Northwood High Student Winner in NPR’s 2022 Student Podcast Challenge

Northwood High School student Teagan Nam is one of the grand prize winners of National Public Radio’s 2022 Student Podcast Challenge, NPR announced Monday.

Nam’s podcast, called Nervous Laughter, was inspired by a November 2021 incident that caused Northwood High to go into lockdown. School staff received an anonymous tip, searched a student, and discovered two rounds of ammunition, according to Montgomery County Police.

“Montgomery County Police were immediately contacted, and the student fled the campus,” MCPD said in a press release. “Northwood High School went into a shelter-in-place and during the course of the investigation, Forest Knolls elementary school was [also] placed on lockdown. A Montgomery County Police K-9 search recovered a handgun, which was located off school property. It has not been determined whether the handgun belonged to the student. Within an hour of the shelter-in-place, the student was taken into custody without incident. He was unarmed.”

“I was in the classroom right across from it,” Nam said to NPR, “so I could actually see through the window, them taking the student out.”

Nam said that they called the podcast Nervous Laughter because humor can often be cathartic. “Instead of just laughter – like there’s something funny – with nervous laughter, there’s something underneath,” Nam said. “You’re not laughing necessarily because something’s funny or because you’re having a relaxed good time, you’re laughing because you’re anxious and you’re trying to alleviate that.”

Graphic Courtesy of NPR

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