Sneha Verelst’s health students are taking what they are learning in their classroom and repackaging it into an educational podcast – for students, by students!
“Over the past year I’ve heard about 2-3 other Health Educators around the country having students make podcast episodes. I listened to some, connected with these educators to learn more, and did some research on making podcasts,” said Verelst.
Verelst discovered Anchor.fm, a free platform to make and publish podcasts.
“I then connected with Sizer staff who had either published their own podcasts or had done a similar project with students. I used all this information to put together the final project,” she said.
Currently, making these podcast episodes has become a project for students in the high school Sexuality Education unit.
The project requires students to first, come up with a topic of interest and then plan out a podcast that seeks to answer an essential question that students created for themselves, including a claim with evidence, and conclusion. Once completed, students then write a script for their episode. Finally, they record the episode on iPads and use GarageBand to edit and finalize it.
“Once I received the final products, I uploaded them onto Anchor.fm and added my intro and transition music,” said Verelst. “Students helped me come up with the name: “The Talk” For Students By Students.”
A Sizer School Senior, Kellianne Murphy, was kind enough to illustrate the image for the podcast.
In her introduction, in each episode Verelst explains, “You will hear my students discussing important health topics to provide the most important, relevant and reliable information to you, their peers.”
The first episode has been published. It is currently available at anchor.fm/verelsthealth and on Spotify. This first episode, focuses on Sexual Health Resources: “Why aren’t teens taking advantage of the resources in their communities?” and features Lindsay Sauvageau, the Recruitment & Communication Coordinator for Sizer School and the Sizer School Nurse, Elizabeth Dugas. The students who produced this segment are Elizabeth Waite of Lunenburg and Dominic Gionet and Kellianne Murphy, both of Fitchburg. While Murphy is a senior, Waite and Gionet are both 9th grade students.
Soon, “The Talk” For Students By Students, will also be available on other podcast sites such as iTunes and Google Podcast.
“For future episodes, I hope to use mics from FATV to improve the quality. A student has also requested if we could have a debate as an episode. I am currently looking into this idea. I am also entertaining the possibility of expanding this into middle school and other Health topics,” said Verelst.
Discover more about the small classroom sizes and project-based learning opportunities that families get from Sizer School. Sizer School is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2020. Visit sizer.schoolmint.net to apply. A public lottery will take place Wednesday, March 4 at 5:30 p.m. at Sizer School, 500 Rindge Rd. Fitchburg, MA 01420 with a snow date of Thursday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m.
Sizer School, located at 500 Rindge Road in Fitchburg, is a free, public charter school serving students in grades seven through twelve. As a North Central Charter Essential School, Sizer students are known personally, challenged intellectually, and participate actively in their learning. Guided by its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, the school seeks to send graduates into the world who THINK for themselves, CARE about others, and ACT creatively and responsibly.