Millfield teacher and student collect coronavirus stories for ‘listening archive’
Aimee Coelho and Charlie Kilner have created a podcast from the stories they have collected from around the world
A student and teacher from Millfield School have created a ‘listening archive’ of stories from the coronavirus lockdown as a resource for history students of the future.
Media studies teacher Aimee Coelho and upper sixth student Charlie Kilner launched the platform which allows people around the world to record and upload their ‘coronavirus story’, which will become a virtual time capsule for the future.
The pair intend to collate the voice recording clips into a podcast for people to hear other’s experiences of the global pandemic.
Responses have come from around the world, including the UK, USA, Chile and even Palau, which is one of the few countries in the world not to have a confirmed case of Covid-19.
Coelho and Charlie devised their project in the last few days before Millfield School suspended lessons after the government instructed schools to shut for almost all pupils. Charlie is a computer science, business and media studies student and coded the website which allows people to record an audio file directly onto it by simply pressing a button.
When my media teacher suggested this project for me, I was really interested in helping out, not only to use my coding experience to benefit others, but also to hear the stories of those who are probably feeling those same emotions
The audio is then collected into a secure cloud storage system, where he and Coelho listen to the submitted stories each week to create a podcast from them. So far, they have created two podcast episodes.
In the most recent episode of the podcast, they heard from Tracy in Canada, who explains how her family have celebrated a very special birthday; Hannah from the UK, who explains how she started an exercise class from her garden for her neighbours; and Ryan from Micronesia, who explains what it is like to live in one of the few unaffected areas of the world.
Eighteen-year-old Charlie from Somerset said: “I am one of the 2020 sixth form leavers who has been left pretty sad and a little devastated after school ended so abruptly for us.
“When my media teacher suggested this project for me, I was really interested in helping out, not only to use my coding experience to benefit others, but also to hear the stories of those who are probably feeling those same emotions.”
Coelho said: “I’ve been wanting to develop a platform like this for a while after hearing an interview with dementia sufferers and how they wanted to tell their story. It seemed really apt to start work on it during the current times, but I very much hope it will become a useful platform to connect all kinds of communities.”