Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PBS/WTCI TV Station Tour

Today we had the opportunity to take a tour of our local PBS station. I have to say that having toured one of our "big three" channel stations last year, I though I knew what to expect. PBS/WTCI went WAY beyond my expectations.

First, they broke us up into groups. The younger kids went with one tour guide, and the older kids went with anotherr. They took us to a bright, fun room to watch an episode of Martha Speaks. When setting up your field trip, you have the option of choosing what you'd like to focus on. After the show was over the kids did an activity sheet and played some games with the tour guide. She then proceeded to let the kids each go to the small adjacent library and pick out a book to take home with them. All of the books there were from PBS shows. My kids all chose Magic School Bus chapter books.

Next, we got to meet with a designer in his office and he showed us how the promos and commercials are added in. He actually showed us a promo that he had been working on. We saw how the image comes in, extra information is added, sounds and voice overs are added, and finally, the final product. Very cool!

Our guide then showed the control rooms and explained what goes on it them, where the director sits during programs, and finally, into the studio. The kids were all able to play in front of a green screen and make parts or all of themselves disappear by placing a green drape over them. They also got to be on TV (not live), and we got an explanation of the teleprompter and camera equipment used.

Before we left, each of the kids got a goody bag filled with stickers, information and another book. We had such a great time and learned so much! I highly recommend visiting!

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