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AV Studio

The AV Studio is a school-wide resource space used regularly by all students from PS - 8th grade. Students and teachers utilize the AV Studio space and resources to learn, create, collaborate, and enhance classroom curriculum and projects using various forms of media and technology. Through meaningful integration, students learn photography, graphic design, audio recording, and video production. At Catherine Cook we are committed to providing our students with the exposure, principles and skill set for digital media creation and expression. We emphasize scaffolding the process for students, understanding this leads to meaningful and high-quality products.  

The space features a recording room, green screen, DJ lab, dedicated workstations, and variety of audio/visual equipment (DSLR and mirrorless cameras, video drones, audio microphones, production lights, etc). Every student also has access to the entire Adobe Creative Suite including Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects.


Early Childhood
As an introduction to the space, each EC classroom makes a few fun trips up to the AV Studio each year to create short videos and projects based on what they’re learning about using the green screen and iPads. Some examples:

  • Video tour of the Solar System using green screen
  • Using public speaking skills and the green screen, students give a tour "inside" their ocean dioramas
  • Class ‘I Spy Books’ – Using the green screen, students are hidden in photographs of a pile of toys
  • Studying shape and light through light painting and long-exposure photographs to learn
  • Leveraging storytelling, speaking, and listening to act out scenes from The Great Kapok Tree
  • Learning the basically functionality and capability of video drones to get 360° aerial photographs of Old Town for a “Chicago” unit


Lower School
1st-4th grade classrooms utilize the AV Studio more often and begin integrating foundational media and tech skills into what students are already learning in class. More emphasis is placed on student-led creations and projects with kids using audio, video, graphic design, photography, and computers to enhance or showcase their work and content. A few examples:

  • Green screen videos of student movie/restaurant reviews, animal facts, etc.
  • Intro to video editing and iMovie
  • Basic and intermediate photography
  • Stop motion
  • Graphic design using Adobe Spark
  • How to setup and use AV equipment (lights, microphone, tripods, etc.)
  • Computer literacy - basic operations and concepts of laptops and web browsing


Middle School
5th-8th grade students have more opportunities to use previously learned skills and also further their learning of those disciplines. Integrated projects continue in Middle School classes for all students and many class projects also provide choices for kids to create or present their work using media skills they are most interested in.

  • Graphic design with Adobe Photoshop
  • Audio recording and editing
  • Video editing with Adobe Premiere
  • DSLR Photography
  • Green screen video recordings


Additional AV Studio Opportunities for Students
Beyond the classroom integration experience, students can pursue additional AV projects like class projects, school assemblies, electives, recess, Tech Crew, the annual Book Awards film, History Fair, and After School Adventures (ASA). Some examples: assembling a custom gaming PC in elective, building our entire school in Minecraft, and recreating scenes from Annie Jr. using the green screen during morning recess.


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During shelter-in-place, Mr. Trahey and 26 students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade worked together virtually to build a full, 1:1 scale recreation of our entire school in Minecraft during a virtual after school class.