For Katie Callahan and Kevin Ho, who both recently graduated from Exeter High School, their capstone project in Video Production at the Seacoast School of Technology (SST) helped to define their senior year. Enrolled in the Digital Media Arts program, Callahan and Ho spent 6 months filming the construction of two tiny homes, which were built by students in SST’s Building Construction Technologies program.
“They were building the homes for their senior project as part of the N.H. Lottery and NH Home Builders Association’s Tiny House competition,” said Ho. “They started in November of last year, which is when I started filming and Katie started to take pictures.”
Noting they started to produce their video in May, Ho said the final 6 weeks of their video project consisted of editing film and putting it together.
“We finished it a couple days before we graduated,” Callahan added with a laugh. “We cut it close.”
Upon completing the video, Ho said they showed the completed product to all the seniors in the Building Construction Technologies program. They also provided a copy of the video to each student in the program.
Expressing some disappointment that the homes were not completed—external factors made it impossible–Callahan said they were both excited at the feedback they received from the students who worked on the building project.
“They loved the video,” she said. “We had two students come in and preview it before we showed it to the class and they really liked it. It showed them all in a positive light and they were all so friendly to us during the filming process.”
In reflecting on their senior project, both Callahan and Ho expressed enthusiasm for their experience at SST.
“I value the skills I learned here at SST,” said Callahan. “We got the opportunity to be hands-on and creative in all of our projects.”
Ho added, “We learned the value of teamwork, self-motivation and time management…By creating the video, we had to create a schedule for ourselves and stick to it.”
Callahan said they were also supporting by an “amazing staff.”
“Our teacher encouraged us to be ourselves and incorporate that into our projects,” she said. “We were free to express concerns or questions we had. She was flexible with us.”
If given the chance to advise younger students, Ho said he would strongly advocate that they consider Career and Technical Schools in NH.
“You should definitely check them out,” he said. “They offer you opportunities you cannot get at a middle or high school. You learn about the world beyond high school and how you have to work and what’s required as an adult…The opportunity is free, too.”
Callahan agreed and said even if a course description remotely clicks with a student, he/she should jump at the chance. She said the social component is also a big factor.
“We met kids from 6 other school districts,” she said. “We have made so many friends here within each class. Each class has an organization, too, which is something to put on your resume. These organizations help build business, leadership and communication skills… These are the characteristics that separate you from other kids and other candidates when applying for jobs.”
As for their immediate future, Ho said he plans to attend Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, while Callahan will attend Pace University in New York City. Both expressed nerves regarding college, but cited enthusiasm, too.
“It’s exciting,” Callahan noted. “I think we are ready.”