RadioActive

RadioActive

www.kuow.org/podcasts/radioactive
Stories produced by students participating in our youth media program. Learn more about the intensive, fun and free introductory radio journalism workshops we offer throughout the year.


School windows, covered in lockdowns. A Seattle teacher makes art to ease the terror
Nov 14 • 4 min
During a lockdown, teachers must secure the classroom doors and windows. At Franklin High School in Seattle, they have found a way to address one of these security measures… with art.
The secret diaries my grandma snuck out of a Communist prison in Vietnam
Nov 12 • 3 min
My grandfather was a South Vietnamese soldier during the Vietnam War. After the war ended, the Communist government imprisoned him in an re-education camp. As a way to connect with his family, he secretly wrote letters, poems and stories.
Shivering, cold, praying to get out. A Seattle-area teen on surviving homelessness
Nov 7 • 4 min
There are over 12,000 people in Seattle and King County experiencing homelessness. Many of them, including families, live in vehicles.
The barrier between us is breaking: How politics brought my mom and me closer
Nov 5 • 3 min
Sometimes politics drive family and friends apart. But when Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American congresswoman, was elected in 2018, my mom and I became closer than ever before.
When unwanted questions drove us out of school, Nova welcomed us
Oct 31 • 3 min
Nova High School is a “saving grace” for non-conforming students.
What my friend’s top surgery taught me about self-love
Oct 29 • 5 min
Meet my friend, Lazarus Killmer. Laz loves to draw and write poetry. He’s always been comfortable calling himself an artist. But his gender was a different story.
Hijabis on the soccer field: This teen founded a camp for Muslim girls like her
Oct 24 • 4 min
On this sunny day, girls of all ages are doing laps around the field — kicking soccer balls, running drills, and living their best lives. Some of the girls wear headscarves. Others wear dresses. On this field, there is no dress code.
Obsolete: a fictional podcast
Oct 22 • 10 min
Loneliness can be hard to handle, especially when you have no one to talk to.
Bloody Mary is just a game. Why are we still scared of it?
Oct 15 • 9 min
What’s the appeal of fear?
The line between cultural appropriation and appreciation: ‘It’s all about power’
Oct 8 • 9 min
Ariana Grande’s barbecue grill tattoo. $75 bonnets sold by a white woman. Japan’s Chicano subculture. Where is the line between cultural appropriation and appreciation?
Generation Zodiac: How teens use astrology like religion
Oct 1 • 9 min
Find a Gen Z kid with a void in their soul, and they can tell you: astrology memes are sweeping the internet
Welcome to the void
Sep 24 • 11 min
The year is 1958. A string of disappearances leads intrepid junior reporter Mary Price out to investigate a mysterious tip. When her tape recorder is discovered years later, the story revealed shocks the world.
Seattle’s got a pothole problem. These teens want more than a temporary fix
Sep 17 • 10 min
Seattle is ranked the 11th worst city in the United States for road conditions.
‘You won’t kill me.’ The repetitive reality of police brutality cases
Sep 12 • 10 min
About one in every thousand black men can expect to be killed by police.
‘Speak English!’ Nah, no thanks
Sep 3 • 10 min
The United States does not have a national language. So why do people demand that everyone speaks English?
We took a dog with attitude to an animal communicator
Aug 27 • 10 min
Meet Chase. He has some problems. We took him to an animal communicator to fix his attitude - and find out if people can actually talk to dogs.
Spying phones: Have you ever felt like your phone was reading your mind?
Aug 20 • 8 min
Have you ever felt like your phone was reading your mind? We have.
Is it unethical to be a billionaire?
Aug 14 • 7 min
How much is a billion dollars, really? Do the rich have an obligation to give money back to their communities?
The Pink Tax: What you need, they mark up
Aug 6 • 7 min
More than half of the population spends an absurd amount of money every year on products that they need. Think tampons and other menstrual products. What’s worse is that institutionally, these products are considered luxury items and marked up as such.
‘They’re so complacent.’ What these youth activists say about grown-ups
Jun 27 • 3 min
When a group of K-12 students confronted Senator Dianne Feinstein for not supporting the Green New Deal, she put up her dukes. “I’ve been doing this for thirty years,” Senator Feinstein said. “I know what I’m doing. You come in here and say, it’s my way…
The unlikely friendship of Peanut and Ranger, a baby donkey and orphaned puppy in Sammamish
Jun 24 • 4 min
Last year 40 animals were rescued by the Sammamish animal sanctuary. While many shelters take in dogs and cats, this sanctuary focuses on rescuing farm animals.
How to be a feminist, and other lessons from my grandma’s badass friend
Jun 20 • 4 min
In recent years, modern movements like the Women’s March and #MeToo have garnered widespread momentum. Ninety-year-old Alene Moris started fighting the battle for women’s rights long ago.
This documentarian makes you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes
Jun 18 • 4 min
Can a documentary inspire social change? Filmmaker Sandy Cioffi is using the emerging world of virtual reality to evoke empathy from viewers.
‘I think I can still save her.’ How one immigrant teen supports her mother and sister
Jun 13 • 4 min
Teenagers have really busy lives. School, sports, clubs, jobs and more. When you’re the oldest child in an immigrant family, there can be even more pressure to succeed. Maria is one of these teens. She found the burden to be almost too much.
Why I stopped looking at depression memes even though some of them were really funny
Jun 11 • 3 min
If you’ve ever been online, you’ve probably seen plenty of memes. Kermit the Frog drinking tea is a famous one. They are often humorous, but there’s a darker side of internet memes that focus on depression.
Should you pursue your passion in college or a degree that would make you money?
Jun 6 • 4 min
Over the last ten years, the number of students majoring in the arts and humanities at the University of Washington has dropped significantly. That’s no surprise when STEM and Business degrees are touted as more valuable. What do you do when society tells…
Pressure, insomnia and hospitalization: The new normal for students applying to college
Apr 3 • 12 min
“If you had asked me if I would chop my leg off if it meant admission to Stanford, I would say yes in a millisecond.”
Why does it matter where I’m ‘really’ from?
Mar 27 • 11 min
People often find ways to identify with and exclude others. We categorize ourselves by using gender, class, race and even age to connect with people like ourselves or separate ourselves from others. As a society, why are we more comfortable questioning…
The racist practice of mispronouncing names
Mar 21 • 13 min
Having people mispronounce your name isn’t just annoying or embarrassing. It’s racist.
Tortillas and K-pop: Stories from RadioActive’s community workshops
Mar 13 • 13 min
Teens from the Yakima Valley, Seattle Indian Health Board and the Coalition for Refugees from Burma share their thoughts on tortillas, English K-pop.
He was a veteran with four months to live. This is how he restored Hamm Creek
Dec 12, 2018 • 4 min
If you knew that you only had four months to live, what would you do? After suffering three heart attacks, John Beal was told that he was going to die. He decided to use the rest of his life to clean up Hamm Creek, an offshoot of the Duwamish River so…
My grandpa lost his girlfriend to cancer. He fights for Medicaid in her name
Dec 11, 2018 • 4 min
My grandpa, Steve Schoettmer, lost his girlfriend Rose to colon cancer in 2017. In the past, his county’s Democratic party had approached him about running for office, but he had refused. Rose was too ill. But when he heard that Speaker Paul Ryan was…
Step sisters: The dance team that stood up for Black Lives Matter
Dec 5, 2018 • 4 min
Darnesha Weary describes step dancing as “creating music and rhythms and beats with every part of your body.” She directs the Northside Step Dance Team in Shoreline, and last year, her team used their dance routine to protest the police shootings of…
A white woman slapped my mom on a Seattle bus. She picked on the wrong woman
Dec 4, 2018 • 4 min
My mom was on the bus one day, riding Route 41 to Chinatown from Northgate, when a white woman slapped her and started yelling at her. My mom told me she was sleeping on the bus when the woman slapped her. “I never had this problem. I don’t know why she…
Am I less Filipino if I can’t speak Tagalog?
Nov 28, 2018 • 4 min
My grandma taught me everything I needed to know, including how to speak Tagalog. But as I grew older, she stopped teaching me Tagalog. Now, I worry that I am losing my language.
I was the saddest kid. The tears finally slowed when I started writing
Nov 27, 2018 • 4 min
There was a time when the one emotion I knew better than the rest was sadness. I have never met a kid as sad as I was. I cried at school, at the Boys and Girls Club, at home, at my cousins’ house — everywhere. It wasn’t until I started writing that the…
My aunt was 16 when she ran off to join the Eritrean Liberation Front
Nov 14, 2018 • 4 min
The Eritrean War of Independence started in 1961 and lasted for 30 years, until the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front defeated Ethiopian forces in 1991. Nearly one-third of all soldiers in the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front were women, including my…
How this young Buddhist monk uses Instagram to connect with Khmer youth
Nov 13, 2018 • 4 min
I was shocked when I saw the pictures that a Buddhist monk from my temple posted on Instagram. Venerable Prenz posts pictures of himself hiking and traveling around the world. I saw pictures of him studying for his college classes and visiting with his…
My uncle has experienced homelessness for decades. He still comes to family dinner at my house.
Nov 8, 2018 • 4 min
My mom, Maryanne Battles, and her older brother, Chris, had an extremely difficult childhood. But they always had each other.
My grandfather was a paper son under the Chinese Exclusion Act. He created an iron legacy.
Nov 6, 2018 • 3 min
Under the Chinese Exclusion Act, people had to create false papers to immigrate. My grandfather, who came here in 1937, had to pretend he belonged to another family. It took him decades to build his own family.
I didn’t know my mom was non-binary until I started to question my gender identity
Oct 31, 2018 • 4 min
When my mom was young, at the age of five, she started thinking about herself as a boy. My mother was assigned female at birth, but when she was little, she had the classic childhood experiences of a transgender boy. It was almost stereotypical. She…
Sober for 27 years. Now her son is experimenting with drugs
Oct 30, 2018 • 5 min
Sober for 27 years. Now her son is experimenting with drugs
How one transgender dancer challenges the Bollywood binary
Oct 25, 2018 • 4 min
How one transgender dancer challenges the Bollywood binary
Why this Boeing test pilot keeps a flute in her toolbox
Oct 23, 2018 • 4 min
I go to a special high school with a focus on aviation. Although I love my school, sometimes I feel like I don’t get to explore my creative side. So I started asking questions: What role should art play in STEM education? And how can creativity help us to…
Black students, white teachers: How this affects Seattle teens
Oct 17, 2018 • 3 min
“I began to think, maybe what they’re saying is true. Maybe my people don’t do good.”
Attack of the angry colon: How I deal with my chronic illness
Oct 16, 2018 • 5 min
The bathroom is a universal experience, right? Well, not for me. Instead, I am one of the very lucky 1.5 million with an inflammatory bowel disease.
A Rohingya teen escaped genocide in Myanmar. This is how he ended up on Mercer Island.
Oct 11, 2018 • 6 min
A Rohingya teen escaped genocide in Myanmar. This is how he ended up on Mercer Island.
How my 90-year-old neighbor, a Holocaust survivor, sees America today
Oct 9, 2018 • 6 min
One of the world’s biggest cities was once a safe haven for Jewish refugees. During World War II, more than 18,000 Jews sought refuge in Shanghai. They witnessed the war from a perspective that often goes unheard. My neighbor Werner Glass is one of them.
After racist attack, my mom hid her trauma to protect me. Now I want to help her heal
Oct 3, 2018 • 4 min
A young white guy, clean cut with dark hair, started shouting racial slurs and spit on her. Only one person checked to see if she was okay.
My grandpa sang songs to fight for freedom. Now I sing them too
Oct 2, 2018 • 7 min
Last summer, he sang a song I hadn’t heard before. He told me what the lyrics mean: let us dance, and let us sing folk songs, because we have achieved independence. At first I was confused. What independence? From whom? And what’s going on here?
Eastern Washington teens talk about school and being super awkward
Sep 20, 2018 • 7 min
Stories produced in RadioActive’s first radio journalism workshop for teens in the Tri-Cities.
Facts or faux: Investigating conspiracy theories
Sep 18, 2018 • 9 min
Many conspiracy theories can become outlandish but some have a kernel of truth to them. How can you tell what is fact and what’s just pure speculation?
From toys to taxes: Reconnecting with our childhoods
Sep 13, 2018 • 9 min
When did your childhood end? How do you keep your childhood alive?
Your houseplant might know how you’re feeling
Sep 11, 2018 • 9 min
While we might think plants are not sentient, they are constantly communicating with each other. Some even think that plants communicate with us. Perhaps even more startling: some theorize that plants have actually domesticated us.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled podcast
Sep 6, 2018 • 10 min
We interrupt your regularly scheduled podcast
Dark-skinned girls and the struggle to feel beautiful
Sep 4, 2018 • 9 min
Colorism isn’t just another term. It is an experience. In the black community, dark-skinned girls and women are often seen as less desirable than their light-skinned counterparts. After being constantly told that they are “too dark” or seeing only…
From feminism to black power: How superheroes changed the status quo
Aug 30, 2018 • 9 min
How Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and Black Panther challenged tradition and changed the American superhero industry for the better.
Gender norms, what a drag! Why drag exists in our sexist society
Aug 28, 2018 • 10 min
What happens to men who want to defy the system? To find out, we talk to Seattle drag queens.
Using Wicca as a gateway to feminism
Aug 21, 2018 • 9 min
How do women find an accepting community in witchcraft? We hear three stories from different women about their journey into the occult, from conversion to dual religions.
How we realized we needed to question other people’s biases
Aug 16, 2018 • 8 min
Everyday we encounter things we don’t question and just accept. Things like stop signs: why are they octagons? And fire trucks: why are they red? At…
Six months after the Parkland shooting, local student activists reflect
Aug 15, 2018 • 12 min
Bill Radke talks to two local student activists about how they were inspired to organize. We talk to Justin Velasco, who helped found the Seattle…
‘We’re not supposed to feel unsafe:’ back to school in the age of school shootings
Aug 14, 2018 • 10 min
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida sparked a youth movement for change across the nation. In part two of our…
Back to school in the age of school shootings
Aug 14, 2018 • 3 min
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida sparked a youth movement for change across the nation. In part two of our School Shootings in America podcast, we speak to teens in Seattle to see how they’ve been inspired to take…
How rap moved to SoundCloud from the streets
Aug 7, 2018 • 10 min
We know what rap is today, but not everyone knows where it came from and how it started. Today we will discuss rap and its evolution. Grandmaster Flash,…
Sneak peek: New RadioActive podcast season
Aug 6, 2018 • 0 min
Twenty teens from Seattle and beyond have spent their summer at KUOW and Jack Straw Cultural Center creating podcasts and radio stories. They…
‘Two whites don’t make a Wong’: Feeling like an outsider as an interracial adoptee
Jun 28, 2018 • 4 min
I’ve always known I was adopted because I have white parents. In school, people talked about what traits they got from each of their parents: their eyes…
The weird and wonderful ways food brings us together on social media
Jun 20, 2018 • 9 min
The popularity of cooking shows, food photography, and fine dining testifies to the fact that in today’s culture our need to eat goes far beyond…
I dropped out of high school to help with rent. I still have big dreams
Jun 13, 2018 • 4 min
It’s graduation season, and while many are donning their caps and gowns, others are taking a different path. Like me. I’ve spent the spring trying to…
Dear Anxiety, you are 10 times the taste, the touch, the smell
Jun 6, 2018 • 8 min
I am 18 years old, and I have a condition where I am very hyper aware of things. I have ADHD and anxiety, so my attention span is very limited. I’m not…
How this terrible procrastinator led Seattle’s March for Our Lives
May 31, 2018 • 4 min
In March, thousands of students took to the streets of Seattle to protest gun violence. March for Our Lives was organized by everyday high school…
Heart surgery on babies is ‘part seamstress, part wood craftsman’
May 23, 2018 • 1 min
There are only about 125 doctors across the country who perform heart surgery on children and babies. Mike McMullan is one of them. He works at Seattle…
The good, young days: Nostalgia’s effect on college-bound seniors
Apr 19, 2018 • 18 min
Nostalgia — that universal bittersweet longing for times gone by — hits hardest during our most important life transitions. But how does nostalgia arise…
Coming out of the broom closet: Real life witches
Apr 5, 2018 • 13 min
Are you a fan of “Harry Potter”? Or maybe Sabrina the Teenage Witch ? Ever wonder if witchcraft actually involves a wand and broom? Witch culture is…
Is the life of a private eye all it’s cracked up to be?
Mar 22, 2018 • 8 min
Is the life of a private eye all it’s cracked up to be?