Willow Waves Podcast Studio

Amplify Your Voices, Share Your Knowledge, and Encourage Conversations

Welcome to the Studio - You're listening to Willow Waves, a student-produced podcast where kindergarten through sixth graders explore interests, promote solutions to global concerns, and communicate about everything related to our social and emotional learning. 

With engaging and insightful conversations, our K-6 students are leading in amplifying their voices and sharing their stories with the world. Our podcast provides a unique opportunity for authentic learning and encourages our students to develop their communication and critical thinking skills. Each episode is packed with fascinating insights and thought-provoking discussions that will leave you inspired and informed.

So, please tune in to Willow Waves and be a part of the conversation as we continue to showcase the incredible talent and creativity of our students, staff, and community.

We have many more Podcasts in production, and they will be posted to our YouTube Channel as they become available.

Willow Springs YouTube Channel 2023-24

Willow Waves Podcast: A Season of Intrigue, Education, and Entertainment 

Get ready for an exciting season of the Willow Waves podcast! This season promises to offer something for everyone, with a diverse range of topics that will intrigue, educate, and entertain.

Here's a sneak peek at what you can expect:

Cutting-Edge Topics:

  • Medical AI: Dive into the future of healthcare with an exclusive interview featuring an expert on medical AI. Explore the potential of this technology to revolutionize medicine.
  • EV Battery Fires: Learn about the challenges of Firefighters as electric vehicle usage increases. This timely discussion delves into the complexities of fighting fires involving EV batteries.

Behind the Scenes:

  • Six Minutes Podcast: Get rare access to the co-creator of the beloved audio drama series "Six Minutes." Discover the secrets behind its success and the process of creating a captivating podcast.

Science and Awareness:

  • Solar Radiation Modification: Explore the groundbreaking field of solar radiation modification, examining its potential benefits and the controversies surrounding it.
  • Endangered Animals: Learn about organizations that protect endangered animals and how you can contribute to conservation efforts.
  • Magical Cancer Fighting Soap: This podcast features an interview with 14-year-old Heman Bekele from Fairfax, Virginia, who won the 3M Young Scientist Challenge grand prize for his innovative soap designed to treat skin cancer, a significant step in his mission to revolutionize global healthcare.

Fun and Engaging Content:

  • The Science of Slime: Dive into the world of slime, a favorite among students. Uncover the science behind its popularity, hear interviews, and maybe even pick up some slime-making tips!

Health and Mindset:

  • Vacate Vapes: Discover the risks associated with vaping and examine the reason behind its popularity among young people.
  • Self-Care Club: Explore mental health issues that many elementary students encounter. We understand the importance of addressing these issues early and aim to provide insights, strategies, and support to help students navigate their mental health journey.

Why Listen?

  • Willow Waves is more than just a school project. It's a platform for exploring the ideas and actions shaping our world today.
  • The podcast caters to various interests, offering something for everyone, regardless of background.
  • It's a convenient and entertaining way to learn new things during commutes, breaks, or whenever you need quality audio content.

Eco Effort: Solar Radiation Modification (May 3)

Have you ever wondered about the drastic changes in our climate? Flashback to 1998, Washington, USA was buried under a staggering 90 feet of snow - fast forward to today, and such phenomena seem like a distant memory. But why? The culprit: Global Warming. Far beyond robbing us of winter wonderlands, it poses a dire threat to our planet's health. But what if there's a beacon of hope to combat this? Enter SRM, or Solar Radiation Modification, a groundbreaking array of techniques with the potential to curb global warming's relentless march. In this episode of Willow Waves, we're not just skimming the surface. Prepare to dive deep into the mechanics of global warming with Peyton and Lia and unearth the pivotal role SRM could play in our fight for a cooler planet. From the science behind the warming to the innovative solutions within our grasp, we're covering it all!

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Musical Madness: Two Instrumental Powerhouses (May 3)

Join Esther and Emily on a musical journey as we dive into the captivating world of the trombone and percussion instruments! In this exciting video, we've teamed up with our band teacher to bring you an insider's look into these two instrumental powerhouses. Whether you're a seasoned musician or just curious about picking up an instrument, this podcast is for you! Discover the majestic trombone, an instrument renowned for its rich, sonorous tones and unique slide mechanism allowing for seamless transitions between notes. Ideal for different musical genres, from the soulful strains of jazz to the precise articulations of classical music, the trombone offers a musical experience like no other. Not only will you learn about its musical versatility, but we'll also delve into the technical aspects of breath control and slide positioning, essential skills for any aspiring trombonist. In contrast, we'll explore the diverse and exciting world of percussion instruments, the backbone of any musical ensemble. From the rhythmic beats of drums to the melodic notes of xylophones, percussionists have the unique opportunity to bring a piece of music to life through timing, texture, and dynamic range. Playing percussion is not just about keeping the beat; it's about creating an engaging, multi-instrument experience that's as fun to play as it is to listen to. So, whether you're drawn to the smooth glissandos of the trombone or the energetic rhythms of percussion, this podcast will inspire you to pursue your musical dreams. Let's make some music!

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Magical Cancer Fighting Soap: Interview with Heman Bekele (May 3)

In this groundbreaking episode of Willow Waves, hosts Jordan and Aarav sit down with the remarkable Heman Bekele, a 14-year-old prodigy from Fairfax, Virginia, who is not your average high school student. While most teenagers are engrossed in video games and social media, Heman has been busy reaching out to professors, conducting experiments, and innovating in ways that could potentially change the world as we know it. Dive deep into the story of a young mind's passion to impact healthcare significantly. Heman shares his inspiring journey towards inventing a groundbreaking soap designed to treat skin cancer, aiming to make it accessible and affordable for everyone in need. His dedication and innovative thinking have already earned him the grand prize in this year's prestigious 3M Young Scientist's Challenge, a competition celebrating and encouraging young minds to apply their creativity in solving real-world problems. Join us as Heman Bekele walks us through his vision, challenges, and what lies ahead in his quest to fight one of the most common cancers globally. This episode is a testament to youthful innovation and a call to action for young scientists everywhere to dream big and work hard toward making those dreams a reality. Whether you're a science enthusiast, a fellow innovator, or someone who loves to hear how the next generation is shaping our future, this episode of Willow Waves is a must-listen!

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Self Care Club: Supporting Young Minds (May 3)

Welcome to the Self-Care Club with your hosts Maddy and Lily! 🌟 Our podcast is dedicated to exploring mental health issues that many elementary students encounter. We understand the importance of addressing these issues early on and aim to provide insights, strategies, and support to help students navigate their mental health journey. In this episode, we're thrilled to have a special guest, Mrs. Tapper, the assistant principal of Willow Springs Elementary School. With her extensive experience and deep understanding of student well-being, Mrs. Tapper will share her valuable perspective on mental health challenges faced by students and how we can collectively work towards creating a supportive environment for them. Don't miss this enlightening conversation! Tune in to learn more about the mental health issues affecting elementary students and discover practical tips and advice to support the young ones in our lives. Whether you're a student, parent, teacher, or just interested in mental health, this episode is for you. Listen to our podcast now and join us in making mental health a priority! 

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Porpoise Pals: Guardians of the Ocean (May 3)

Dive into the enchanting world beneath the waves with Erin and Salma on the Willow Waves podcast on YouTube, where we embark on an underwater adventure to discover the fascinating porpoise. These agile and intelligent creatures are an integral part of the marine ecosystem, thriving in various oceans around the world. Porpoises are adept hunters, swiftly navigating through the water to catch fast-moving fish, squid, and other sea creatures. Their bodies are perfectly adapted for life in the cold, with a thick layer of blubber for insulation, a single blowhole for breathing, and, in most cases, a dorsal fin that slices through the water. Their unique countershading camouflage, darker on the back and lighter on the belly, helps them blend into the ocean depths, protecting them from predators and aiding them in their hunt. However, despite their adaptability and the critical role they play in the ocean's ecosystems, porpoises face significant threats that push them toward the brink of extinction. Human activities, such as overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction, have severely impacted their populations. The importance of learning about these magnificent creatures and understanding the challenges they face cannot be overstated. Through education and awareness, we can begin to take steps toward ensuring their survival and the health of our oceans. Join us in our mission to save the porpoises by tuning into the Willow Waves podcast on YouTube. Share this journey with your friends and family, and learn not just about the beauty and wonder of porpoises, but also about what you can do to help protect them. Together, we can make a difference in the conservation efforts to save these amazing creatures and preserve the beauty of our planet's oceans for future generations to explore and enjoy.

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Slime: An Extraordinary Slime-Filled Journey (May 8)

🌈✨ Hello, Slime Enthusiasts! ✨🌈 

Are you mesmerized by the squishy, stretchy, and vibrant world of slime? Well, you've stumbled upon the ultimate auditory experience! We are Breahna, Ayla, Erin, and Naya, collectively known as THE SLIMEANATORS, and we're here to whisk you away on an extraordinary slime-filled journey. Dive into the heart of ✨SLIME✨ with us as we explore its fascinating universe. Our podcast is a unique blend of mystery, factual knowledge, and a sprinkle of comedy, making it the perfect concoction for slime lovers of all ages. From the secrets of JUNG- Oops! Looks like we almost let a spoiler slip! You'll have to tune in to uncover the mysteries we have in store. Join the adventure on Willow Waves and become a part of our growing community. Don't forget to hit subscribe. SLIMEANATORS, signing off!

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BTS with Six Minutes Podcast (May 8)

Hello listeners! Welcome back to our channel, where Faith, Divya, and Zahra take you on an exclusive journey behind the scenes of the extraordinary podcast, Six Minutes. Have you ever tuned in to Six Minutes? If not, you're missing out on an incredible experience. This podcast, a masterpiece from GZM shows, has captivated audiences worldwide with its engaging storytelling and high-quality production. We had the incredible opportunity to sit down with David Kreizman, the co-creator of Six Minutes, to dive deep into the intricacies of podcast production. During our conversation, we uncovered the challenges and triumphs of bringing such a dynamic story to life. Six Minutes isn't just any podcast; it's an award-winning phenomenon that's garnered a dedicated fanbase. And there's a reason why it's so successful. Want to find out? Join us as we explore the magic behind the scenes of Six Minutes. Plus, stay tuned because we've got a special surprise that will make your listening experience even more thrilling. Trust us; you won't want to miss this!

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EV Batteries: An Interview with Lieutenant Holland (May 8)

Join Reid, James, Camden, and Jon on an electrifying journey as we delve into the highs and lows of electric vehicle (EV) battery technology in our latest podcast episode. We're taking a unique perspective this time around, stepping into the boots of the brave firefighters who face the challenges of extinguishing EV battery fires head-on. These aren't your typical blazes, and it takes a special kind of knowledge and courage to tackle them. In this episode, we have the privilege of interviewing Lieutenant Holland, a seasoned hazmat worker and firefighter, who brings a wealth of experience and insight into the world of EV batteries. He'll share stories from the front lines, offering a glimpse into the dangers and complexities of dealing with high-voltage emergencies. From the techniques used to control and extinguish these fires to the cutting-edge tools at their disposal, Lieutenant Holland provides an in-depth look at what it takes to keep our communities safe. Learn about the innovative fire blankets designed to smother flames and prevent oxygen from fueling the fire, and discover the latest strategies firefighters are implementing to address the unique challenges posed by EV batteries. Whether you're an EV enthusiast, concerned about safety, or simply curious about the future of firefighting, this episode is packed with fascinating insights and essential information. Tune in to explore the intersection of technology, safety, and emergency response with us.

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The Black-Footed Ferret: A Tale of Resilience & Hope (May 8)

Welcome to our latest episode where we dive into the enchanting world of the black-footed ferret, a creature as playful and energetic as it is rare. Join William, Gavin, Ethan, and Chis as we explore the captivating journey of these small, furry animals, whose numbers have dwindled to fewer than 1,000 in the wild. The black-footed ferret, once on the brink of extinction, found an unexpected hero in a dog named Shep, leading to one of the most remarkable conservation stories of our time. In this podcast, we'll uncover the secrets of their survival, the challenges they face, and the efforts being made to ensure their future. Tune in to learn about the spirited lives of these adorable animals and how they've clawed their way back from the edge of extinction. Don't miss this heartwarming tale of resilience and hope in the animal kingdom.

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Touchdown: Dive into the Heart of Football (May 8)

Welcome to our latest episode where Max, Grant, Advait, and Kingsley as they dive into the heart of football – a sport that captures the imagination and passion of millions around the globe. Whether you're a long-time fan or just curious about what makes football so captivating, this podcast is for you. We're not just talking about the rules of the game or the latest scores; we're exploring the profound impact football has on individuals and communities. In this special episode, we sit down with a teacher from our very own school who shares his personal journey with football. From early memories of playing in the backyard to how the game influenced his career and life choices, his story is a testament to the power of sport. We delve into fascinating facts about football, uncovering the history, evolution, and unique aspects that make it more than just a game. Join us as we celebrate the spirit of football. Learn, laugh, and maybe even fall in love with the game as we share insights and stories that highlight its beauty and complexity. Whether you're here to find out more about football or looking for inspiring tales, our podcast promises entertainment and enlightenment. Tune in and let's kick off this journey together.

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Global Warming: Exploring Impactful Solutions (May 8)

Dive into the heart of our changing planet with Mathew, JJ, and Jay in their enlightening podcast on global warming. As the temperatures climb, so does our need for understanding and action. This trio guides you through the complexities of climate change, starting with the promising potential of wind energy. Journey with them into the dense, life-giving rainforests, exploring impactful solutions to protect our precious Earth. This podcast isn't just about the challenges we face; it's a call to action, wrapped in engaging discussions and insightful perspectives. Whether you're a climate enthusiast or just curious about the world around you, join us on this educational adventure. Tune in, learn, and be part of the solution. Listen to our podcast now and embark on a journey of discovery and hope for our planet's future.

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Tardigrades: The Microscopic Marvels (May 8)

Welcome to the ultimate adventure with the world's tiniest superheroes - tardigrades!  Join our dynamic duo of fifth-graders, Mikayla and Gatsby on an exhilarating podcast journey that's as hilarious as it is enlightening. Get ready to dive deep into the fascinating world of these microscopic marvels that defy the limits of survival. From the crushing pressures of the Mariana Trench to the freezing heights of the Himalayan Mountains, and even the vacuum of outer space, tardigrades have proven they can endure it all. 🏔️🌊💫 But that's not all - our podcast is packed with laugh-out-loud moments, bizarre facts you never knew you needed, and a heap of "useless" information that's anything but boring. So, grab your headphones and prepare for a podcast experience you'll never forget. Whether you're a science geek or just here for the giggles, there's something for everyone in this tardigrade tale. Let's zoom into their microscopic world together and uncover the secrets of these incredible creatures. Subscribe now and become part of our curious and entertaining journey through the tiny, yet mighty world of tardigrades!

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AI Dangers & More (May 8)

Join Emaan, Nora, and Katherine as they delve into the complex and rapidly evolving world of Artificial Intelligence in their latest podcast episode. With AI's capabilities expanding at an unprecedented rate, the trio explores both the potential dangers and the promising benefits of this powerful technology. As AI becomes more accessible, concerns about its misuse and the ethical dilemmas it presents come to the forefront. However, it's not all doom and gloom; AI holds the potential to address some of the world's most challenging problems, offering solutions that were previously unimaginable. Our hosts will guide you through the darker aspects of AI, shedding light on the importance of using this technology responsibly while also highlighting how it can contribute positively to society. Tune in to gain insightful perspectives on how AI is shaping our world, the inherent risks it poses, and the incredible opportunities it offers. Don't miss out on this enlightening journey through the realm of Artificial Intelligence. We hope you enjoy the discussion and come away with a richer understanding of AI's dual nature.

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Space Guys: Interview with Dr. Loomer (May 8)

Kenneth and Omar's interview with Dr. Scott Loomer sheds light on the pivotal role of the Space Shuttle Program in the annals of space exploration. Dr. Loomer, a seasoned docent at the Udvar-Hazy Space Museum, offers invaluable insights into why the program stands as a significant milestone in the history of human space travel. The Space Shuttle Program, initiated by NASA in the late 20th century, represented a groundbreaking departure from traditional spacecraft design. Its reusable vehicles, capable of carrying astronauts and cargo to orbit, then gliding back to Earth for landing and refurbishment, marked a significant leap forward in space technology. This innovative approach not only reduced costs over time but also paved the way for many of the advancements in space exploration we see today. The investment in the Space Shuttle Program was colossal, both in terms of resources and finances. Dr. Loomer highlighted the extensive collaboration between engineers, scientists, and a myriad of other professionals that made the program possible. The development and maintenance of the shuttles, along with the costs associated with launching and operating them, amounted to billions of dollars. Despite this, the benefits to society and the contributions to human knowledge have been profound. The Space Shuttle facilitated the construction of the International Space Station (ISS), a hub for international cooperation and scientific research. It also enabled the deployment and repair of satellites, including the Hubble Space Telescope, which has provided unparalleled insights into our universe. The Space Shuttle Program served as a catalyst for advancements in space shuttle travel, laying the groundwork for the future of space exploration. It demonstrated the feasibility and benefits of reusable spacecraft, influencing the development of new generations of space vehicles by both governmental space agencies and private sector companies. The program's emphasis on safety, innovation, and efficiency has informed current space travel endeavors, aiming for Mars and beyond. Dr. Loomer's insights underscore the Space Shuttle Program's lasting legacy, not just in technology and exploration, but in inspiring a global audience to look towards the stars and dream of the next frontier.

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Otter Alert: A Call to Action (May 8)

Dive into the enchanting world of otters with Victor, Evan, and Aiden on our latest podcast episode! 🌊🦦 We are embarking on a captivating journey to explore the lives of sea otters, the charming creatures that have captured the hearts of many but are facing the threat of extinction. Learn about the unique behaviors, diet, and the crucial role sea otters play in their marine ecosystem. But our exploration doesn't stop at just admiring these adorable animals; we delve into the pressing issue of their endangered status and what it means for our oceans. Discover the factors contributing to their decline and join the conversation on innovative ways we can all contribute to otter conservation. This episode is more than just a learning experience—it's a call to action to support efforts in preserving not only sea otters but also the rich habitats they call home. Don't miss this opportunity to be a part of the solution. Tune in, get informed, and find out how you can play a role in taking sea otters off the endangered list and ensuring the survival of their habitats. Together, we can make a difference. Subscribe and listen now to be part of this important journey.

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Medical AI: An Interview with Dr. Earls (May 8)

In today's groundbreaking episode, join Colin and Asir as they delve into the revolutionary world where artificial intelligence intersects with healthcare, featuring an exclusive interview with Dr. Earls, the esteemed Chief Medical Officer at Cleerly. Discover how AI is not just a tool of the future but a lifesaving ally in the present, drastically enhancing the ability of doctors to detect and treat heart disease with unprecedented efficiency. Dr. Earls sheds light on the pivotal role AI plays in assisting clinicians to more accurately and quickly interpret heart scans, leading to faster diagnosis and treatment. This technology is not about replacing the human element in healthcare but augmenting it, ensuring that patients receive the medical attention they need when they need it the most. Cleerly stands at the forefront of this medical revolution as a digital healthcare pioneer, transforming the approach to heart disease treatment. Through their cutting-edge AI-based digital care platform, integrated with coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) imaging, Cleerly empowers clinicians to identify and define atherosclerosis at its earliest stages. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in how technology is reshaping healthcare, offering hope for a future where personalized, effective treatment plans are the norms, significantly improving patient outcomes across the globe.

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Animal Shelters: Ways to Make a Difference (May 8)

Welcome to the latest episode of Reva & Cora’s heartwarming podcast, where every week we dive into stories that uplift and inspire, especially when it comes to our four-legged friends! 🐾 This episode is packed with tales of compassion, innovation, and the sheer joy that comes from helping animal shelters. Whether you’re a long-time animal lover or just looking for ways to make a difference, you're in the right place. Join us as we explore the incredible journeys of students who went above and beyond to support animals in need. From organizing fundraisers to hands-on volunteering, these stories are sure to ignite a spark in your heart to get involved. But that’s not all – we’ll also share essential tips on how to care for animals, whether they’re in a shelter waiting for a forever home or already part of your family. Learn the do’s and don’ts of animal care, and discover how even the smallest actions can have a big impact. Don’t miss out on this enriching experience! Tune in to our podcast and be part of a community that believes in making a difference, one paw at a time. Let's spread the love and knowledge that can help make the world a better place for animals in shelters. 🐶🐱 Listen now and let Reva & Cora guide you through this journey of compassion, learning, and fun.

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Strikes of the 1800s: The Newsboys and Matchgirls' Fight for Justice (May 3)

Dive into the past with Anna and Liv as we uncover the riveting stories behind the strikes that shook the 1800s! In this action-packed episode, we explore two monumental labor movements that challenged the status quo and marked significant victories for workers' rights. First, we take you back to July 18, 1899, when the streets of Long Island City became the stage for the newsboys' strike against the giants of the newspaper world, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Witness the determination of these young newsies as they flipped a distribution wagon in protest, demanding fairer prices for their hard work. But our journey doesn't stop there. We'll also transport you to July 1888, to the bustling streets of Bow, London, where the women and teenage girls of the Bryant & May match factory courageously stood against oppressive working conditions. With the dismissal of a fellow worker sparking their initial outrage, these brave strikers, supported by social activist Annie Besant, fought not just for the reinstatement of their colleague but for the dignity and respect they deserved. Their relentless spirit led to significant improvements in their workplace, setting a precedent for labor movements worldwide. Join us as we delve into these captivating stories of resilience and solidarity. Anna and Liv bring these historical events to life, offering insights that promise to keep you on the edge of your seat. Whether you're a history buff, a supporter of workers' rights, or just in search of a compelling tale, this episode has something for everyone. Tune in to "Strikes of the 1800s: The Newsboys and Matchgirls' Fight for Justice" and be inspired by the power of collective action. Listen today!

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Willow Springs YouTube Channel 2022-23

Food for Thought - 6th Grade Annual Food Drive Supports Local Food Bank (June 5)

Hosted by: Brook and Priya

It's Food for Thought in this episode of Willow Waves. Listen to discover the secrets behind our thriving culture of kindness at WSES. Annually, sixth graders at Willow Springs sponsor a Food Drive as their end-of-the-year service project. Students and families are encouraged to donate nonperishable "Kid Foods" such as macaroni and cheese, pop-tarts, ravioli, ramen noodles, cereal, canned meat, fruit cups, snacks, treats, juice, non-refrigerated milk, coffee, oil, flour, sugar, etc.

Sponsorship of this project helps to instill in our students the idea that, as good citizens, we help our community and support our local food bank. Please tune in to hear how we make a difference for those in our community experiencing hardship together!

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Positivity Project (P2) in Action at WSES (June 3)

Hosted by: Sanaa, Arsema, Mathew, Jon, and Ms. Plunkett

Get ready to be uplifted and inspired as we present a remarkable episode of Willow Waves, a podcast produced by K-6 students at Willow Springs Elementary School in Fairfax, Virginia. We are honored to have special guests in the studio! None other than the co-founder of the Positivity Project (P2) himself, Jeff Bryan, and his team delve into the magic of positivity and character development with our WSES student hosts. Together, we explore the impact of P2 on our school community and beyond, sharing heartwarming stories of kindness, resilience, and personal growth. You will want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to hear the transformative power of positivity in action! Tune in to Willow Waves and uncover the secrets behind a thriving culture of kindness at WSES. For more exciting updates, visit willowspringses.fcps.edu.

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The Big Splash with Nivi (June 2)

Hosted by: Nivi

In this episode, we are joined by Torri Huske, an American swimmer, Olympic silver medalist, current American record holder in 50m and 100m butterfly, and one of only four American women in history to win six medals at a World Championships. In this Willow Waves podcast, we learn about her swimming story, Olympic experience, and life in and out of the pool.

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Solar Sleuths (May 22)

Hosted by: Musab, Jeremiah, and Charles

This podcast is a fun listening opportunity to understand more about solar technology.

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A Greener Planet (May 22)

Hosted by: Emma, Claire, and Arina

In this episode, we will interview Christine Brownson, a member of Get2Green. Get2Green is a part of FCPS that helps create a bridge for teachers and students to become environmental stewards.  Student eco-teams are active at many schools engaging in student-driven stewardship activities such as reducing waste, conserving energy, planting and maintaining wildlife habitats, and tending edible gardens. Listen to this podcast to find out more, or any other podcast we have about the importance of taking care of the planet.

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Bus Boys (May 22)

Hosted by: Noah and Leo

In this Willow Waves podcast episode, two 5th-graders interview a local bus driver from Fairfax County Public Schools and speak with her about why schools should move towards electric buses.

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The Solar Evaporators (May 22)

Hosted by: Elijah and Khuslen

Have you ever heard of the Bhopal accident? If not, check this podcast to see how they cleaned it up! We report on how to evaporate toxic waste. Listen and subscribe to learn more!

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The Super Solar Brothers (May 22)

Hosted by: Elijah and Khuslen

We interviewed the librarian of Rachel Carson Middle School to help us with the backstory of how they got solar panels on the roof of their school!

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The Green Mile (May 14)

Hosted by: Elizabeth, Simar, and Norah

Today's episode focuses on the Reforestation of abandoned coal mines. Did you know that some biodiversity trees aren't good for the environment? We interviewed Michael French from Green Forest Work and learned a lot about forests. We hope that you'll learn a lot, too! Enjoy!

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The Renewal of Jet Fuel (May 13)

Hosted by: Silas, Sapan, Mason, and Joseph

We journey through the history of aviation and will be teaching you about the future of flight and how you can help our planet! According to the ICAO, In a little over a century, our industry has gone from learning to fly to learning to fly faster, learning to fly further, learning to fly heavier planes, and now to having 100,000 plus commercial flights occurring around the world each day – representing over 400 departures per hour! There's never been a more critical time to ensure we do it safely for passengers and the planet. Listen to learn more!

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Lungs of the Earth (May 13)

Hosted by: Echan, Sammy, and Sung Min

What are the Lungs of the Earth? In this episode, we interviewed Dr. Gabriel de Oliveira, an Assistant Professor of Geography in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of South Alabama. Listen, and let's learn more!

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The Global Classroom (May 13)

Hosted by: Ashvin, Yaesung, and Bailey

At Willow Springs Elementary, in Fairfax County Public Schools, in Virginia, USA, we host a Global Classroom Project. According to our expert guest, Ms. Hardy, the goal of the Global Classroom is connecting students with peers to communicate and collaborate on Sustainable Development Goals (global issues) and to take collective action. Listen to our podcast to learn more and see how we're making critical & creative thinking a priority.

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Deep Blue Plastic Invasion (May 13)

Hosted by: Ira, Charleigh, and Saisha

This episode of the Willow Waves Podcast is about how plastic is hurting the ocean and beaches of our world. Plastic is hurting animals in the ocean and on beaches. More than 100 million animals die from plastic each year. Trash accumulates in circles of garbage in the ocean, called Garbage Patches. The biggest of these patches is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We hope you enjoy our episode and learn something new about plastic harming the world.

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Wonders of the Wind (May 12)

Hosted by: Sabreen, Noah, and Lily

 We will explore wind energy and its effects, mainly looking at wind turbines and their actions. We will have Dr. Susan Stewart from Penn State University here to help us explain wind energy better. Thanks for listening, and we hope you enjoy our podcast, Wonders of the Wind!

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Melting Mischief w/Glacier Gals (April 18)

Hosted by: Baya, Antonella, and Mady

We are the Glacier Girls, trying to stop glaciers from melting even more than they have. We have contacted and interviewed Annie Boucher, a researcher and the Director of Operations at the Juneau Icefield Research Program. We would love to inform other people about glaciers' importance and the horrible causes that may happen if all glaciers melt.

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Coral Reefs (April 16)

Hosted by: Avery, Sahana, and  Tavni

We're discussing a crucial topic: the disappearance of coral reefs. Our respected guest, Liv Williamson, is joining us, a biologist at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine Atmospheric & Earth Science and a research associate at the Coral Reefs Future Lab. Liv's expertise in marine biology and her experience on 60 Minutes and the podcast Water Women makes her the perfect guest to shed light on this critical issue.

This episode aims to raise awareness and educate our listeners about coral reefs and the phenomenon of coral bleaching. Coral reefs are vital to our planet's ecosystem, but their decline has been a growing concern. Liv will share with us the causes behind the disappearance of coral reefs and their impact on our environment. Tune in to Willow Waves to learn more about this pressing issue and how we can work together to protect our oceans and their inhabitants.

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Sky High Gardens (April 14)

Hosted by: Allegra and Natalie

During our podcast, we will be talking about rooftop gardens. Rooftop gardens are an amazing environmental solution. They help lower gas emissions and get healthy locally grown food to the people who live nearby. We also talk about the urban heat island effect and how rooftop gardens can help reduce city-wide ambient temperatures by up to 5°F.  Green roof temperatures can be 30–40°F lower than those of conventional roofs. We believe it is part of the solution to climate change.

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Toxic Tides (April 13)

Hosted by: Joelle and Evelyn 

Our podcast is about water sustainability. Many countries don’t have access to clean water or much water at all. This is a major threat that is increasing due to climate change. There are many people like Dr. Sunny Jiang working to reduce the number of countries that don’t have sustainable water resources. We interviewed Dr. Jiang who is a professor at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Samuel School of Engineering. Dr. Jiang and her research group are also developing a prototype portable pathogen analysis system that detects waterborne pathogens like fecal bacteria and helps reduce the risk of drinking contaminated water. We are hoping that our podcast will help raise awareness not only in our community but around the world. Many people are affected by climate change. The increase in temperature evaporates water, leaving people with little safe water to drink.

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Trash to Treasure (April 12)

Hosted by: Rowan, Jacob, and Bailey

Garbage is a messy and stinky business, but did you know it is contributing to climate change? Landfills release an estimated 109.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. But we are starting to make landfills that turn garbage into energy. We interviewed Don Cammarata from Covanta. They have created a Waste-to-Energy technology that reduces greenhouse gases, particularly methane, by eliminating emissions from landfills. Landfills are considered super-emitters of methane, which is 84 times more potent than CO2. For every ton of municipal solid waste processed at Waste-to-Energy facilities, greenhouse gases are reduced by up to one ton!

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Backyard Beekeeper Brothers (April 10)

Hosted by: Oliver and Chaz

Today, this podcast will cover bees and their near extinction. We are Chaz and Oliver, and we are going to make the connection between bees and climate change. We will also take you on a trip through time to understand the history and importance of bees. To find out more, we interviewed a backyard beekeeper, Frank Linton. He was able to share his experience as a beekeeper and answer our questions about how climate change will affect bees and our ecosystem.

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From Grey to Blue - Rethinking Air Pollution (April 10)

Hosted by: Chloe, Akshaya, Logan, and Isabel

Our podcast talks about the United Nations' sustainability goals around air pollution. To find out more information, we interviewed Andrew Clark from the State Department. He was able to help us understand how the global community is working to make our planet healthier. Join us in this episode of Willow Waves as we take you on an adventurous journey to connect the dots between air pollution and global warming. While you’re listening, you can check the air quality in your area at AirNow.gov Just enter your zip code, state, or city, and you will be able to check the level of air pollution.

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Oil Operations: Discovering New Technology to Cleanup Oil Spills (March 31)

Hosted by: Lucas and Lucas 

Our podcast focuses on different ways to clean up oil spills. Things like magnetic soap, wood chips, robots, and sponges. These are some of the best solutions to clean oil spills because they are environmentally friendly and are the most effective. They take the oil and leave our ocean clean for you and the marine life to enjoy. We hope you enjoy our episode of Willow Waves and gain awareness of how technology can help save the ocean during oil spills.

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Geothermal Energy: Deep Dive (March 31)

Hosted by: Nathan and Evan

Humans have always been interested in geothermal energy since ancient civilizations. So were we! So, we decided to interview a geothermal scientist named Mr. Brokaw to learn more about geothermal energy. Casey Brokaw has degrees in Geology and Geophysics and 10 years of Earth Science Experience. He worked in the Geothermal Research Lab at Southern Methodist University. With that, he gained knowledge of geothermal energy and how it can be used to help the usage of renewable energy. We learned a lot of things that we weren’t aware of, and I bet you could too.

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Plastic Free Future (March 31)

Hosted by: Evelyn, Lavanya, and Ashley 

This episode of our podcast focuses on ocean debris and how it is affecting the planet. We wanted to focus on one individual who is making a big difference in the future of our oceans. We were so inspired because she started her journey to be an advocate for the planet when she was just in high school. We interview Shelby O’Neil from San Juan Bautista, CA. She started developing Jr. Ocean Guardians in high school for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. To date, over 40 million single-use plastic straws have been reduced annually through O'Neil's corporate relationships. O'Neil has also worked in policy, resulting in SCR-139 No Straw November statewide resolution and the passing of a "Straws Upon Request" bill in California. We hope you enjoy this inspiring episode of Willow Waves.

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International Women's Day 2023 (March 30)

Hosted by: Chloe, Hannah, Mennah, and Ms. Hassen

Welcome to one of our very first podcasts recorded from Willow Waves Studio! In honor of International Women's Day 2023, which is celebrated every year on March 8. Our elementary school students from Willow Springs Elementary School in Fairfax, VA have come together to discuss the incredible achievements and ongoing struggles of women around the world. Join us as we explore the history of this important day, share stories of inspiring women from various fields, and discuss ways we can all work toward gender equality. Listen in and celebrate the power and resilience of women everywhere!

International Women's Day is celebrated every year on March 8, listen to three of our students and Assistant Principal Hassen as they discuss the meaning of and why we celebrate the day.

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Why a Podcast Studio in an Elementary School?

Podcasting can be an effective tool for supporting social and emotional learning (SEL) in elementary students. Here are a few ways in which a podcast studio can benefit elementary students and align with the principles of Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Self-awareness: Podcasting can help students develop self-awareness by encouraging them to reflect on their own experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Students can share their personal stories, thoughts, and feelings through podcasts, which can help them understand themselves better and develop greater self-awareness.

Self-management: Podcasting can also help students develop self-management skills by giving them an opportunity to practice self-regulation, goal setting, and time management. Students can work together to plan and produce podcasts, set goals and deadlines for themselves, and manage their time effectively to meet those goals.

Social awareness: Podcasting can promote social awareness by allowing students to learn about and understand the experiences and perspectives of others. Students can interview people from different backgrounds or create podcasts about social issues, helping them to develop empathy and understanding of others.

Relationship skills: Podcasting can also support the development of relationship skills, such as communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution. Students can work together in teams to create podcasts, giving them the opportunity to practice effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.

Overall, a podcast studio can be a valuable resource for supporting SEL and the CASEL principles in elementary students. By giving students the opportunity to express themselves, develop self-management skills, learn about and understand others, and practice effective communication and collaboration, a podcast studio can help students develop the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

Check out our Studio Pictures!