Students Use Podcasts To Investigate What Matters To Them

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A year at home has given students a lot of time to think. Through KQED’s Podcasting With The California Report Youth Media Challenge, they got to speak their mind and practice audio storytelling. Using layered sounds to bring listeners in, they dove into topics that appealed to broad audiences and exposed them to new information. The result was youth-produced content that centered around what matters most to them.

Missed out submitting for this year’s showcase? Don’t worry, this challenge will be back in the fall! Come to our free workshop with PBS Student Reporting Labs on August 10 and 12 to learn how to implement this challenge in your classroom. For more media-making projects to engage your students across a spectrum of topics, check out all of KQED’s Youth Media Challenges.

Get Inspired

Check out some of the highlights from this year’s entries and browse the entire showcase!

Woodside Students Entering the Trades 

Many students feel as if they’re expected to attend a 4-year university after graduation, but some have realized pursuing a career in skilled trades is the route for them. John B. and Jack F. of Woodside High School hear from students who have decided to follow this path of their choice.

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Kids in America

Marguerite M. of Novato High School speaks with classmates on the hardships the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on teens as school has shifted online and they’ve lost valuable time usually spent on building friendships.

Hispanic Household and Society: Toxic Masculinity

In their conversation, Maria M. and  Alondra A. of Elizabeth High School - Frank J Cicarell Academy speak from their own experiences with machismo in Latino culture and include an analysis of their own generation.

Why Do We Dream?

Trey C. of Black River Falls High School answers a common question in his podcast by addressing factors that impact sleep.

How Social Media Impacts Body Image

“I chose this podcast topic because it is something that I feel has greatly impacted my life and I wanted to look more into how it impacted others,” says Olivia R. of Black River Falls High School. Her podcast dives into the impacts of social media on young people, speaking directly with friends on their own experiences. Reflecting on her podcast, she added, “Throughout the process of recording and editing my podcast, I learned a ton about the process of different ways that podcasts can be created.“ 

Join us! 

The Podcasting With The California Report challenge is the perfect opportunity for middle and high school students to create a short audio documentary. Using curriculum resources that guide from brainstorming to submission, students are involved in all steps of the hands-on process. All student submissions are published to the showcase, and some may be featured on KQED digital channels and in posts like this one! 

Learn how to implement this challenge with your students and create your own exemplar audio commentary at our two-part workshop on August 10 and 12. Register here.