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NPR's 2022 student podcast challenge opens for entries

An illustration with a pink background showing silhouettes of three young people speaking into a microphone. Text reads "student podcast challenge"

NPR's fourth annual Student Podcast Challenge is back and now open for middle and high school students. There are three competitions, including opportunities for middle schoolers, high schoolers and college students pursuing their associate's or bachelor's degrees.

The contest for middle and high school entries runs from January 1, 2022 to March 21. The College Podcast Challenge is open from December 1, 2021 through February 28. The winners from each will be notified in late spring. This year for the first time there will be a $5000 grant for the College Podcast Challenge Winner plus $500 for finalists.

Learn more about how to enter: HERE
Find the official submission page: HERE

"The Student Podcast Challenge is a tremendous opportunity to hear young voices from all over the country," said Steve Drummond, executive producer of NPR Ed and Code Switch. "We are thrilled that this year we are able to provide a $5000 grant to the college winner as an additional incentive to participate."

For each contest the challenge is the same: produce a podcast between three and eight minutes on a topic, issue or story of their choosing. College students can submit by themselves, but middle and high school students will need the help of a teacher to enter. 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.

As in years past, NPR's Education Team is providing training materials and resources — how to use a smartphone to record audio, how to conduct an interview, audio storytelling tips and tricks — for both teachers and students of all ages. Those looking for additional guidance can turn to NPR's Student Podcast Challenge podcast, which highlights great student podcasts and the people who made them, along with insight from NPR reporters and past judges about what makes great audio.

In addition to having their work featured on national NPR programs, winning middle-, high-school and college students will also have NPR journalists report features on their entries. Other standout podcasts may be featured online, on other NPR programs or on local Member stations.

Check out the 2021 winners:
Winner of the College Podcast Challenge
Winner of the High School Podcast Challenge
Winner of the Middle School Podcast Challenge

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