From Zero to Sixty

(Originally posted March 2, 2016)

February 29th, Leap Day, was the 60th day of 2016.  Which means that Monday was also a big milestone for our podcast: our 60th episode.

That means we’ve featured 60 women, and have produced 2.5 hours of content.  There are women from many walks of STEM to choose from and learn about, and it’s only going to get better as the year goes on.  I’m so proud of our team for having worked so hard and kept this project going.

Every day, that team’s efforts show up in your favorite podcast app just with the simple click of an “update” button.  But those two and a half minutes are more complicated than they seem.  For every episode, we have to:

-Comb through the list of women we want to feature to decide who will be assigned to each date.  This also involves checking every day of the year for historic events, or important birthdays, and anniversaries.

-Research the woman chosen, including reading her research if available and sometimes dozens of articles about her impact on history.

-Writing the script for each day.  That might seem easy, they’re only around 350 words, but that’s the hardest part because there is so much to say about most of these amazing scientists.

-Record the audio.  This can take anywhere from two to ten takes of each sentence, depending on the complexity.  For each 2.5 minutes of audio, I spend at least 15 either rehearsing or recording.

-Editing the audio to take the better versions of each sentence can take around a half hour per episode.

-The “explore further” section is manually chosen for every day, and not populated automatically, because we want the choices to be as useful as possible.

-Because of hours of work done by our webmaster in the weeks leading up to our launch and her hard work creating templates and working on the very detailed fine tuning of the design, it only takes a couple minutes to schedule each episode.

All of this amounts to a couple hours of work for each episode, every day.  Our fantastic team shares the burden, and everybody takes on as much of the responsibility as they can.  For that I’m eternally grateful, I never could have kept up this pace without them.  Right now everybody working on this project is not just volunteering their time, talents, and energy but has contributed financially to make the project happen too.

So now I’d love to see our audience coming together as well.  We’d love to have more suggestions of women to feature, right now our spreadsheet has 255 names on it.  That means we need just over 100 more women to make our year-long project a reality.  We find more names every day, but we want to know what you want to hear.  Please email us and tell us who your favorite woman in STEM is.

You also can really help by leaving a review on iTunes, the reviews on there are very powerful tools that help with placement so that podcasts can be discovered by new people.

Lastly, you can also support the podcast through direct donations.  Every dollar will help us make the podcast better and better, and will go a long way towards getting us to that finish line on December 31st.  If you believe in this project and what we’re doing, please consider a donation.  Everybody who donates gets a personalized thank you from me, and if we have your address I’ll send you one of our amazing logo stickers.

Again, thank you so much for listening and helping us make this experiment successful.  We look forward to 305 more fantastic episodes over the next ten months.