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“Higher Ground” acclaimed podcast launches season 2

Josh Joseph

WSHU Public Radio has launched the second season of its acclaimed environmental podcast Higher Ground, with one key difference. This time, the microphone is in the hands of eight-grade Bridgeport students.

Climate change is the greatest persistent threat to the way of life in coastal communities, causing rising tides, extreme weather and heat waves. For season 2 of Higher Ground, WSHU partnered with a group of 8th grade STEM students and their instructor at the SHU Discovery Science Center and Planetarium in Bridgeport as they grappled with the effects of climate change in Connecticut’s largest city. Working in both the classroom and the outdoors, the student scientists broadened their understanding of global warming, explored solutions to improve their community and brainstormed changes that might help save coastal places well beyond their city.

The first five episodes of Season 2 of Higher Ground will be delivered every Wednesday beginning August 24. Listeners can subscribe to the podcast on major platforms including Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google. Additional content and information are available here.

Season 2 of Higher Ground is co-hosted by J.D. Allen and Sabrina Garone. "We learned that having a youth voice at the table can start interesting conversations. When given the space to explore their environment, these eighth graders developed in-depth questions and came up with solutions through research and design,” said Allen. “We used what they taught us to seek out other youth voices to complete the rest of the podcast.”

This project was made possible with support from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of the Next Gen Public Media Accelerator program. WSHU was one of 12 public media stations selected to participate in this program to create content by, with, and for tween and teen audiences.

"Our mission is to foster constructive dialogue that inspires and empowers our listeners," said WSHU General Manager A. Rima Dael. "We are thrilled that we had the opportunity to engage a diverse group of young people in scientific discovery and the art of storytelling around a crucial global issue.”

"Not only does an effort like this change the narrative around climate change and how that translates to an urban environment, but in giving students ownership over this content they are elevated to a primary source and can speak to the issue from experience," said Discovery Science Center Executive Director Erika Eng. "This in and of itself is a practice that will change the future. It was an honor for us all to be part of something so profound."

Born and raised in the Boston area, Janice spent the early part of her career managing the marketing communications efforts of entrepreneurial, high-tech companies in Massachusetts. After moving to Connecticut, she discovered WSHU and quickly became an avid listener. These days, she’s much happier communicating about public radio than tech widgets. She extends a big thank you to every listener who contributes…even a little.