Vista PEAK Preparatory Students Selected for Prestigious PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab

Youth reporters from Richwood, West Virginia interview Trevor, a high school forestry student who understands the importance of diversifying energy resources and revenue, but also has a deep appreciation of coal. Photo by Thaisi Da Silva (Director, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs)


A group of Vista PEAK Preparatory students and their teacher, Jason Burchard, have been selected for PBS NewsHour's STEM Student Reporting Lab. The students will be trained in video journalism and will be tasked to find unique stories from the Rocky Mountain National Park.

This initiative is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The Vista PEAK Preparatory students and staff will use a specialized curriculum, learn from a mentor with Rocky Mountain PBS and have access to many professionals who will provide support and guidance.

“National parks are some of the most amazing classrooms in the world,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “They bring to life the stories of the people, places, and events that have shaped our country. Programs such as this encourage exploration and inspire lifelong connections to the natural and cultural treasures found in national parks.”

The following schools were selected to participate in the STEM reporting initiative:

  • Black River Falls High School (Wisconsin) – Isle Royale National Park
  • Bozeman High School (Montana) – Glacier National Park
  • Central Hardin High School (Kentucky) – Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Dalton Middle School (Georgia) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Etiwanda High School (California) – Channel Islands
  • Health and Science School (Oregon) – Crater Lake
  • Hughes STEM High School (Ohio) – Cuyahoga National Park
  • John F. Kennedy High School (Maryland) – Shenandoah National ParkJudge Memorial Catholic High School (Utah) – Zion National Park
  • Kauai High School (Hawaii) – Haleakalā National Park
  • Legacy Charter School (South Carolina) – Congaree National Park
  • Maui Waena Intermediate School (Hawaii) – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Media Enterprise Alliance (California) – Yosemite National Park
  • Pleasure Ridge Park High School (Kentucky) – Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Royal Oak High School (Michigan) – Isle Royale National Park
  • Trumbull Career & Technical Center (Ohio) – Cuyahoga National Park
  • Turtle Mountain Community High School (North Dakota) – Badlands National Park
  • Vista PEAK Preparatory (Colorado) – Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Wauwatosa West High School (Wisconsin) – Isle Royale National Park
  • Woodrow Wilson High School (Washington, D.C.) – Shenandoah National Park

Congratulations to our Vista PEAK Preparatory students and staff! In alignment with our strategic plan APS 2020: Shaping the Future, we are excited to see our students developing skills to implement their plans for successful futures. We look forward to seeing the incredible stories you produce.