Traverse City West Middle School Students Premiere Science Shorts at State Theatre

“Michigan’s forests: beautiful, loved, alive, or at least they used to be.”

Not your typical filmmakers…

The State Theatre showed seven short films about climate change in Northern Michigan Sunday.

The theatre in Traverse City welcomed the community to watch the documentaries by TC West middle schoolers

A group of eighth grade students can now call themselves filmmakers.

This past semester, they have been working hard to bring their research to the big screen.

“They knew right off the bat that there was going to be a real audience. That there were people in the community doing this research and had this information and they were going to get to share,” says TC West middle school science teacher Tara Denherder.

From birds and bees to fish and trees, students worked on different topics on climate change and interviewed local experts.

“They all work in their community so they are regional experts. They have information that does correlate to like is said to the students’ experience here in our area,” Denherder said.

The students say they are taking away a lot more than from a textbook.

“I definitely learned a lot of social skills talking to people around the community, taking pictures different places. I worked really hard and just to kind of show them what we learned so they can learn it too,” says eighth grader Emily Thiel.

And it opened their eyes to other careers.

“I’ve always had an interest in editing videos, and that whole industry, and I think this really goes to show that hey we can do this, and it works. We just edited an entire documentary and it premiered at the State Theatre,” eighth grader Nash Marion said.

“So to hear them in their own words express the value and what they got out of it, I could not be more pleased with what they, how they viewed this afterwards,” Denherder said.

To watch all of the films click here.