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Maren Cohen, 17, from the Baldwin School submitted an award-winning podcast titled “Save Oakwell!

which you can stream now! Scroll below to read the article. 


The Winners of Our 6th Annual Student Podcast Contest

An oral history of Woodstock, an investigation into the origins of the fork, and an answer to the question of what makes a tune memorable. Listen to this year’s winning entries.

By The Learning Network

Published July 6, 2023 Updated July 7, 2023


In our Student Podcast Contest, teenagers can cover any topic they want, in any audio format they like, as long as they provide a complete listening experience in five minutes or less. That freedom makes this contest a joy to judge.

Chosen from nearly 1,100 submissions, the work of our 11 winners shows what’s possible. It includes an exploration of the current fentanyl crisis; a personal narrative about one teen’s journey to accept her mixed-race heritage; and an emotional conversation between two friends from Ukraine and Syria about their shared experience as refugees from war.

In the statements they submitted, students showed that their creative processes were just as varied as the topics they picked. Some spent months chasing interviews, going down research rabbit holes, and adding sound effects and background music. Others simply sat down with a microphone and their own thoughts and told their stories.

You can listen to all of the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions via the links below. As you do, you might think about what stories you would want to tell, and how you would like to tell them. 

Congratulations to all of the finalists and thank you to everyone who participated and shared their voices with us. If you’re looking for another opportunity to tell us what’s on your mind, check out our Summer Reading Contest, which runs until Aug. 18.



What Makes a Tune Memorable?” by Sanjaya Haritsa, 14, Lakeside School, Seattle (shown at the top of this post)

Two Milligram Murderer” by Maggie Blohm, 16, Mercer Island High School, Mercer Island, Wash.

Lost and Found With a Cultural Self-Crisis” by Daniela Chavez, 16, Mundelein High School, Mundelein, Ill.

Reclaiming History: The Resilience and Rebirth of Oberlin Village” by Leeya Chaudhuri, 16, Enloe High School, Raleigh, N.C.

Aurora Bridge Spotlight: How a Troll Saved Fremont” by Kate Lenington, 16, and Renn Novak, 18, Mercer Island High School, Mercer Island, Wash.

The Past, the Present and the Fork-ture (These Little Pieces Ep. 11)” by Rory Hu, 13, The Harker School, San Jose, Calif.

Away From Home” by Melaniia Cherepanyna, 19, and Sham Alem, 18, Huron High School, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Save Oakwell!” by Maren Cohen, 17, The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

It’s Time to Talk” by Anjelica Valenzuela, 17, Lakeside School, Seattle

Out of Place: Anti-Asian Racism in Europe” by Joshua Hangartner, 16, La Jolla Country Day School, La Jolla, Calif.

Onstage at Woodstock: Memories of the Festival’s Performers” by Sam Paddor, 16, Mercer Island High School, Mercer Island, Wash.



In alphabetical order by title

A.I. Unleashed: How High School Students Use ChatGPT” by Annabelle Wang, 13, home-school, California

Baldwin Unsolved: The Haunting of the 5th Floor and Priscilla” by Carley Taylor, 17, The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

The Digital Neighborhood Book Club” by Marshall Schwartz, 17, Huron High School, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Forgotten Fan Base” by Batya Kaplan, 18, The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

History of Snoqualmie Pass” by Elise McDonald, 16, Mercer Island High School, Mercer Island, Wash.

Hustle Culture: A High School Epidemic” by Isabell Cheuk, 17, Keira He, 17, Tiffany Qiu, 17, and Claire Zhang, 16, Jericho High School, Jericho, N.Y.; Jessica Weissman, 16, Admiral Farragut Academy, St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Justin Cho, 16, Bayside High School, Queens, N.Y.

A Loveless Sound” by Norah Spanbauer, 16, Neenah High School, Neenah, Wis.

The Power of Persuasion: Connecting Tug-of-War to Psychologist Solomon Asch’s Famous Experiment” by Maylah Marcus, 17, Dublin Scioto High School, Dublin, Ohio

Pro Tips From a Typhoon Survivor” by Sojeong Yoon, 15, Cornerstone Collegiate Academy of Seoul, Seoul

The Stories Behind the Gun” by Anna Golian, 18, Notre Dame de Sion, Kansas City, Mo.

A Stranger in My Home” by Ethan Ho, 17, Taipei Wego Senior High School, Taipei, Taiwan

Ten in a Million” by Wren Norris, 17, Lakeside School, Seattle

Unforgotten: Clara Schumann” by Bella Winters, 18, Notre Dame de Sion, Kansas City, Mo.

What Is a Third Culture Kid?” by Asya Gillett 14, Lakeside School, Seattle

Honorable Mentions

In alphabetical order by title

Am I Next? The Impact of Gun Violence in U.S. High Schools” by Hanna Carver, 17, Quaker Valley High School, Leetsdale, Pa.

The Big Friendly Giant (Tales of a Tall Woman)” by Poppy Clarke, 18, Berkshire School, New York

Can I Laugh at This?” by Selina Wu, 17, The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

College Stress” by Emma Li, 13, Lakeside School, Seattle

The Crash at Sea” by Kaden Devereaux, 15, Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee, Wash.

Cypher Case: Lizzie Borden” by Autumn Wenzel, 18, Cleburne High School, Cleburne, Texas

Dark Humor: The Truth Behind Nursery Rhymes” by Dahlia Levy, 14, and Elizabeth, Welsh Valley Middle School, Narberth, Pa.

Dr. Corvis Audio Log” by Riley Clare, 15, and Amori Storms, 16, Parkrose High School, Portland, Ore.

The Dragon and the Lion: Understanding the Kenya-China Economic Partnership” by William Kim Jun Hoe, 17, and Albert, German School of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Everyday Ethics: Is Recycling Worth Our Time?” by Vincent Lytle, 17, and Brendan Regan, 17, Christ School, Arden, N.C.

The Future Unveiled” by Maharsh Jani, 16, Anand Niketan Shilaj, Ahmedabad, India

The Grey Dog Podcast — Looking Back on 9/11” by Matthew Scott Thomas, 15, Mountlake Terrace High School, Mountlake Terrace, Wash.

I’m Not Stressed, You Are” by Sanchali Bohacek, 14, Lakeside School, Seattle, Wash.

In Flux: Body Trends & Heroin Chic” by Cathy Tu, 16, and Dingzhong Ding, 17, Shanghai Foreign Language School, Shanghai, China

In the Name of Honour” by Marium Ihsan, 17, and Rayyan Mir, 17, Lahore Grammar School, Lahore, Pakistan

Is Volunteering Selfish?” by Steven Xiao, 16, Schuyler Chao-Land, 16, and Narayana Hillam, 17, Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego

Living Liminally: Exploring the Asian American Identity” by Steven Zhang, 17, St. Mark’s School, Southborough, Mass.

Mind Matters” by Ella Mahnke, 17, and Alyssa Thomas, 18, Little Falls High School, Little Falls, N.Y.

Music Therapy: Building, Growing and Teaching” by Arushi Vadlamani, 16, Columbia High School, South Orange, N.J.

One True Crime: The Suppression of Niloofar Hamedi” by Leela Hensler, 17, Albany High School, Albany, Calif.

Putting Back the Special in Specialized Programs” by Chelsea Wong, 15, William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute, Toronto, and Anya Yang, 15, St. Robert Catholic High School, Thornhill, Canada

Ramadan” by Mashal Pirzada, 13, Lynbrook South Middle School, Lynbrook, N.Y.

Social Talk: Synesthesia” by Aliyah Kahn, 14, Yeshiva University High School for Girls, Hollis, N.Y.

Survivors Tale” by Deborah Song, 18, Cerritos High School, Cerritos High School, Cerritos, Calif.

The Three Bubble Tea Shops on Lancaster Avenue” by Avani Shah-Lipman, 15, The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Untold History: Woodrow Wilson” by Kale Hildebrandt, 16, Neenah High School, Neenah, Wis.

What Is the Most Dangerous Animal?” by a 14-year-old student, Lakeside School, Seattle

What It Takes to be American” by Gabi Guidero, 17, Lakeside High School, Seattle

When Words Speak Louder Than Actions: On Being Vocally Thankful at the Table” by Siyeon Joo, 15, Episcopal School of Acadiana, Broussard, La.


Thank you to our contest judges.

From The New York Times and The Learning Network: Dana Davis, Shannon Doyne, Jeremy Engle, Michael Gonchar, Phoebe Lett, Natalie Proulx, Katherine Schulten

Educators, journalists and podcast producers from schools and organizations around the country: Caroline Gilpin, Morgan Givens, Annissa Hambouz, Susan Josephs, Jennifer Lai, Megan Leder, Victoria Marin, Kim Pallozzi

Editors’ Picks

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