Herkimer emerging technology students design Snapchat filters for homecoming

Custom Herkimer Central School District filters created by students are coming to Snapchat for homecoming.

Students in the high school emerging technologies class developed the Snapchat filters under the guidance of Herkimer technology integration specialist Richard Mathy, who also teaches the emerging technologies class and a STEM class.

The project not only helps generate school pride but also serves as an example for how students can think about technology beyond just as a consumer, Mathy said.

“I think it was interesting for them because they’re using Snapchat all the time,” he said. “I always talk about shifting from a content user to a content creator. Especially with technology, you always want to think about, ‘How can I use this? Not just as a user, but as a creator too.’”

Students, staff and other attendees of the Herkimer Central School District homecoming pep rally and football game on Friday, Oct. 21, will be able to use the custom Snapchat filters. If they have their location turned on for their phones, the filters will automatically come up as options on Snapchat.

There were two filters created – one for during the school day and pep rally, and one for during the football game. The filters were created using geolocation and set for specific times. The school pride/pep rally filter will be available from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School. The football game filter will be available from 5-10 p.m. at the football field.

The emerging technologies class aims to get students familiar with new and innovative aspects of technology that are out there, Mathy said. As students get older, technology jobs that don’t even exist right now will be available to them, he said.

“Keeping an eye on things that are right around the corner will give them an advantage,” he said.

The idea to develop Snapchat filters came about after a class discussion about how companies collect data on phone users including knowing where you are based on your geolocation. Mathy then mentioned how Snapchat uses geolocation for filters, and that led to the plan to create custom ones for Herkimer homecoming.

The class learned about options for designing the filters including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, before deciding to use an Adobe tool designed specifically for making filters. Mathy talked to students about what can make a good design – such as putting the filter images around the edge and leaving space for the photo in the middle – and about other design aspects such as colors and fonts.

All students in the class made their own design, and then the class reviewed the designs and selected aspects from various designs that they wanted to incorporate into the master templates. They then broke into two teams to work on the two final filters.

Students had fun with the project, and the filters should support the homecoming events because the students are excited to tell their friends about them, Mathy said.

“It just adds another level of school pride,” Mathy said, “and it gives them something they can point to and say, ‘Hey, I made that.’”


Homecoming Pep Rally Snapchat filter

Herkimer Central School District emerging technologies students created two Snapchat filters for homecoming. This is a mockup of the filter for the homecoming football game using a photo of emerging technologies student Lucas Malinowski, a senior.


Homecoming football game Snapchat filter

Herkimer Central School District emerging technologies students created two Snapchat filters for homecoming. This is a mockup of the filter for the pep rally and school day using a photo of emerging technologies student Kaleb Davis, a sophomore, posing with a friend.


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