The STEM Read Podcast: Speaking Up Without Talking Down

Episode 6: Speaking Up Without Talking Down with Ruth Spiro and Paul Kassel

This week’s episode starts with a reflection on the widespread accusations of sexual misconduct in the children’s publishing industry. Gillian (@gkingcargile) shares her thoughts on The Maze Runner and discusses what STEM Read is doing in response to revelations about author James Dashner. We’re putting together a full episode on the collision of the #MeToo Movement and Children’s Literature in the coming weeks.

Then Gillian and Kristin (@kbrynteson) talk with NIU’s Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Paul Kassel about the importance of performance in communicating science. Next, Ruth Spiro joins us to talk about communicating complex science ideas to young children through her Baby Loves Science books.  

Northern Illinois University’s STEM Read is part of the NIU STEAM family of programs that explore science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. Find more great books, lesson plans, and resources at

The STEM Read Podcast is produced in collaboration with WNIJ.

Notes & External Links

·       You can learn more about #MeToo in publishing here and here

·       Dashner’s Public Statement

·       Learn more about NIU’s College of Visual & Preforming Arts

·       Vampire Lesbians of Sodom is TOTALLY real and TOTALLY crazy

·       More on Charles Busch

·       The Macaques Monkey

·       More on Mirror Neurons

·       Are you grabbing for your water bottle now?

·       What is the Suspension of Disbelief

·       Stony Brook Medical Center

·       The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

·       What is Second City?

·       Can you list the 7 Aspects of Spontaneity?

·       About that duck study…

·       Here are some tips to conquering stage fright

·       Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is a production of The Food Network

·       More on the Cult of Jargon

·       What are soft skills?

·       Baby Love Science and Made by Maxine by Ruth Spiro

·       We have a variety of those awesome STEM classes here at NIU! 

·       Prefer to get STEM-Y at home? Check out our lesson plans!

·       What is FermiLab?

·       You can learn more about NIU’s MBA program here

·       Carolyn Crimi

·       SCBWI L.A. Conference

·       Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel

·       Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

·       What is object permanence?

·       Why can babies grasp gravity so early on?

What are the benefits of interdisciplinary learning