>Students at Pacheco High School are gaining experience in broadcasting in a new hands-on class.
"Sports and Entertainment Marketing" is part of Merced County ROP courses, designed to give students real-life experience, said Charles Pikas, course instructor.
"Sports and Entertainment Marketing" gives students the knowledge and skills needed to eventually work as broadcasters," he said.
"This one is designed to get the kids out there and able to work in the sports and entertainment industry, especially in terms of marketing," he said.
Educators added the broadcast element to the curriculum to give students a chance to work behind the cameras.
Student swill produce live- action broadcasts, be on the microphone and commenting live events and produce a weekly wrap-up show discussing the results of the games from the previous week, all while still working on marketing aspects and "thinking of ways to help get the Pacheco brand out there to the community a little more," Pikas said.
Currently, 28 students are enrolled in the class.
The equipment includes laptops with software to help with each broadcast, three different cameras, sound mixers and a video mixing program that allows for running multiple cameras at once. Headsets with microphones are also included.
The program cost $1,500; donations eliminated the cost of purchasing equipment.
"I know there are a handful of kids that are really hoping to do something out of high school with this field," he said. "So I'm hoping we can give them enough experience that it will be beneficial to help with future employers."
Pikas said that students are already being hired right out of high school based on having this type of experience and knowledge.
"The program is a great way to get a jump start if you want to get into that field," he said.
Tonight, the class will be broadcasting the first football game of the year against Selma High School. Fans can watch the broadcast at www.pachecoathletics.com by clicking on the "Live TV" button, or download the Pacheco app by clicking on the "Live Video" button.
All broadcasts will be stored for up to one year, he said.
Live broadcasts are beginning with football and volleyball games and will be extended to water polo and soccer matches.
"It will be just like you're watching it on TV," he said.
Also broadcast will be assemblies, band performances and other school-related activities throughout the school year.
"The kids in the class love sports and being a part of it," he said. "They love to go back and watch themselves. They have fun with it."
Pikas, also a math teacher and athletic director, always knew he wanted to teach this type of class.
"I love this class," he said. "I want to be able to get Pacheco out there as much as I could. Now, more people are able to go back and watch a game. It's kind of a nice addition that we have where people are saying things are going on over there that are pretty cool."
Reporter Marina Gaytan can be reached at (209) 826-3831, ext. 6562, or firstname.lastname@example.org.