State Farms' Project Ignition | Print |
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Students at the Frederick County Career and Technology Center are making an impact on the community and learning, all at the same time.  Taking video, audio, and production skills learned in their class, a group of students from the Frederick County Career Tech Center are accepting the challenge of making a change in the community.  

The Frederick County Career and Technology Center’s TV / Multimedia program was selected as one of 25 schools to participate in the Project Ignition program.  Project Ignition is a service learning grant program focused on teen driver safety.  Project Ignition is sponsored by State Farm Insurance and the National Youth Leadership Council.  The top 25 schools are awarded a $2,000 grant to complete their project, and the top 10 school’s teams will go to the National Youth Leadership Conference in April to compete for the grand prize of $10,000. 

Students choose to participate in this project to help make an impact in their community.  Teen driving is a big issue in Frederick County, and all over the country.  Through the grant, students were able to create a brochure, produce a public service announcement (PSA), attend leadership conferences, and participate in several anti-drinking and driving presentations with law officers. The Career Tech students are spreading the word all across the State of Maryland as well as the nation.  Brochures have already been distributed in all Frederick County high schools and at local events such as the County fair. Video and print information will be delivered at a National Drinking and Driving conference, with hopes the information will be discriminated from the National Conference throughout the individual states.

I have had many people ask, why participate in a large project like this?  I have found that students can excel in their learning experience when they can buy into the program.  Many of the students in our class have been affected one way or another by someone in a drinking and driving situation.  Students are forced to use their video and audio skills to produce broadcast quality programs.  Students also have to use effective communication skills to deliver the message.  These students meet with law enforcement officers, members of the community, and other students to create and share the message they are promoting.  Allowing students to network with the community allows them to create connections and meaningful professional relationships that they will use in the future.  Setting a student project in a “real world” setting and atmosphere often elevates student work and allows them to be a vested part of the finished project. 

Although we are in the beginning stages of the project, the students have already completed several PSA’s on anti-drinking and driving as well as texting and driving.  There is very limited data and resources about texting and driving and the students have started to focus the second half of the project on this very dangerous activity.  If you would like to see current PSA or other videos created by the students at the Frederick Career and Technology Center, you can view the video at 

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