Ohio middle school student turns ‘the grain elevator’ into catchy project

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POWELL, Ohio — Chances are you’ll never look at a grain elevator the same way — that is — once you’ve seen the video produced by Spencer Channell of Olentangy Orange Middle School.

Channell, an eighth-grade student in history teacher Brent Wise’s class was asked to research an invention from the Industrial Revolution, and explain why it was significant.

Many students chose to write essays; Channell chose to make a music video.

The video celebrates the history of grain elevators from their invention by Joseph Dart and Robert Dunbar in 1842, to modern-day mills like the Heritage Cooperative facility in Kileville — near Plain City.

Channell plays piano, sings and dances throughout the video, with lyrics he researched and wrote himself. Part of the video was shot in front of the Heritage Cooperative facility.

Paige Zwirner, office assistant, said “it’s definitely an awesome project” that shows a lot of creativity. But at the same time, she said it’s important to remember, although today’s feed mills have evolved technologically, there’s still a lot more work than “pushing buttons” and “sitting behind the controls.”

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Still, the video has gained a lot of positive attention and has been shared with all the teachers at Channell’s school and many of the students. It’s YouTube view count is nearly 700.

You can check it out for yourself and help it reach even more views. But be forewarned — Channell’s mother, Linda Channell, said it’s a tune that sticks in your head.

“It’s so catchy and I wake up with it in my mind sometimes,” she said.

Linda Channell said her son is musically gifted and is just recently experimenting with videos, as well. He practices music under the direction of Bradley Sowash, a concert jazz pianist and accredited music teacher from Worthington.

Sowash praised his student for writing the lyrics, music and action in the video. It was recorded by cameraman Austin Crum, a student at Olentangy Liberty Middle School.

Sowash commented below the video that Channell had better get an A for the project — which Channell says he most definitely did. After his teacher watched it, he liked it so much he sent it to all the other teachers, Channell said.

“I’m surprised how far it’s gotten,” he said. “It was just a school project.”

About the Author

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties. More Stories by Chris Kick

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