District high school football game? Just watch online from the only student-run broadcast truck in the country.
In January 2019, the four high schools in NKC started producing fully functional live broadcasts of sporting events out of the sports broadcast truck, allowing viewers to watch games and hear commentary live from their phones or computers.
The truck and equipment cost about $300,000, but it’s been a popular investment, says Oak Park journalism teacher Christina Geabhart. “Our enrollment quadrupled this year because people heard that the truck was coming and it was very exciting, so we’ve had enough students at all buildings to have four teachers.”
Running broadcast equipment in a satellite truck is a sought-after skill in modern media, Geabhart says. Students often score entry level jobs right out of high school at local media companies.
“These kids know their stuff,” she says.
Geabhart says her students had the skills to run the jumbotron at the T-Bones stadium for a high school game when employees didn’t show up. “They ended up coming to me and saying, ‘Do your kids know enough?’ I said, ‘They can figure it out,’ and they did it.”