July 20, 2023

Impact 89FM Collaborates on Podcast with Elementary GATE Program

Students in the Gifted and Talent Education (GATE) summer program worked with the Impact 89FM staff to learn how to produce their own podcasts. The elementary-aged students learned how to write scripts, use professional broadcast equipment and edit audio to share with an audience.

Through a special partnership with MSU’s campus radio station, GATE students were given the opportunity to experience what it is like to record professionally, exposing them to the technical side of a growing industry and offering modern skills that are increasingly valuable. 

GATE students in the Impact 89FM studio“The students enjoyed the radio station itself. The fact that they get to use the authentic equipment and experience the life existence of a real podcaster while learning valuable skills about radio production is priceless,” says Jessica Bilodeaux, EdD, associate director in University Outreach and Engagement. “The students also enjoyed working with Impact FM Radio General Manager Jeremy Whiting, who provided insightful and valuable curriculum throughout the session.” 

According to Dr. Bilodeaux, one of the main benefits to the experiences is that students are exposed to learning about unique concepts, ideas and professions they may not ordinarily have the chance to experience because of their age, demographic or background. Exposure to these unique concepts, careers and skills provides them with the know-how to make better major and career decisions in the future.

On the station’s end, Whiting is appreciative of the opportunity to expose youth to the wonders of radio and recording elements in an age where recording is increasingly popular, yes, but also potentially monetarily fruitful. Podcasting has become very popular over the last five-plus years. Halfway through 2023, the number of podcast listeners has reached over 464 million worldwide — expected to reach over 500 million in 2024 — with over five million podcasts globally to choose from, per DemandSage. The podcast industry market size is $23 billion.

Yes, that's billion with a 'b.' 

Part of podcasting’s success is due to the pandemic. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the art of the podcast became a full-blown renaissance. While podcasting certainly predated the coronavirus, the medium found new ways to respond to the evolving wants and needs of listeners of all ages. Gone are the days of mainly listening to talk radio in one’s car.

Whiting and Team Impact radio are fully aware of this evolution, adding a variety of podcasts to the slate of Impact’s offerings. The State, for instance, is a weekly rundown of the headlines, and Impact Exposure gives a voice to student groups. The Sci-Files features student researchers, and The Undercurrent is Impact’s storytelling podcast.

“We’re moving further into the podcasting world because that’s the direction of medium, of our listeners. To be able to help the youth develop these skills now so that they may be able to be in tune as they grow is great,” says Whiting. “I hope they feel empowered. Exposing them to new opportunities and preparing them to participate in what can potentially be a career is important and [Impact FM] is just happy to be part of such a great collaboration.”

The partnership started close to a decade ago, and the projects have been plentiful.

“About nine years ago, a previous GATE director reached out to the Impact FM station manager to help coordinate a GATE Foley Radio Drama class in which students created their own radio stories with Foley sound effects. They were recorded, and each student received a copy to take home,” says Bilodeaux. “GATE has continued the valuable partnership with our friends at Impact, who have always been welcoming, cordial and informative through the years.”

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