New York Times Student Podcast Contest Winners

Andrea Huskie from Lansing High School in New York had a great experience with their Soundtrap trial last year.  Their students used the software to produce mini podcasts for the NY Times Podcast Contest and had quite a few recognized for their efforts! Above, one of 10 winners of their contest: “Steel City Academy Podcast” by Erin Addison, Evan Addison, and Andrew Arevalo are featured. Below is the cross-posted piece that was featured by the New York Times regarding the project.

Our first-ever Student Podcast Contest invited teenagers to create original audio programs about anything they wanted, as long as they kept their submissions to five minutes or less. We offered guidelines, a rubric and a related lesson plan, but, honestly, we had no idea what would result.

We should have relaxed, however, because what we got was wonderful.

The 675 submissions that came in showed us the range of possibilities offered by audio. Students played with formats, some featuring spirited conversations, others vox pop interviews, personal monologues or investigative reporting, but all used the power of sound — the human voice, music, environmental noise, clips from other media sources — to compel us.

The topics students selected ran the gamut, from the N.B.A. playoffs and Fortnite to gun violence, family relationships and teenage depression. Some students even performed fictional audio stories.

As we judged, we also admired the way teachers took full advantage of the open-ended nature of the contest to make podcasting work for their purposes. Science teachers assigned classes to explore topics like climate change and genetics, social studies teachers encouraged students to examine the meaning of global citizenship and how history affects their lives, and journalism teachers suggested that students tell a story through interviews.

Below we showcase the work of 10 winners. Listen and notice how they entertain, inform and use their limited time skillfully: These podcasts pulled us in right from the start and kept our attention to the end. And if you’d like to hear even more excellent work, you can scroll down to access the podcasts created by our runners-up and honorable mentions. Each list is in alphabetical order by title.

Since this was our inaugural foray into podcasting, we’d love to hear from you about how we might improve the challenge for next year. Post a comment here or write to

Congratulations, thank you for participating and don’t forget our Summer Reading Contest, which runs from June 15 to Aug. 24.

“A Kid’s View” by Ashia Kij, Min Xi Huskey and Hannah Roden

Judges: Shannon Doyne, Caroline Crosson Gilpin, Michael Gonchar, Natalie Proulx, Catherine Saint Louis and Katherine Schulten