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Simplifying Science

Period. Start of Podcast.

This past winter, NPR held a podcasting contest, where they invited 5th – 12th graders from across the country to create original submissions about just about anything. The middle school winner, Sssh! Periods! is pure perfection. These girls tackle big issues as they relate to periods, like homelessness and income inequality. They also take on local stigmatization. In their own school, the subject of periods is so taboo that school officials have even taken to giving supplies such as pads and tampons a code name: marshmallows. Can you imagine the guts it took for these girls to talk openly – on a podcast, no less – about a topic that teachers and administrators won’t even acknowledge? A topic, by the way, that most of these adults contend with every month? Bravo, girls! And NPR, too, for recognizing their story.

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In the second-floor girls' restroom at Bronx Prep Middle School in New York, there's a sign taped to the back of the toilet stall doors. It's a guide on how to "properly dispose feminine products." On the list? "Make sure that no one views or handles product." "It's not even saying the word pad. It just says product! explains Kathaleen Restitullo, 13. "Just, like, don't let anyone see that you are on your period."

But Kathaleen and six of her…READ MORE