Savannah District Partners with Florida High School on UXO Video

Savannah District
Published June 12, 2013
Thanks to a partnership with Southeast High School in Bradenton,
Fla., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District is
helping kids spread the word about unexploded ordnance (UXO)


Southeast High School’s video production team developed a

12-minute newscast about the dangers of unexploded bombs and
munitions found in the ground. The newscast tells the story of a group
of teenagers who find a hidden mortar shell while hanging out in a
grassy field.
Using the three “Rs”—Recognize, Retreat, Report—the video
provides educational messaging for an age-appropriate audience that
is easy to remember. Their newscast will be played in elementary
schools across the country to warn kids of the dangers of UXO.
The Corps funded the production as part of its Formerly Used
Defense Sites (FUDS) program, which manages the cleanup of
munitions and UXO in areas that were once used by the Defense
Department. The Savannah District oversees an $8.6 million FUDS
program in six southeast states. As part of this mission, the Corps
provides public outreach and education on the dangers of FUDS.
“We partnered with USA Environmental, Inc. and GSL Solutions
to develop the story board and script for the video,” said Julie Hiscox,
FUDS project manager with the Corps’ Savannah District. “We
coordinated with Army staff members who are routinely involved in
military munitions to ensure our message was consistent with the
national safety message.”
USA Environmental, based in Oldsmar, Fla., has served as
the Corps’ prime contractor at five FUDS during the past several
years. The company specializes in ordnance investigation and
removal. GSL Solutions is a Tampa-based company which
focuses on website design and content management services.
“Both companies provided their unique expertise to develop
a script that was technically accurate, while presenting the
information in a manner that would be interesting to children,”
Hiscox said.
The team looked for a school in the Tampa area that had
the ability to produce a high-quality video as a school project,
Hiscox said. Southeast High School’s TV Production Department
was uniquely suited to create the video while supporting class
requirements and skills they were studying.
“It’s incredible that a high school has been given the
opportunity to work with the federal government,” said Southeast
TV Director Mike Sanders.
Sanders said that before starting the production, the students
and staff had no idea that the Corps of Engineers was involved in
UXO clean up at formerly-used military sites.
“At first, we didn’t know much about it, but as it turns out, here
in Florida we have military training grounds that have been turned
over to the public and they are still finding munitions,” Sanders
said. “So this project was very valuable in communicating an
important safety message to the public.”
Sanders directed and filmed the newscast. The school’s
theater teacher Jason Schiessl played the part of a TV news
anchor, and yearbook adviser Randy Funderburke portrayed
the Fire Marshall. Southeast graduates Farah Britto and Chelsie
Sloan produced and edited the newscast.
The school officially debuted the newscast on Dec. 13,
2012, drawing media attention from several news outlets in the
Bradenton area.
“The partnership with the Corps of Engineers and GSL
Solutions has been a phenomenal experience,” Sanders said.
“The entire school district is just thrilled with the final results and
the partnership.”
In addition to the newscast, the Corps of Engineers, USA
Environmental and GSL Solutions collaborated to develop the
UXO Safety Hub, a website with interactive games and learning
tools for children. The UXO Safety Hub includes an interactive

story book application for mobile devices.

Reprinted from The Corps Environment