TEA Middle School Students Receive Three Honorable Mentions in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge

Needless to say, we could not be any more proud of Beth and her students!

TEA Middle School Students recently created a series of podcasts for the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. Their podcasts were on topics related to the balance of power in our society and on our planet. Beth Vallarino, our Middle School Crew Leader, provided direction to the students throughout this process. In considering their topics, students were given the following prompts as idea starters:

– What is a moment in history that all students should learn about

– Show us both sides of a debate about an issue that’s important to you.

– What do you want to change about the world? What’s a big change that you want to make in the future?

– Explain something that kids understand and grownups don’t.

In order to create their podcasts, students had to learn how to contact, interview, and have a conversation with experts to deepen the listeners understanding of the topic. They had to collaborate with others in order to broaden and expand on their topics. And they had to learn the basics of audio capture and editing.

After their work was done, the students submitted their podcasts to NPR. Several weeks later, Beth received this letter from NPR. Needless to say, we could not be any more proud of Beth and her students!

Dear Beth,

Thank you so much for submitting to the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. This is the first year we’ve held the contest, and the response from teachers and students blew us away. We received nearly 6,000 entries from all over the country.

Journalists at NPR listened to every one of those podcasts to pick one winner from grades 5-8 and one winner from high school. Those will be announced in the coming days.

We’re emailing to let you and your students know that your submission(s) did not win. However, your entries “No Choice: A Government Shutdown Story,” “Warming Waters,” and “The Mentality for Sexuality” were all honorable mentions – our judges recognized them as a standout submissions. NPR will be sending these groups a certificate at the school address you listed in the entry form to recognize this outstanding work.

While we could only choose two winners, there were TONS of wonderful entries. We can tell that students put lots of time into creating their best work, and we plan on featuring lots of standout entries made by students in the coming weeks and months, both online and on the radio.

Thanks for being a part of the first-ever NPR Student Podcast Challenge.

Clare Lombardo and Steve Drummond

Here are the three podcasts that received the honorable mention. Enjoy!

Congratulations again to Beth and all of her students for their hard work and excellent craftsmanship. Their final products are certainly engaging, communicate with clarity and coherence, and convey their ideas clearly.