Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:35 AM


KRAAL, Erin, Department of Physical Science, Kutztown University, 425 Boehm, P.O. Box 730, Kutztown, PA 19530 and REGENSBURGER, Micheal, Kutztown University Radio (KUR) Station, Kutztown University, P.O. Box 730, Kutztown, PA 19530,

Mission to the Planets is a general education course with around 100 students each semester. To connect the course material across disciplines and provide students high impact learning opportunities, we developed a podcast series partnership between the academic course and campus radio station. Kutztown University Radio (KUR)’s purpose on campus is to provide a means of student training and experience in radio broadcasting, to provide a means of entertainment and information for the student body and community, to serve the public interest, and to be an instrument of expression for student, faculty, and community opinion.

The students developed a podcast series called Telescopic Topics with the goal of bringing planetary science and astronomy into focus, zooming in on interesting and unique views into the world above. Each student selects an individual topic, develops and records a short podcast accessible to the general public. With the support of the campus science reference librarian, students must research their topic using primary sources. The approximately 2 minute podcasts are then edited through an extensive peer review process. Ultimately the students record their podcast at the campus radio station.

The podcast series details, including theme music, art work, title, and blog header, were designed by an honor program section. The students consulted with radio station manager to discuss logos, titles, and background music. The opening and closing music credits is set to an original music composition by two music majors in the class.

Spring 2013 was the pilot year and the podcast began airing in June 2013. The response has been very positive and the partnership will continue – allowing students to conduct research and produce scientific writing that serves the needs of their broader community through public radio. The planetary science community benefits from enhanced exposure of planetary science topics as well as having non-science major students deeply engaged and connected to the field. Podcasts are hosted on the Kutztown University iTunes site accessible through the KUR website ( and the text and images of the podcast are available on the series blog (