STEM Podcasts

What if students made podcasts or stories about whatever makes them curious in STEM?

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Students creating stories, podcasts, or journal entries about whatever makes them curious in STEM might be an interesting way to build in reading/writing skills and a fun way to be student-led! 

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YES! I love this idea. I tried it when I was teaching environmental science. What I loved was that students had choice over finding untold stories about the environment. That led to stories about flooding in Venice, the repopulating of animals at Chernobyl, and companies that rent suburbanites goats to "mow" (and fertilize) lawns. Embedded in those stories was some critical thinking and interesting commentary about our society that I don't think I would have been able to teach in a traditional way. Not only that, but the public product and sharing of these stories was a little extra motivation I needed for this particular group of 2nd semester seniors.

If others are interested in building on this idea I have some lessons learned:
-finding and storyboarding great stories is critically important AND takes a long time in class
-don't overthink the tech...garageband works fine for a first podcast
-The recording, however, takes some skill. Allow time for lots of practice and use some exemplars like NPR's RadioLab (the sound effects!) or resources on Verbatim Theater (make boring content exciting) to help coach how to sound good when recording