In the Garage: Division I Students Produce Original Podcasts

By 7th grader Phivos

On Tuesday, May 21, Division I Humanities went on a field trip to The Podcast Garage to learn about audio production. This trip was the kick-off for the final project in our Media & Journalism class: creating our very own podcasts.  

When we entered the blue, yellow, orange, and grey brick building on that sunny morning, we saw a room to our left, a room to our right, and a front desk. We were greeted by two Podcast Garage educators: Palace Shaw and Kevin O'Connell. They were both really kind and answered a lot of our questions! After an opening conversation, Palace and Kevin showed us into a recording studio and let us try out the professional microphones and headphones.

Then, we listened to clips from podcasts to get a sense of how different producers use sound, narration, and structure. One podcast featured two friends arguing about whether or not to use captions when watching Netflix. Another was about a young woman whose family planned to have her married much earlier than she wanted. 

After that, it was time to start recording our own podcasts! Throughout the year, we’d been learning about how different issues are reflected in the media, including labor, social class, gender, and race. For our podcast, we could choose any topic related to those issues and create our own set of questions to ask during interviews. Students created a wide range of central questions, including:

  • How are women portrayed and perceived in fantasy books and movies?

  • Why is fake such a powerful weapon?

  • Are restaurant workers treated fairly at their jobs?

  • How does race affect the way musicians are portrayed in the media?

Palace and Kevin showed us how to use their professional recorders and headphones, and then we split up in pairs or trios to begin interviewing. We’d come prepared with the questions we wanted to ask, and we got to record our first interviews right there in the Garage. Later, Kevin sent us the recordings we made, and we used those – along with other interviews we did with students, teachers, and family members – to create our podcasts. 

The class really enjoyed our trip to the Garage, and we left happy and educated. As we left, some of us picked up business cards for a podcast all about dogs! We worked very hard on our podcasts over the next several weeks, and we were excited to have people listen to them at Exhibitions. Click the links below to hear a few of the final podcasts!