NPR Launches Third Student Podcast Challenge, This Year Opening Competition to College Students.



The disrupted school year did not disrupt the NPR Student Podcast Challenge during the last school year, with 2,200 entries from 46 states and Washington, D.C. submitted. School life has still not returned to normal, but NPR is pushing forward with a third year of the competition with an expansion. NPR is opening up the contest to anyone pursuing their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees, in addition to middle and high school students.


College, middle-school and high-school students, with the help of their teachers, will be asked to produce a podcast, between three and 12 minutes long, on a topic, issue or story of their choosing. As in the past, entries from middle and high school students will come from a teacher or a student leader who’s a grown-up. College students 18 years or older can enter on their own. To help students and classrooms get started, NPR will also share suggested, but not required prompts, along with a set of criteria that judges will use to pick winning podcasts.


The contest for middle and high school entries will run from January 1, 2021, to March 15. The Student Podcast Challenge: College Edition will be open from December 1, 2020 through February 15. The winners from each will be notified in late spring.


“I’m thrilled to be expanding the Student Podcast Challenge to adult students of all ages, at both community colleges and four-year institutions,” said Steve Drummond, executive producer of NPR Ed and Code Switch. “We can’t wait to hear what these students have to say in their podcasts,” he said in the announcement.


As in years past, NPR’s Education Team is providing training materials and resources to participants. The team, which won a Murrow award this month for “Excellence in Innovation,” will offer guidance on how to use a smartphone to record audio, how to conduct an interview, audio storytelling tips and tricks — for both teachers and students.


See the rules for the college podcasters HERE.


See the rules for middle and high school podcasters HERE.

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