These are the rules for the Student Podcast Challenge in grades five through 12. If you're looking for our college competition click here.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY (50) UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AGE EIGHTEEN (18) OR OVER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
1. SPONSOR. The NPR Student Podcast Challenge (the "Contest") is sponsored by National Public Radio, Inc. ("NPR"), a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation with principal offices at 1111 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 (the "Sponsor").
2. OVERVIEW. The Contest is a podcast submission contest where 5th – 12th grade teachers can submit an audio file created by their student(s) for an opportunity to (a) have NPR and/or station reporters come to their school to meet and interview them and their student(s) and (b) have the winning podcast discussed in a news segment that will appear on an episode of NPR's All Things Considered or Morning Edition. By participating in this Contest, each participant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and to the decisions of the Sponsor and the judges selected by the Sponsor, which are final and binding on all matters relating to the Contest. The Contest will operate as described below, on or about the stated dates:
- The Contest submission period begins at 12:00 a.m. EST on January 1, 2021, and ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 15, 2021. To be eligible, submissions must be submitted in accordance with Section 4 of these Official Rules.
- The Contest judging period begins on March 16, 2021, and ends on or about April 26, 2021. Eligible submissions will be reviewed by up to two (2) panels of judges selected in the sole discretion of the Sponsor, and will be judged in accordance with Section 5 of these Official Rules. Two (2) Winners (as described in Section 7 below) will be selected.
- Sponsors will attempt to contact each Winner, or an alternate if necessary, on or about April 26, 2021, and in accordance with Section 6 of these Official Rules.
- The Winners will be publicly announced on or about May 3, 2021.
3. ELIGIBILITY. The Contest is open only to individual 5th – 12th grade teachers who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia (each an "Entrant"). Each Entrant must be at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and all jurisdictions other than those stated above and where prohibited or restricted by law.
The following individuals are not eligible to enter: (a) employees, representatives, agents, directors, and officers of the Sponsor and its parent, subsidiary, or affiliated companies, member stations, and other parties involved in the administration of the Contest; and (b) each of the immediate family members or other persons living in the same household as such excluded individuals.
Entry constitutes each Entrant's certification that the Entrant meets the eligibility requirements set forth in these Official Rules. The Sponsor reserves the right to verify and confirm each Entrant's compliance with eligibility requirements. An Entrant may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges' verification of eligibility. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
4. HOW TO ENTER. To enter, an Entrant must submit an audio file featuring the Entrant's student(s) discussing a topic of her, his, or their choosing (the "Submission"). The Submission must be both "original" (as defined by copyright law) and unique (meaning it must have been created for the sole purpose of entering the Contest). Submissions must comply with the following requirements:
- Submissions must be between three (3) and eight (8) minutes in length.
- Submissions must be created specifically for the Contest.
- Submissions must be the original work of the Entrant's student(s).
- Submissions must be uploaded by the Entrant to SoundCloud (in any format acceptable to SoundCloud) with the ability to download the Submission enabled.
- Submissions must not include any music created by anyone other than Entrant and/or Entrant's students, as further described below.
- Submissions must not contain material that violates or infringes another's rights (including, but not limited to, material that violates privacy, publicity, or intellectual property rights).
Submissions may be on any topic; however the following prompts are offered as suggestions:
- Tell us a story about your school or community: about something that happened there – recently or in the past — that you want your audience to know about.
- What is a moment in history that all students should learn about?
- Show us both sides of a debate about an issue that's important to you.
- What do you want to change about the world? What's a big change that you want to make in the future?
- Explain something to us that kids understand and grownups don't.
Submissions may not include any material that infringes the intellectual property rights of any person. Please be respectful of copyright and trademark laws. All material must be original to the persons who create the podcast. Pre-recorded music may not be used. Entrants may include live performances of public domain songs or non-copyrightable rhythm elements if it is relevant to the story. For avoidance of doubt, for the purposes of these Official Rules, "public domain" does not mean "publicly available;" it means that copyright has expired and the material is no longer under copyright protection. We encourage Entrants to err on the side of excluding music if the Entrant is not sure whether the music is copyrighted or not. Entries will be disqualified if they contain materials that appear to infringe copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights of others. Songs or chants made up by Entrants are acceptable as long as they are performed live on the recording and Entrant notes in Entrant's submission form that the song/chant was composed by Entrant. By submitting an entry, you affirm that you own all the rights to any and all musical content in your submission, including but not limited to: the right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly perform. For examples of what is and is not public domain work, you may visit https://copyright.cornell.edu/publicdomain.
An Entrant must upload a publically viewable and downloadable Submission to SoundCloud between 12:00 a.m. EST on January 1, 2021, and 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 15, 2021. Each Entrant will be required to sign-in to SoundCloud to post a Submission; if an Entrant does not already have a SoundCloud account, that Entrant will be required to create one. After uploading the Submission, an Entrant must complete the submission form available at http://www.npr.org/studentpodcastchallenge (the "Submission Form").
On the Submission Form, each Entrant must provide: an explanation of the Submission (limited to 200 words); Entrant's name, e-mail address, and phone number; the name of the school where Entrant teaches (or a designation that Entrant is a home school teacher); the grade and primary subject that Entrant teaches; a link to the Submission hosted on SoundCloud; a certification that Entrant meets the eligibility requirements stated in Section 3 above and agrees to these Official Rules; and a certification that Entrant has received permission from a parent or legal guardian of each student who contributed to the Submission, agreeing that (a) the student's work and recorded statements may be submitted to this Contest; (b) the student may participate in recorded interviews with NPR or NPR member station journalists if your Submission is selected as a Winner; and (c) Sponsor and the Sponsor's member stations may use the Submission and any recordings of interviews conducted with the student, on a worldwide, perpetual, gratis and royalty-free basis in any media and for any purpose. Each Entrant must indicate whether the Submission should be judged in the 5th – 8th grade or the 9th – 12th grade bracket of the Contest.
The Sponsor's clock is the official timekeeping device for the Contest. The Sponsor is not responsible for late or unsuccessful attempts to enter. Incomplete, corrupted, untimely, or unintelligible Submissions or Submission Forms will be disqualified. If for any reason an Entrant's entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, that Entrant's sole remedy is another entry in the Contest to the extent the submission of an additional entry is deemed feasible by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion. The Sponsor reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, which entries have satisfied the entry requirements and to disqualify any Submission it believes is not consistent with the spirit and theme of the Contest.
AN ELIGIBLE ENTRANT MUST SUBMIT AN ENTRY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE OFFICIAL RULES. NO OTHER METHOD OF SUBMISSION WILL BE ACCEPTED.
5. JUDGING. Judging will begin on or about March 16, 2021, and will end on or about April 26, 2021. There will be two (2) rounds of judging. Initially, all Submissions that meet the requirements listed in Section 4 above will be reviewed by a panel of preliminary judges selected in the Sponsor's sole discretion, that will consist primarily of members of NPR's Education Team (the "Preliminary Judges"). The Preliminary Judges will judge Submissions on the following criteria:
40% Information and Structure
Does the Submission tell a compelling story or teach us something new and important? Is it structured in a way that makes sense and keeps listeners engaged? Can we easily follow the story you're telling or the information you're explaining? Have you spent time editing — cutting out unnecessary information or repetition and making sure the main ideas come through clearly?
40% Personality and Creativity
We want to listen to this Submission and hear your voices. Do we hear the unique voices of your class and community? Does it have personality, or does it make us want to "fast forward"? Does it make us laugh or cry or leave us deep in thought — FEEL something? That's what we're looking for.
20% Production Quality
We're not judging you on how fancy your equipment is and we don't expect you to be an expert on recording and editing sound, but we hope you'll try. Some Submissions may use sound, or audio, in creative ways. Others may be more of an interview format. If you use sound, does it add to the story you're telling? Did you layer the audio and narration? These are some of the things we'll be looking for.
The Preliminary Judges will select approximately ten (10) Submissions in each of the two grade brackets as finalists. A panel of at approximately ten (10) judges, including NPR staff and industry experts selected by the Sponsor in its sole discretion (the "Final Judges") will then judge these finalists and select one (1) Winner from the 5th – 8th grade bracket and one (1) Winner from the 9th – 12th grade bracket based on the same criteria as was used by the Preliminary Judges:
6. WINNER NOTIFICATION. Each of the two (2) potential Winners, as determined by the Final Judges, will be notified by e-mail (via the e-mail address listed on the Submission Form) on or about April 26, 2021, and will be required to respond (as directed) to the notification attempt. Failure to respond timely to the notification may result in forfeiture of participation in the Contest and, in such case, the Sponsor will select an alternate Winner according to the Final Judges' results. Each potential Winner may be required to execute and return a notarized affidavit of eligibility (where legally permissible) or other documents required by the Sponsor within a reasonable amount of time, as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion. If a potential Winner cannot be contacted by e-mail after the first attempt, that potential Winner will be disqualified and an alternate entry will be selected in its place from all eligible entries received according to the judging criteria described above.
The Winners will be publicly announced on or about May 3, 2021.
The Sponsor reserves the right to extend or modify the winner notification and announcement schedule as the Sponsor deems necessary, in its sole discretion, to complete the verification process contemplated by these Official Rules and/or to select an alternate Winner.
7. PRIZES. Each of the winning Entrants (each, a "Winner"), will receive the following "Grand Prize":
- An NPR and/or member station journalist or journalists will visit each Winner's school in or around May 2021 to meet with and interview the Winner and the student(s) who contributed to the winning Submission.
- NPR will air a segment on an episode of NPR's All Things Considered or Morning Edition which will discuss the winning Submission; that segment may include portions of the Submission itself and/or recorded audio from NPR's visit to the Winner's school.
The approximate retail value of each Grand Prize is One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
8. PRIZE RESTRICTIONS. Each Winner will be solely responsible for any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes resulting from acceptance of a Grand Prize. A Grand Prize cannot be transferred or assigned to another person, class, or school. No prize substitution or changes are allowed except at the discretion of the Sponsor. A Grand Prize cannot be substituted or redeemed for cash. Each Grand Prize is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind.
9. GRANT OF RIGHTS. In consideration for an Entrant's Submission being reviewed and evaluated for this Contest, each Entrant hereby grants to the Sponsor and the Sponsor's member stations a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable, fully paid, universal license to use, copy, sublicense, transmit, distribute, publicly perform, publish, delete, make derivative works from, or display such Submission, or any portion thereof, in any media now known or hereafter devised and for any purpose.
By entering the Contest, each Entrant warrants that a parent or legal guardian of each student who contributed to the Submission has agreed that the student's work may be submitted to this Contest and that the Sponsor and any of the Sponsor's member stations may use the Submission on a gratis and royalty-free basis in any media and for any purpose, as described herein.
10. ENTRANT REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, AND RELEASE. By entering, each Entrant represents and warrants to the Sponsor that: (a) the Submission is completely the original work of Entrant and their student(s) and was created solely by Entrant and their student(s); (b) the Submission is an original work and is not copied from any other source or previously distributed or disseminated in any media or format; and (c) the Submission is not in violation of or in conflict with the trademark, copyright, rights of privacy, rights of publicity, or any other rights of any kind or nature of any other person or entity. By submitting an entry, each Entrant agrees to release the Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, promotional partners, member stations, and agents, and all others associated with the development and execution of this Contest, and the officers, directors, and employees of each of the foregoing, from any and all claims and liabilities arising from or in connection with participation in this Contest, including, without limitation claims for injury, loss, or damage of any kind resulting from participation in this Contest or acceptance or use of any prize, and claims based on rights of privacy, rights of publicity, false light, defamation, copyright, and/or trademark infringement relating to the submission or exploitation of Entrant's Submission. If an Entrant is a California resident, such Entrant hereby waives California Civil Code Section 1542, which states: "A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which, if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor."
Each Entrant further agrees to release SoundCloud from any and all liability associated with this Contest or receipt or use of any prizes.
WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, EVERYTHING REGARDING THIS CONTEST IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY. CHECK LOCAL LAWS FOR ANY RESTRICTIONS OR LIMITATIONS REGARDING THESE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS.
11. GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS. The Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, modify, or suspend this Contest due to any of an act of god; unavoidable accident; epidemic; fire; blackout; act of public enemy; war, riot, or civil commotion; enactment, rule, order, or act of government, governmental instrumentality, or tribunal; strike, lockout, or other labor dispute; inclement weather; the recapture of any time period scheduled for the live broadcast of a program for an event of national importance or emergency; failure of technical facilities; failure of third-party software or services; failure of essential production or technical personnel to appear or be available for production or broadcast; or other cause beyond the Sponsor's control. The Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, damaged, mutilated, misdirected, misdelivered, or delayed entries, or for technical or human errors or failures of any kind in connection with the submission, transmission, processing, or judging of entries.
These Official Rules may operate as an agreement between Entrant's affiliated school or other educational organization and Sponsor.
THE SPONSOR WILL NOT BE OBLIGATED TO AWARD ANY PRIZE THAT RELATES TO OR ARISES OUT OF IMPROPER OR MISTAKEN PRIZE NOTIFICATION, OPERATION, OR FUNCTION OF THIS CONTEST.
THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE ANY TERM OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES OR TO ADDRESS ANY ISSUE THAT ARISES WITH UPDATES OR AMENDMENTS TO THESE OFFICIAL RULES AT ANY TIME UP TO THE DATE THAT THE GRAND PRIZE WINNERS ARE SELECTED.
ALL DECISIONS BY THE SPONSOR AND JUDGES ARE FINAL AND BINDING.
12. GOVERNING LAW. This Contest is governed by the internal laws of the District of Columbia without regard to principles of conflict of laws. All cases and claims pertaining to this Contest must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in the District of Columbia.
14. OFFICIAL RULES AND WINNER'S LIST. For a copy of these Official Rules, visit www.npr.org/studentpodcastchallenge or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for receipt by March 15, 2021, to: Official Rules, "NPR Student Podcast Challenge," ATTN: NPR Education Team, c/o National Public Radio, Inc., 1111 North Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002. For a list of the Winners, within sixty (60) days after May 3, 2021, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Winners List, "NPR Student Podcast Challenge," ATTN: NPR Education Team, c/o National Public Radio, Inc., 1111 North Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002. Requests received without a self-addressed and stamped envelope will not be fulfilled.
This Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, SoundCloud. Any questions or comments regarding this Contest should be directed to the Sponsor and not to SoundCloud.