Hands-on Activity: Eye Witness Reporting

Contributed by: Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Quick Look

Grade Level: 5

Time Required: 1 hour

Expendable Cost/Group: US $0.00

Group Size: 3

Activity Dependency: None

Subject Areas: Earth and Space

A photograph shows two people talking, face-to-face in a dark TV studio. This was a sit-down interview with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Shwartz by Lara Logan for 60 Minutes on April 15, 2009.
Students play the role of interviewer and interviewee to develop briefings for a news program.
Copyright © 2009 Stan Parker, U.S. Air Force, Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:General_Schwartz_on_60_Minutes.jpg


Students develop briefings for a TV evening news program that summarizes their experiences surviving in the Amazon rainforest. They role play as interviewer and interviewee in class presentations.

Engineering Connection

Engineers must be able to effectively communicate complex problems to other people who are not engineers. This lesson and activity provides an opportunity for students to practice doing that.

Learning Objectives

Be able to summarize their engineering adventures and communicate them to others.

Educational Standards

Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.

  • The engineering design process involves defining a problem, generating ideas, selecting a solution, testing the solution(s), making the item, evaluating it, and presenting the results. (Grades 3 - 5) More Details

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  • Use information and communication technology tools to gather information from credible sources, analyze findings, and draw conclusions to create and justify an evidence-based scientific explanation (Grade 7) More Details

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Materials List

  • pencil and paper

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See the storyline under the Introduction/Motivation section of Lesson 7.


  1. Provide students with a series of questions that the "interviewer" will ask them. Emphazie that responses must be be short and concise as is typical of evening news programs. The following questions were included in the previous activity's Student Guide Worksheet. 1) What did you enjoy most about your adventure in the Amazon? 2) What did you find to be the most challenging? 3) What skill(s) did you learn that will be helpful in the future? 4) What was the most memorable part of your adventure? In addition, students were asked to come up with two of their own questions/answers to share their Amazon rainforest adventure tales.
  2. Either let the groups decide who will be the interviewee or choose for each team. Alternatively, have the teacher be the interviewer or pick one student to perform that role.
  3. Once students have answered the questions and are ready to role play, designate an interview area, such as the front of the classroom, and invite the representatives (interviewees) from each group to come up. Set up chairs in a modified horseshoe to create a sitting area similar to a TV studio such that all the participants are facing the "audience."
  4. To conduct the news show, the interviewer asks a question and each group representative responds with his/her prepared statement in turn.


Worksheet: Each student group completes and hands-in the activity worksheet from the previous activity, providing their group's answers to the four interviewer questions and providing their own additional two questions/answers. Review their worksheets to gauge their depth of engagement and comporehension.


© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Colorado School of Mines

Supporting Program

Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines


Adventure Engineering was supported by National Science Foundation grant nos. DUE 9950660 and GK-12 0086457. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Last modified: May 25, 2017


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