KQED Youth Media Challenges

Empower students through media making and authentic audience.

Join a Youth Media Challenge to engage student voice and choice and foster civic engagement. Ideal for distance or in-person learning. Challenges are open to middle and high school students across the U.S.

What are Youth Media Challenges?

Challenge your students to get more civically engaged and media literate this year. These standards-aligned projects, for multiple content areas, are ideal for distance or in-person instruction and come with ready-to-use curricular supports for self-directed learning. All student media submissions will be published on the online nationwide showcase. Select challenge submissions will be aired on KQED broadcasts and shared with partner PBS and NPR stations around the country.

How to participate in a challenge


Select a challenge and sign up


Invite students to join in the challenge


Students create media


Approve student work and publish to KQED Learn showcase

Choose a Youth Media Challenge and get started!

Let’s Talk About Election 2020

Jan 20, 2020 - Jan 21, 2021

During this extraordinary time in our history, empower students to add their voices to the national discussion. In this challenge, co-hosted by the National Writing Project and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, students create audio or video commentaries addressing election topics from immigration to climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic and more.

Great for: English, ELD, social studies, journalism, media arts and science classes.

New Challenges coming soon!

Register for KQED Learn to be notified when these challenges go live.

Register Now

If Schools Could Dance

Oct 2020 - Jul 2021

KQED Arts digital video series If Cities Could Dance showcases the work and stories of dancers from cities around the country. In this challenge, students are invited to share individual or group dance routines that employ video production techniques including scene setting, framing and editing. Select pieces will be shared on KQED Arts channels.

Great for: dance, cheer, step, camps, classes and clubs.


Oct 2020 - Jun 2021

Students will submit personal audio stories in the style of KQED’s long-running radio commentary show, Perspectives. This challenge supports narrative writing standards and encourages the development of students’ authorial voices. Select pieces will be aired on Perspectives during KQED’s Youth Takeover week and throughout the year.

Great for: English, ELD, journalism, media arts and creative writing classes.

Audio Storytelling With The California Report Magazine

Oct 2020 - Jun 2021

Using the guidelines from KQED’s state-wide radio show and podcast The California Report Magazine, this challenge invites students to submit radio features using narrative, interview, ambient sound and music. Students will practice multi-media literacy, writing development and storytelling. Select pieces will be featured by The California Report during KQED’s Youth Takeover week and throughout the year.

Great for: English, ELD, journalism, media arts and creative writing classes.

Engineering for Good

Oct 2020 - Jun 2021

Students will identify a real world problem in their community, city or life that can be improved through engineering. Students will then solve their identified challenge through the engineering design process and create a graphic or video that communicates their problem and solution. Select pieces will be shared on KQED Science’s digital channels.

Great for: STEM/STEAM, science and engineering classes.

Political Cartooning With Mark Fiore

Jan 2021 - Jun 2021

Political cartoons give students a chance to comment on current or historical events with humor, satire and wit. Mark Fiore, KQED’s own political cartoonist, will walk students through the creation process in a curricular video series. Select pieces will be shared on KQED digital channels.

Great for: history, social studies, art and journalism classes.

Public media: Your partner in learning

KQED is a public media station with more than 65 years of experience serving educational content to children and schools. We created Youth Media Challenges to support educators’ efforts to teach media literacy by providing an audience beyond the classroom. Working with expert teachers and education partners, we’ve developed the content and teaching tools you’ll need to get your first (or fifth or fifteenth) media project off the ground and into feeds across the country.

KQED Youth Media Challenges are free, as are all of our classroom and professional development resources.