Editor’s Note: Riya is a fifth-grade student with her own podcast, which she has been publishing for about a year. She uses the podcast topics to help her in school. Thanks to her podcast, she is learning technology topics like recording and editing sound, as well as interviewing and marketing. Below is an essay from Riya about her experience.
My name is Riya and I am a fifth grader. I have a podcast called “Riya’s Ramblings.” This podcast has been an amazing experience, and I have learned so much.
In episode 11, I talked about Texas history. When researching and writing down my notes, I learned Texas was once a country! It was ruled by Mexico, then the Texans fought and gained independence. I also learned there have been six flags over Texas, representing different countries that have claimed Texas. This was a very fun episode because I learned so much about Texas. When we got to this topic at school, I couldn’t wait to say I did a podcast on it!
I did a podcast on the ISS (International Space Station) as well. I learned how they use rinseless shampoo and liquid salt because of zero gravity — and how farting in space could be dangerous. I did not really know much about the ISS, so this was a new topic for me. Having a podcast keeps you thinking about new topics.
Connecting with School Topics
Last fall, we did a persuasive writing activity on how we think Halloween should work with the pandemic. Doing that got me thinking that I should do an episode on a safe Halloween. It was very interesting to connect my school work with my podcast.
I have been doing online school since last March. It is super different and weird. I did two episodes on that — one in spring 2020 and another in the fall (“back to school at home”) — and I liked sharing my thoughts on the new way on learning.
I also learn new things about my family when I interview them, like some of my Grandma’s stories about growing up in Africa. While preparing for my episode about voting, I learned a lot about the US government and elections.
Book reviews are also a fun topic, too. I talk about books that I have read and why my listeners should read them. Here’s one about “The Benefits of Being an Octopus.”
I have also learned about inspiring people from Selva Dut to Kamala Harris. I have also learned about many technology topics, from sound recording and editing to using websites and services to publish my podcast.
I am also learning about interviewing: preparing questions, asking questions, pre-interview preparation, marketing my podcast, and many other topics.
My favorite part is the emails from the listeners! It makes me feel good because it means I did a good job on the podcast. I get to connect with new people when they contact me, and then I give a shout out to them.
Recording and publishing the podcast is a lot of fun. Knowing that people around the world are listening is a very cool feeling! I definitely recommend starting a podcast because you will learn so much.
If you have questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.