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Challenge | 2-4 Weeks

Invention and Design Stories That Inspire Us


Invention Header Image Banner 2022

Have you ever googled “how to…” and then fixed or built something? Fixing, making, designing and invention are all part of figuring things out and following your curiosity. For this challenge, you are going to produce a story about someone who has created something new by tinkering and building.


Your challenge is to produce a PROFILE STORY about someone (or a group) who has invented a new product or service.


Profile video news story (2-5 mins long)

A short doc or story that shows real events and fact-based information about an issue, person, or place. Your piece must include at least one interview, supplementary b-roll and a strong beginning, middle and end. Be creative and think about how best to tell the story. Ask: does it need voiceover? Can it be a NAT sound story (subjects tell the story with no voiceover)? How will it appeal to an online audience?


B-roll is going to be very important. A good short doc will be next level with some great b-roll!

Use b-roll as the VISUAL REPRESENTATION of the story. If you are interviewing someone, listen closely, make notes, and then record video of the actions, objects, and places described during the interview. Especially for this project, strong b-roll will help communicate the story of the inventor or inventions that you choose.

Go HERE to see warm-up activity & interview questions to consider.



A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). It can also be a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster

The Framing Effect

In news media, when storytelling presents a “frame” or window into important events or topics.


Immediate, current information and events are newsworthy because they have just recently occurred. It’s news because it’s “new.”


Investigating and explaining, in a critical and clear-eyed way, how people try to solve widely shared problems. Solutions journalism focuses on responses to problems.

Source: Solutions Journalism

Human Interest

People are interested in other people. Everyone has something to celebrate and something to complain about. We like unusual stories of people who accomplish amazing feats or handle a life crisis because we can identify with them.

Story Angle

In news, it’s a story’s point or theme. It's the lens through which the producer or writer filters the information they have gathered and focuses it to make it meaningful to viewers or readers.

Source: ThoughCo.


A conversation between two or more people where the purpose is to gather information and facts. The interviewer asks questions and the interviewee provides information based on their knowledge about a specific topic or issue.


A person or other physical being in a narrative. Stories are made up of different characters who provide information and help shape the narrative with their knowledge, experience and perspective.

Video profile

The story of one person, has voiceover (VO), b-roll, pictures, nats (natural sound), interviews of family members or peers of that one person.

Explainer video

Narration and/or voiceover (VO) with a host, commentary, research, personal experiences, explanations, infographics, nats (natural sound), music, entertainment.

Short documentary

Narration and/or voiceover (VO), scene reconstructions, archival footage, nats (natural sound), b-roll, images, research, lengthy interviews, soundbites.

SOT (Sound on Tape)

Generally considered to be audio captured from an individual who is on camera, like an interviewee and may also be referred to as a soundbite.

Long Shot / Wide Shot

Full shot of the person or location. Full body.

Medium Shot

Half body, normally from the waist up.

Close Up

Close Up of the face including neck and shoulders in the shot. Also used for objects.

Extreme Close Up

Shows parts of a person or object in detail.

Over-the-shoulder Shot

Shows a person’s back of head and shoulder looking at someone or something.

Creative shots

These can include low/high angles, dollies, POVs (point-of-view), rack focus, etc.


A short extract or clip from a recorded interview, chosen for its relevance to the story, pungency or appropriateness.


The primary video and audio that drives your story from beginning to end.

Video Portrait

A short video clip that captures the interview subject in their natural state. It involves a person looking into the lens for a few seconds. It’s like a still photo but video!


The availability of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid


A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.


An investigation into and study of sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

Natural sound

Sounds produced in their actual setting. Natural sound, commonly known as NAT sound, puts the viewer in the place the story was told by enhancing the scene(s) with video containing rich audio such as a musician singing at a train station, a storm approaching, or the sound of a tractor plowing the field.


A word-for-word document of what was said in a conversation or interview


A person who gives an account or tells the story of events, experiences, etc. In news, it is the person who adds spoken commentary to the video news story.

Story Arc

An example of using a little person to tell a big story. For example, you want to tell a story about pollution in your community’s water system. That is a big issue. Your video will use the story of a person (character) to illustrate the effects of bad water quality.


An attempt to grab the reader or viewer’s attention with interesting information that will keep them reading or watching.

Broadcast News

Non-fiction video or audio communication about topics of public interest disseminated through broadcast or digital methods including tv, radio, streaming, and social media.


A conversation with someone who is relevant to your story. Typically done over the phone or through video conferencing, but they can be done in person, too.

Follow-up Question

A question that comes after an interview subject responds to an initial question asked by the interviewer. A good follow-up question derives from listening to what the interviewee is saying and determining how best to help them elaborate and share more information.


The process of verifying the accuracy of a piece of information.


A desire to learn and know about something or anything.


The supplemental footage used to visually support your A-ROLL.

Search: broll.

Innovative Designer

Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions. (ISTE)

Earth and Human Activity

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity. (NGSS HS-ESS3-1)

Participation and Deliberation

Civics teaches the principles—such as adherence to the social contract, consent of the governed, limited government, legitimate authority, federalism, and separation of powers—that are meant to guide official institutions such as legislatures, courts, and government agencies. (NCSS D2.Civ.7.9-12 - D2.Civ.10.9-12)

Demonstrate the use of basic tools and equipment used in audio, video and film production.

Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. (ISTE)

Global Collaborator

Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally. (ISTE)



Video Production










Video Conference Software. IE: Zoom or Google Meet


Camera or Mobile Phone


Mobile Phone



Light Kit

Estimated Time

2-4 Weeks