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New Kids Podcast Launches; Showcases Issues Wyoming Kids Care About

Kids Ask WhY

A brand new podcast, Kids Ask WhY, will be available showcasing issues Wyoming kids are interested in. The podcast, which debuts on Tuesday, October 6, was developed by the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Wyoming Public Media. Bob Beck sat down with the producer Kamila Kudelska.

Bob Beck: So, what's the name of this? And tell us a little bit about it.

Kamila Kudelska: So, it's called the Kids Ask WhY podcast and it's a podcast that's geared towards giving the power to kids, the age between seven and 13. So kids are asking adults questions about what they're interested in. And our first season's theme is why is Wyoming special to them? We've had a lot of different topics from wildlife, to open spaces to geology, and just the community of Wyoming.

BB: Where'd you get the idea to do a kid's podcast?

KK: So I've always thought that there's a lack of content for kids in the podcast world. And I kind of wanted to fill that void. So me and the team of center educators brainstormed what was lacking in that field and what we could provide as museum educators and as a reporter. We realized maybe the best thing might be to give the power to the kids and let them ask the questions. So we're hoping it can help provide parents and children with education on how kids think and what they want to learn about.

BB: What does it sound like?

KK: So again, the whole podcast surrounds the idea that the kids are taking charge. So each episode features at least two kids, again, between the ages of seven and 13, who ask adults questions. And it can be experts or just a family friend, or anyone who they want to ask questions. Like I said, for the first season, it's about what they think makes Wyoming special.

BB: Tell us a little bit about this first episode.

KK: The first episode, we have a seven year old girl named Bea and a 10-year-old boy named Keller. And they're answering the question, why are people attracted to Wyoming? Bea answered snow and she's a little seven year old and she has so much energy. And it was really hard for her to sit down and just be still. But when we finally did get her to sit down and she asked her expert some questions, her questions were really neat, unique, like this one.

Bea O'Toole: Can snow push things down into the ground?

Jim Woodmencey: What stuff like books?

BO: Maybe houses?

JW: Grass? Well…

KK: While Keller was kind of an opposite of Bea. He was quiet, calm, but also curious. And he really wanted to learn about why Old Faithful erupts in the same intervals?

Keller Dehmel: When did scientists start timing Old Faithful? And how do they know when it is about to go off?

Mike Poland: So the timing really started maybe about the time that Langford visited Old Faithful. About the time, you know, 1870 with this group called the Washburn expedition.

KK: So I just really loved the dynamic between the two of them, which I hope our listeners do as well. And the rest of the episodes also have just, you know, a really interesting dynamic between the kids, which is really fun.

BB: So who are some of the experts that join you?

KK: We have a full range of experts. We have geologists, we have Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologists. We have the former U.S. senator of Wyoming Al Simpson. So it's a really wide range of people that are willing to talk to kids.

BB: What again, were some of the most memorable moments working on the podcast?

KK: I think it's really the interaction between the kids and the adult. For one episode, like I mentioned, we had former U.S. Senator Al Simpson speak with Sam. And there's a moment where the phone rings in Al Simpson's office. And, you know, just the interaction between Sam and Al is pretty amazing.

Sam Obrect: We need some bears over here. So many moth's outside.

Al Simpson: Oh well, we'll send some grizzlies over there. [phone rings] They'll eat them for you. That's your phone. I'm not going to answer it. It's your teacher calling to ask me some more questions.

KK: And then there was the moment when one of our kids who was interested in Liz Byrd got so excited to see her face on like one of the flags on the UW campus. She made her mom take a picture of her with it, and then sent it to our whole team. So it was just really gratifying to see them learn about what they wanted to know throughout the whole process.

BB: So where do people find the podcast?

KK: People can find it on kidsaskwhy.org or wherever they get podcasts. So that can be Spotify, Google, Apple or anywhere.

BB: The name of the podcast is Kids Ask Why? We've been chatting with Kamila Kudelska. Great work on this. Thank you.

KK: Thank you, Bob.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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