Elementary students dream big with podcast

A dream come true is how Dania Marrero, STEM coordinator at the Dr. Elba and Domingo Garcia West Dallas STEM School, describes the podcast she established at the school. 

The student podcast launched last school year with two episodes on YouTube. The first episode was about Black History Month and the second was about International Women’s Day. Other episodes have been added since then as the interest has increased. Currently six students participate in the podcast, with two main hosts, but for the next school year, Marrero plans to alternate them.

The podcast has different segments such as “The Fashion Girls,” where the student hosts talk about what’s trending in clothes for kids, or “Mr. Science,” where a student recently spoke about the eclipse. There’s even a sports section called “The Eagles Nest.” In a recent episode, the students even talked about trending toys for the summer.  

Marrero said the most rewarding thing about this work is that the students love it and ask her daily about when they are going to record another episode. 

“The kids are truly amazing, and I love the passion and excitement it has instilled in their learning,” Marrero said. 

Marrero hopes that this experience will help students in the future, as they are building new skills. She hopes that when they grow up, they won’t be afraid to speak to others or be public speakers. She described her students as brave because not everyone likes to be in front of a camera and microphone. Past episodes have included the elementary students interviewing others, such as their principal and a teacher who recently obtained a master’s degree.  None of the students is older than second grade. 

Marrero said they hope to continue interviewing Dallas ISD team members and would like to invite district leaders, including superintendent Stephanie Elizalde and associate superintendent Nancy Bernadino, to the podcast. 

To check out the podcast, visit www.youtube.com/@wdssdallasisd

Although Marrero admits that she and the students work hard to produce an episode, the rewards are great, and all truly enjoy the process. For example, to record an episode, it can take up to two weeks of preparation. She writes, produces, directs and gives the students a few days to practice at home.

Marrero, who has a background in electrical engineering, is going on her 11th year with the district. She moved from Puerto Rico in 2013 and immediately began working for the district as an elementary school math teacher. As a STEM coordinator in her current school and founder of the podcast, Marrero said she gets to utilize her creativity and combine both of her passions: engineering and education. She hopes that in the near future her students will be able to run the podcast–—from writing, to cameras, to production. She also wants to include school announcements for next school year, and a Spanish segment, for Spanish-speaking families to actively engage.

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