Student Podcast Challenge: Hear Some Of The Entries NPR Received More than 25,000 students participated in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. We have a selection of some of the standout entries.

Student Podcast Challenge: Hear Some Of The Entries NPR Received

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On tomorrow's show, we're going to hear one of the grand prize winners in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. Our two champions - one from middle school, one from high school - were chosen from nearly 6,000 entries.


Picking a winner from all those was hard. So today we share some of the entries we received.

MARTIN: In all, more than 25,000 students participated...


MARTIN: ...In this challenge from all 50 states. We heard from cities and suburbs and rural areas, big schools, small ones.

Students at Jessie Beck Elementary School in Reno, Nev., brought us a podcast about tater tots.


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #1: Here's what some more people have to say about tater tots.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #2: I like tater tots because they're mushy and not so crunchy like fries.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #1: Here's someone who doesn't like tater tots at all.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #3: I don't like tater tots 'cause they're greasy, mushy, lumpy and they're really weird shaped.

INSKEEP: Get your "Napoleon Dynamite" reference in now - covering all sides of the tater tots story there.

MARTIN: Right.

INSKEEP: Sixth-graders at Clearwater Fundamental Middle School in Florida also aimed for journalistic balance in their submission.


AUDREY: In today's podcast, we are going to be talking about - which is a better exotic house pet, skunks or hedgehogs? I'm Audrey (ph), pro-hedgehogs.

SOPHIA: And I'm Sophia (ph), pro-skunks.

MARTIN: Pro-skunks. So...

INSKEEP: Ready for Washington reporting there.

MARTIN: Right. We also got some really sound-rich podcasts. Listen to this one.


OLIVER OKINOR: What you are hearing are the sounds of ice carving.


OLIVER: My name is Oliver Okinor (ph). I go to school at Joy Elementary. I'm in 6th grade, and I am here at the 2019 World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska.

INSKEEP: Wow. A lot of these students also addressed more serious issues.


HAYDEN: Hello. My name is Hayden (ph), and I love video games.

INSKEEP: Hayden is an eighth-grader at Hudson Middle School in Ohio.


HAYDEN: But sometimes, they can affect the way you think, eat, sleep, concentrate and much more. I'm going to be getting into all that today.

MARTIN: Wow. Out of Montana, fifth-graders at the Crow Agency Public School told us about life on the Crow Reservation and addressed misconceptions and stereotypes they believe people have about them.


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #4: People think we still live in tepees and still hunt for food.

INSKEEP: And some of you shared your personal stories.

STELLAN PETTO: Hi. I'm Stellan, and I'm transgender. This is my story.

INSKEEP: Stellan Petto is a sixth-grader at the J. Graham Brown School in Louisville, Ky. After trying therapy and doctors, Stellan's mom asked him a simple question.


STELLAN: Well, what would you change about yourself? - she asked. Oh, Mama, that's easy. I will change everything. I want to be a boy.

MARTIN: Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories and your podcasts with us. And tune in tomorrow when we will bring you the winning podcast from a middle school in the Bronx, where students took on a topic they said adults didn't feel comfortable talking about.

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