Stories from a K-6 Class: a Transmedia Project

This episode of Stuff You Pretend to Know is ASR’s first transmedia project. It is an audio/video/web-tour of this socioeconomically diverse K-6 class in a public school. It was designed, reported and produced by about 100 public school students ranging in age from 5 to 28.

We have developed this interactive website to document the role this class plays in the community. The K-6 students assisted us in our reporting and learned to report a few of their own stories as well. They have a lot to say, so head on over to to explore!

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Disproving Dale Takes on Infant Development

In 2009, a class action lawsuit against Walt Disney Company’s “Baby Einstein” revealed to the public that infant toys couldn’t prove to make your child smarter.

Photo by Malory Earl

Photo by Malory Earl

It’s now five years later and there is still a market for toys that promise to enrich your child’s development.  In this episode of Stuff You Pretend to Know, Neuroscientist Dale Sengelaub discusses whether or not these new toys can deliver on their promise.

Disproving Dale

Have you ever excused your bad math skills to being right-brained?


Photo by Megan Shank

If so, you are buying into the theory of lateralization of brain functions, most commonly known as the Right Brain/Left Brain theory.

This theory made headway in the 1960’s. Since then, it has found its way into textbooks and popular literature. You can even take quizzes online that will help determine if you are a logical Left-Brainer or a creative Right-Brainer.

However, take a closer look and you will see that the difference between these two types of people is not as clear-cut down the middle as you think.

This episode of Stuff You Pretend to Know was reported and produced by Megan Shank.

DIY Radio

Lynn Beavin | ASR

Lynn Beavin | ASR

In this episode of Stuff You Pretend to know, we investigate a few things  close to our hearts: inspiration, collaboration and how the line between makers and listeners of radio is blurring. Here we turn the mic back on itself, bringing you places from a blanket fort to “the Sundance of audio” festivals. Take a peek into our little do-it-yourself world here at American Student Radio. This is Stuff You Pretend to Know Radio. This episode was reported by ASR’s Lynn Beavin and produced by Lynn Beavin with help from Barton Girdwood.

Allyssa Pollard’s ShortDoc:


Eric Fancher’s ShortDoc:


Paige Wells’ ShortDoc:

“Lost (Backing Track Tribute to Frank Ocean)” by The Backing Trackers

Additional Content:
Want More?

*Please have a listen to one of Julie Shapiro’s favorite ShortDocs!

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Photo courtesy of DARPA

In this episode of Stuff You Pretend to Know, Kyle Clayton takes us into science fiction – but it’s REAL. From literal mind reading to things-you-use-every-day, meet  the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Let’s learn about brain control, Sputnik, Apple’s Siri technology and more. This episode was produced and hosted by ASR’s Kyle Clayton.

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Photo by Emily Wong Loi Sing | ASR

This month marks the 45th anniversary of 9-1-1 dispatching. In this episode of Stuff You Pretend To Know we take you to the Bloomington Indiana Dispatch Center to see how 9-1-1 calls work. We’ll talk with the head of dispatch Jeff Schemmer and dispatchers Brit, Cheryl, & Marie and hear how these gals stay sane on the job. This episode was reported and produced by Emily Wong Loi Sing, Allyssa Pollard & Martin Anguiano.

“Fire Burning” by Sean Kingston
“911” by Wyclef Jean ft. Mary J. Blige


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Photo by Emily Wong Loi Sing | ASR

In this episode of Stuff You Pretend to Know we examine a new initiative that lifts the threat of deportation for students who entered the country before they were 16. Over 1.7 million childhood immigrants could be affected. Thousands have applied for deferral, and lawyers have full caseloads processing the applications. Tune in and learn more about the initiative, immigration laws and the students affected by them. This episode was hosted by ASR Reporter Lauren Glapa and produced by  Senior Producer Emily Wong Loi Sing.

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Music Credits:
Kevin MacLeod, “Backed Vibes Clean”                                                                      Jahzzar, “Smoke Factory”

South Sudan

Photo by Olivia Corya | ASR

Meet the world’s newest country.

We made our world a little smaller doing this episode. Daniel Kuol is one of over 20 thousand Sudanese boys ripped away from their families at a young age. They were forced to flee the conflict on foot during Africa’s longest civil war. He tells us his story. And Assistant Professor of History at Indiana University Professor Michelle Moyd and former National Public Radio Africa Correspondent Gwen Tompkins help us understand the fight over resources that fueled the civil war.

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Nuclear Power

Photo by Olivia Corya | ASR

Yucca Mountain, fission, radioactive toothpaste?

Nuclear power is controversial. To some, it represents the answer to all our energy needs, but to others, it’s the beginning of the end of humanity. In this episode we try to sift through the hype and bring you the facts. You will hear what goes on inside a “splitting” atom, what it was like to live through the accident at Three Mile Island, and from the mouths of nuclear physicists. But first, brush your teeth.

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