuable hands-on experience in media production.
The video equipment--seven cameras and 30 other pieces of studio equipment in all--will let students get practical experience in what it takes to create TV programs. They can fill roles on both sides of the lens, from TV news anchor to floor director to camera operator.
In addition, the video equipment will enable Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) to televise live, for the first time, its state champion basketball team. CRLS Falcons games will be broadcast on the school's own Channel 98, with students doing the production work.
"MIT has always been very supportive of the Cambridge public schools," said Cambridge School Superintendent Bobbie D'Alessandro. "This is another example of strong university backing for a very important project in our schools."
The announcement of the donation was made at a Nov. 2 ceremony attended by D'Alessandro, Cambridge Mayor Anthony Galluccio, members of the Cambridge School Committee and representatives from MIT, among others. It followed a training session for the students by MIT Video Productions staff members.
The studio system, previously used to record and broadcast educational programs from MIT's television studio, consists of four Sony cameras and a Sony video switcher/special-effects generator, along with tripods, an intercom system and two 25-inch color monitors.
In addition, MIT is also donating three Ikegami ENG/EFP (Electronic News Gathering/Electronic Field Production) portable cameras. The stand-alone cameras will allow students to record interviews and events while out in the field. Also included in the package are two videocassette recorders, an editing record deck, camera batteries and chargers, and various other items needed in a studio setup.
"MIT is very happy to be able to make this donation to the Cambridge School District. We're hopeful that it will serve as a great training tool and that it will be put to many creative uses," said Larry Gallagher, director of MIT Video Productions and Academic Media Production Services.
Kris Kay, who teaches video production to more than 60 students at CRLS, expressed delight with the gift: "MIT's donation will provide our students with the opportunity to train on professional equipment. And as an extra bonus, it will allow the community to view the Falcons games in real time--something that's never been possible before."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 7, 2001.