SBMS Teen Press team logo

Submit application materials VIA EMAIL to

David (


Kara (
Deadline is FRIDAY, November 4th by 9 a.m.


Copy and paste the following questions--and your answers--into an email to send to Kara & David.

There is no paper form.

Personal Information



Home phone #(s):

Cell phone # (if you have one):

Parent Permission

I understand that my child will travel to Washington, D.C., and that these travel costs are only partially covered by tuition. I understand that she/he will have to work ahead academically to make this possible. I give my permission for __________________________________to be apply to be part of the Santa Barbara Middle School Teen Press, Team 33.

Parent name __________________________________________

Parents, please copy/paste this section into a separate email and send to Kara and David by 9am, Friday, November 4th.


Please let us know what activities you have that might interfere with your participation.

My activity commitments that might interfere with SBMS Teen Press are (list them here):

I understand that I will have to be prepared both academically and logistically to participate.

(Type your name here to acknowledge this):________________________________

Research Assignment

Our major focus will be on the people and events surrounding the inauguration--but not necessarily politicians. Think about how you would prepare to interview a someone who makes a difference in our world, based on research you do on them. This is the heart of the Teen Press process.

  1. Choose a person you'd like to interview (your dream interview), and create at least 2 substantial questions for that person, showing in the course of the question something about your research (examples below).
  2. What one question would ask our next president, (whoever it might be) if you had the opprtunity to do so?
  3. Tell us why you want to go to the inauguration, and what you will contribute to the team.

    Record yourself asking the questions (in 1 & 2)--as if you were talking with that person--and answering #3 (talking to Kara & David), using a phone, camera or computer. Send the recording(s) via email or share (via Dropbox, Google Drive, YouTube, etc.) with David & Kara by Friday morning at 9 am.

----------------------------------------More information, and examples-------------------------------------

To show the person you're interviewing that you've done your homework, refer to what you've discovered about them as an introduction to your question. Here are some examples of questions by past Teen Press reporters:

  • (Talking with Tibe'ts Minister of Education) "Nelson Mandella said 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.' What’s one thing that you hope education accomplishes for Tibet?"

  • (Talking with underwater explorer Sylvia Earl) "I learned that one of your childhood idols was Esther Williams. She once said that, 'The wisdom acquired with the passage of time is a useless gift unless you share it.' You have done a lot of work to share with people the wonders of swimming and the ocean. What is your goal when it comes to ocean awareness?"

You can also relate the question to issues relevant to students your age, or actual activities here at SBMS.

  • In one video of Selma Rubin that we watched, she said it was up to the children now. What messages do you think Selma would pass on to kids my age?

  • Our class is going out for four days to explore the Channel Islands and the Santa Barbara Channel. As the founder of an ocean exploration scholarship foundation, why do you believe it is important for students to have the opportunity to explore the oceans around them?

Selection & Notification

In addition to Kara, Sue and David evaluating students' research assignment videos, all teachers will asses the applicants' citizenship, academic progress and their ability to keep up with assignments and function as independent learners. A maximum of 8 of those who are qualified can be accepted into this team.

Student will be notified via email or in person before Friday Town Meeting (1:15 pm, November 4th) about the results.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to apply!

TEAM 33: Nov 2016-Jan 2017

Near & Far--It’s About the Stories

Be one of up to 8 Middle School students chosen to represent SBMS to the world at large – by researching, scheduling, interviewing, writing stories, and even editing video – and by being there, covering the events! In the past we’ve talked with movie stars, politicians, entrepreneurs, software developers, bicycle racers, filmmakers, ecologists, artists, cooks, waiters, reporters, scientists, professors, students, teachers and people on the street, to name a few. Join up for the next quarter to make this list longer!

This quarter we will be focusing on POLITICS with a very special event--attending the PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION in Washington, D.C.! We'll be talking to beltway insiders and people on the street, as well as journalists at NPR, C-SPAN and the NEWSEUM. In addition, every team finds itself in the middle of LOTS of unexpected stories, so buckle your seatbelt!

What's in store

The selected reporters will take 7th period Teen Press Elective. During Teen Press class sessions, we will:

  • Introduce and practice interviewing skills
  • Discuss the approach we use as reporters (strategies and ethics), aka "Journalism 101"
  • Research story opportunities
  • Contact individuals and organizations by email and phone to request interviews and/or sponsorship
  • Watch films about some of the subjects and/or people we will be writing about
  • Practice mock interviews and reviews
  • Optionally learn how to edit videos in Final Cut

Travel out into the world to actually cover our stories! This will be for an extended period of time when we travel to Washington, and can also be during class periods (often including lunch period), other times of the school day, and some afternoons, evenings and weekends here in town.

What's required to take part

  1. A Teen Press reporter represents Santa Barbara Middle School to the world. "Because of them, us--because of us, them." You must exhibit the highest level of SBMS citizenship to be selected to represent the school. You must also be an independent, responsible and reliable learner, dependable and ready to work without reminder.
  2. Classroom commitment: You must be able to and you must commit to keeping up with your academic work.
    • You must also receive approval by your teachers. (Applications will be circulated among the faculty to be evaluated regarding your standing in citizenship and scholarship.)
  3. You must receive permission from your parents to take part. This team is planning to travel to Washington, D.C., and your parents will be asked to help make this happen.
  4. Desire to be in front of camera and/or microphone. You will be interviewing people from all walks of life.
  5. Dedication to serving people through information. You will be helping your viewers by giving them your perspective--informing them--through the questions you ask and the stories you write. (And the first step in this is to be informed yourself.) Be prepared to do some research!
  6. You must demonstrate your desire to become part of the team and your ability to work independently by completing the application below.