Making A Difference
My fellow student T.J Leach and I, Alex Hall, are students of George Nye’s Business and Economics class at Lake Region High School in Naples, Maine. We both grew up in the area, which is about one hour north of Portland. The people who live year-round in Naples are generally of a lower to middle financial status, so we have grown up being aware of the importance of money in our day to day lives. We decided to create a video presentation to inform the public about the national debt. We went with our class out to local stores and interviewed random people. We had a specific set of questions that challenged them to think about what they know about our nation’s debt. After compiling all of the information, we put it into a video to show to the entire school during an assembly.
The idea of making the video came up in our Economics class. We had to come up with something that would make people aware of the crisis we are in, while also making it possible for other people to look at the information we had collected. At first we thought about creating a simple presentation and then showing it to just our class. Once we looked at the numbers we were dealing with, we realized how much larger is the problem America faces today. So we wanted to do something that would actually make more people aware of how this crisis affects all of us.
First we created a script and questions we would ask people on the street and we designed consent waivers so that we could video the interviews. We hoped that the questions in our interviews would almost scare people so that they would understand how important the issue of the national debt really is. We went out onto the streets with our classmates, and took about three hours of video in all. That night we compiled all the data and made it into a short video. We edited it carefully because we knew we would being showing it in front of the whole school and we didn’t want to bore everyone. The final product turned out much better then we had thought and so did the response we got from showing it.
We found it amazing that things we may watch on the news every night were almost more easy to understand then we had thought. All we wanted to do was learn more and more. Once we got to the National Debt Unit we realized that there is a huge problem, and it is going to affect our generation the most. Our video presentation ended up not only being successful, but also being quite fun. We plan on making more videos in our spare time to try to make people as informed as possible. We hope that this will actually make a difference in how people spend and save their own money knowing how their personal finances fit into a much bigger picture.