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 LNFeedback@nytimes.com.
Congratulations, thank you for participating and don’t forget our Summer Reading Contest, which runs from June 15 to Aug. 24.
Student Podcast Contest Winners
“A Kid’s View” by Ashia Kij, Min Xi Huskey and Hannah Roden
- “August 2 Stories” by Emma Melling
- “Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend?” by Quinn Page and Bailey Osborne
- “How the Worst Procrastinator I Know Led Seattle’s March for Our Lives” by Aliyah Musaliar and Maya Konz
- “Juuling in My School” by Lukasz Paul and Krystian Psujek
- “Shots Fired” by Alina Kulman
- “Steel City Academy Podcast” by Erin Addison, Evan Addison and Andrew Arevalo (shown at the top of this post)
- “Our Schools, a.k.a. America’s Shooting Ranges” by Mia Radostitz, Kelsey Pfleiger and Jenna Wiseman
- “Unrequited Love” by Lisa
- “Journey to the West” by Sujan Gurung
- “Bio Buddies” by Aqil Merchant and Will Hudson
- “Plastic Garbage” by Thomas Andersen
- “Why Would They Take Science Away?” by Sam O’Brien
- “The Johnny and Julius Podcast – An Interview With Principal Newman” by Johnny Huang
- “Listen Up: Episode One – Gun Violence in Schools” by Caroline
- “Escaping” by Ba Ke Po
- “Chats With Me” by Emily Kanderis
- “Killer Whales: The Fraud Behind the Name” by Ava Dahle
- “Hometown” by Sierra Stallmann
- “The Youth Vote” by Bella Mannray
- “Post Traumatic Self Destruction” by Andrew Voorhies
- “The Evolution of African Music” by Benjamin Zakharenko, Kate Evans, Jack Sumas, Jenna Goldberg and Holden Grantz
- “What We Want to Say” by Liv Ragan and Emily Winn
- And All the Finalists, Including 49 More Podcasts That Made It to Round 2 (PDF)
Judges: Shannon Doyne, Caroline Crosson Gilpin, Michael Gonchar, Natalie Proulx, Catherine Saint Louis and Katherine Schulten