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We are still looking for high school students interested in sharing their stories or digging up the truth about concussion risk in their schools or on their teams

TRIBUNE PHOTO: SHASTA KEARNS MOORE - InvestigateWest Managing Director Lee van der Voo answers questions from high school participants in the Editor Leadership Summit at the University of Oregon's Portland campus. If there's one thing adults just don't understand, it's probably the world and culture of high school. So when we started talking about a news series on head injuries in youth sports, we thought: "Why not ask student journalists to help?"

Last fall, project manager Lee van der Voo and I visited Portland-area classrooms to tell students about "Rattled: Oregon's Concussion Discussion," ask for their input, and see if they wanted to contribute.

Sure enough, they did. And for many of them, the interest is personal.

After my presentation to one West Linn High School class, a student journalist asked how many of his classmates had suffered a concussion. The hands of about a third of the room went up.

Glenn Krake, the high school's journalism teacher, said two students took up the mantle of concussion-related stories. One is focusing on preventive measures and best practices. The other is looking at existing procedures and protocols in place at the suburban high school.

"They haven't published anything yet, but the seeds have certainly been sown, and they're having conversations, to be sure," Krake said.

In October, van der Voo, managing director of Investigate West, presented at Fall Press Day, a combined effort of the University of Oregon and the Northwest Scholastic Press Association to provide students with a day of journalism workshops, contests and panels. Van der Voo introduced the Rattled project and talked about sports concussions.

She also joined me at a NextGen Media workshop for editors of high school newspapers at the University of Oregon's School of Journalism in downtown Portland. At the Editor Leadership Summit, student editors asked plenty of questions about public records and also received an overview of Rattled.

Anthony Whitten, who leads the summits, says the next group will start their coaching sessions June 16. We are hoping to invite them to join our concussion project, too.

Another part of Pamplin Media Group's youth outreach efforts is a "social video" that uses a series of slides to explain the project and invites students and other members of the public to participate. Watch and share it at http://bit.ly/2HgXT8J.

We are still looking for high school students interested in sharing their stories or digging up the truth about concussion risk in their schools or on their teams. What about Rattled makes you curious? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to get involved.

Shasta Kearns Moore is the Portland Tribune education reporter and leads technological newsroom innovations for Pamplin Media Group.

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