by Seth Hall
Two South Plains College professors are finding new ways to connect with students.
One of these ways is that students are able to listen to podcasts hosted by their professors, often with material that can aid in learning. Kristin Bingham and Dr. Megan Keith, who are biology professors at SPC, host their podcast “Catabolic Conversations,” with new episodes produced every other week.
It gives students an additional extension for learning more about biology.
“We’re planning on doing it through the summer,” said Bingham,” and from now on, we’ll just have different topics every week that we’re releasing.”
With an average time of 30 to 40 minutes, each podcast is filled with plenty of information for students to take away. The idea behind these podcasts is there simply isn’t enough class time to truly cover all that can be learned, according to Bingham.
“There were things we wanted to talk to our students about that we just literally do not have time for,” said Bingham. “And so the podcast idea was born out of that need and that want to continue those conversations.”
Having this extra time to have students tune in gives the professors more chances to go even deeper into more complicated subjects. One of Bingham’s most relevant examples of how these podcasts are helping students is a previous wildlife trip taken with Dr. Keith.
“Dr. Keith and I were just having a conversation,” Bingham recalled, “and students were listening to us talk to each other, and they’re like, “We got more from that conversation between the two of you than we could have ever gotten just talking to you ourselves.”
The podcasts vary in topics, including DNA, DNA replication, and cellular respiration.
Some students may be curious about what “Catabolic Conversations” means. Catabolism means to break something down, which then leads to breaking down conversations.
“We’re taking big science ideas and we’re breaking them down into small, usable chunks of information that mean something, no matter what level of scientist you are,” said Bingham.
Bingham’s idea for the podcast is that two friends can have a discussion about subjects they find interesting and or apply to the class room, and anyone can make sense of it. Helping people be more educated with science is something everyone can benefit from, whether it be for in-class or real-world applications.
Bingham said being scientifically literate can help when discussing a subject such as vaccines and other hot topics. Not many people truly know what goes into them and why. Understanding the science behind them is crucial for forming an opinion on them. “Catabolic Conversations” started as a small podcast for two highly-educated scientists to freely discuss topics of their choosing in hopes that students or other professors could gather something from it. If a scientific podcast is for you, “Catabolic Conversations” can be found through various outlets such as Spotify, iTunes, or Iheartradio.
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