Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NPR's sixth annual Student Podcast challenge opens to fourth graders

LA Johnson/NPR

KWBU spoke with NPR's Education Desk to learn more about what students can expect during this years Student Podcast Challenge.

NPR’s sixth annual Student Podcast challenge is now open and accepting submissions through May 3rd.

The challenge asks students from grades four through 12 to record a 3-8 minute podcast focusing on stories in their community. Three entries will receive grand prizes including a trophy, an interview with an NPR journalist, as well as a segment on NPR’s All Things Considered or Morning Edition.

This year, for the first time ever, NPR is expanding the contest to fourth graders, giving younger generations a platform to share their stories.

STEVE: “We heard from teachers from the last couple years saying hey I know fifth graders are allowed to enter, but why not fourth graders? So it was a lot of demand from around the country from teachers asking us if they could include the young people.” 

JANET: “We also just like, learn a lot from what's on the minds of young people.”

Steve Drummond and Janet Lee work for NPRs Education Desk, they say the contest provides an opportunity for students to practice hands-on reporting skills such as writing scripts, conducting interviews and editing content.

JANET: “It’s been a really, really good opportunity for a lot of folks, and we’ve heard this from teachers and students over the years, to try something that's a little bit more hands on in the classroom. Whether that means they’re going out of their classrooms to do an assignment, talk to real people, put something together and also in the process feel really excited but also empowered about the way they can make something that's so fun, rewarding and really nice quality too if you listen to them.”

Students don't need to be enrolled in a journalism program or own fancy equipment to participate in the contest.

STEVE: “One of the great things about podcasting is that it's kind of a democratic medium. It doesn't take much of fancy equipment or a studio to record one. Basically with a cellphone and a laptop computer to edit it, you can make a podcast. We’re trying to make the contest available to as many young people as possible, some students are homeschooled and their parents can apply for them. Some communities we had after school programs sending in podcasts as well, so pretty much it just needs a grownup to sign off on it”. 

All stories must be submitted through SoundCloud, Podbean, or Anchor along with NPR’s official Submission Form.

For more information on the Student Podcast challenge such as how to enter or official contest rules, you can visit and search, Student Podcast challenge.