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Camera-Friendly Children Shine as Potential “YouTube Stars”

From June 25 to June 29, a room at the Community Recreation Center became a filming studio for Techsplosion’s “YouTube Stars,” a summer camp offered by the Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department. On one day, Otoha, 8, and Chloe, 9, filmed a segment about snacks and toys. Sam, 9, and Nicky, 12, worked on a Mission Impossible themed video involving a make believe break-in. On another day, all four students filmed reviews of toys, such as the zany game Watch Ya Mouth. During this week, instructor Amanda Tugangui taught these young online personalities how to plan, film, edit, upload and promote videos on a YouTube channel.

Chloe, Sam, and Nicky have working YouTube channels on topics such as gaming and toys.

Right now, I have a private channel,” Otoha said. “I came to ‘YouTube Stars’ to learn how to build a better channel so I can make my channel public.”


According to Greg Intermaggio, president and founder of Techsplosion, a “YouTube Star” is someone who posts videos regularly to YouTube and has many subscribers to their channel. During this week-long camp, students learned skills to bring them one step closer to being such a star.

The biggest objective of our program is to empower kids to be more independent problem solvers, particularly when it comes to STEM topics,” Intermaggio said. “We try to show kids it’s okay to experiment and to give them tools to experiment and be creative.”

According to Intermaggio, lectures were as short as possible, with the main focus being hands-on activities.

For instance, for teaching about lighting, we try to encourage the kids,” Intermaggio said. “We tell them they can post a video without lighting. But if they want to post an awesome video, we teach them about the three lights they need to know about, which is the key light, fill light and the back light. We have one of our kids at camp stand up in front of our lighting so other students can see the changes in the quality of light as they’re being demonstrated.”

Intermaggio added that the camp highlighted use of equipment that would be considered more affordable.

We try to make our programs accessible for people at home who don’t want to spend a lot of money on an expensive camcorder,” Intermaggio said. “So at that camp, it’s based on Android smartphones. A lot of people assume if they want to start a YouTube channel, they need to get Final Cut Pro, which is hundreds of dollars. But they can actually get a video editing app on a smartphone for about five dollars.”

The camp also touched on the subject of Internet safety.

We play a Tic-tac-toe game and students guess the right thing to do in a situation,” Intermaggio said. “We also have a worksheet that talks about how to promote your videos with safety tips, such as not sharing personal information and talking to your parents if someone is harassing you.”


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