Maui High School teacher Clint Gima has built a digital media lab, exposing students to the field of video journalism through the high-tech world. With the support of the Maui Economic Development Board Ke Alahele Education Fund, Gima and his students have traveled to the mainland in recent years for Student Television Network conventions. They’ve returned with national awards and gained a better appreciation for the media field and new friendships with others who share their passion.
Graduated senior Roselyn Domingo enrolled in Gima’s classes in three of her four years at Maui High. She’s eyeing college studies in dental hygiene. She said the digital media lab experience has been worthwhile and a means to learn about cameras and the value of camaraderie. “I didn’t really know how to use a camera when I first started,” she recalled. By the end of her senior year, Domingo earned two national awards and partnered with classmate Allysa Ferrer, who co-produced award-winning videos with her. “We’d go to each other’s house and we’d stay up all night to work. … I’m going to really miss it.”
Gima said the media lab aligns with the State Department of Education’s goals to offer rigorous and relevant curriculum. “The kids do authentic work. In digital media they have a lot of ground to cover and they’re producing original work,” Gima said. Students have produced videos covering topics like Domingo’s winning piece on fire knife dancing. Another video featured the declining population of honeybees and why that’s important in Hawaii. “When they engage in projects, they have to work with others and they learn job skills they’re going to need in the future,” Gima said. Having already seen the value and benefits of attending the Student Television Network conventions, Gima said he plans to apply a third time for Ke Alahele Education Fund support. Domingo said off-island trips are one of the most memorable experiences of the media lab. “I can’t pay for it myself so I’m really happy for the chance to see things outside of Maui,” she said.