The Wildcat Workshop was transformed this December with the installation of a WhisperRoom Recording Booth that is now home to Chester Arthur’s very own podcast studio! Friends of Chester Arthur (FoCA) is grateful for the hard work of Arthur teacher Mike Franklin who shepherded the project to reality and to GSK for its generous $25,000 grant that funded the studio and supporting equipment.
The Chester Arthur podcast studio will foster the school’s core value of presentation, allowing students to reach an audience beyond their classroom. “Podcasting allows us to do that by sharing with an essentially unlimited audience,” said Mr. Franklin, who will supervise Arthur’s new Podcast Club. The students have shown a lot of excitement (lots and lots of questions!) and have created their first podcast dedicated Twitter handle @ThinkingGeekly.
The podcast studio will be available to students in 3rd grade to 8th grade, with initial access to Maker Club and Podcast Club members, though Mr. Franklin’s goal is to provide students with the skills that can make podcasting an available output for all Arthur teachers’ projects. The Podcast club will explore the history of podcasting and is especially excited to welcome Peabody award winning journalist, podcaster, and Arthur parent, Matt Katz, to speak to the students.
The high-tech studio features three microphones, LED lighting, sound dampening, and an AKAI mini keyboard and drum pad to produce beats and record raps. The students will learn the basics of editing and mixing sound, including inserting musical interludes and adjusting volume to break up sections or maintain the flow.
This project will support another GSK initiative, Get HYPE Philly! (“Healthy You. Positive Energy.”), which is working to improve access to healthy foods and increase opportunities for physical activity. Becki Lynch, Acting Director of GSK US Community Partnerships said “GSK is excited to support students at Chester A. Arthur not only as they learn technical production skills, but also to tell their own stories and elevate issues they care about through their podcast studio projects.” Chester Arthur’s HYPE Council, run by Coach Reggie, will be working with the Podcast Club to report on the annual HYPE Summit. Look for podcasts on the student leadership development activities and healthy action plans by following @wildcatworkshop.