Fullerton College gains state of the art news truck

Jamie Lima-Sabatini

In addition to the new Drone Lab classes being offered, Fullerton College now has a field production vehicle that will help students gain skills with the wide variety of technology that is in demand in the field of Journalism.

As far as what kind of capabilities the truck offers, students will be able to shoot and broadcast live video in 360 degrees. With the Drone Lab, students in the truck will be able to see footage from the drones and broadcast it live as it is being shot. Students will also be able to cut from footage being taken by the drones and back to other video footage they would like to show.

Beyond the Drone Lab, students involved in journalism programs at Fullerton College such as The Hornet and Antorcha Del Sur, can use the truck to broadcast live video footage. They can also edit any footage taken on a regular camera or drone from the truck itself.

Passenger's side of Fullerton College news truck Photo Credit: Jay Seidel Photo credit: Jay Seidel

Professor Jay Seidel, Media Studies Department Coordinator and head of the new drone program, is excited about the capabilities this truck can achieve.

“Welding, construction and architecture students can use it for training on surveying and inspection with drones. Administration of justice students can use it to for training on surveillance and search and rescue with drones,” Seidel states.

“Geography, archeology and earth science students can use it for mapping and analysis with drones. Cinema and photo students can also use it for field video capturing with drones.” he added.

The truck cost roughly $250,000 and was funded by the state Strong Workforce Initiative grant. Although this seems like an extravagant amount of money for a truck, the North Orange County Community College District received a total of $4,390,117 from the Strong Workforce Initiative grant for the 2018-2019 school year.

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Back of Fullerton College news truck Photo Credit: Jay Seidel Photo credit: Jay Seidel

The Strong Workforce Initiative grant, was set up for the purpose of helping train community college students on new and relevant skills needed for the workforce. The truck and Drone Lab will help students get hands-on experience and training at Fullerton College.

Students are excited about the new technology that will be available to them. Communications major student Amanda Dunnuck said “If drones are becoming a large part of the journalism world, then learning this skill in college will benefit future journalists in their careers.”

“I haven’t heard of any college using drone technology, so having this will also benefit the college,” Dunnuck added.

This vehicle is one of a kind on the west coast and is a great addition to the campus. Along with the Drone Lab, the truck will offer students in multiple fields to get a leg up on possibly even professionals who are still learning how to use drone technology themselves.

Jay Seidel
Professor Jay Seidel, Media Studies Department Coordinator and head of the new drone program stands with the FC news truck Photo credit: Jay Seidel

The truck is starting to be used now but at a minimum, according to Seidel. “The vehicle is still getting registered and our campus computing folks are working to set up the networking to get the transmission capability going, but as it stands now the truck is able to be used and soon will be fully up and running.”

Drone Lab courses that involve use of the drones and the new vehicle are available in the fall of 2019 and can be found under the TECH category.

Journalism courses that will use the new vehicle such as multimedia production and news media production courses can be found in the course catalog under JOUR.