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  1. Scott Pattison
  2. https://www.terc.edu/profiles/scott-pattison/
  3. Research Scientist
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. TERC
  1. Smirla Ramos Montañez
  2. https://www.terc.edu/profiles/smirla-ramos-montanez/
  3. Family STEM Learning Researcher
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. TERC
  1. Gina Svarovsky
  2. Associate Professor of the Practice
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Notre Dame

Storybook STEM: Professional Convening for Cross-Sector Understanding of Chil...

NSF Awards: 1902536

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Informal / multi-age

In December of 2019, TERC and the University of Notre Dame convened a group of 21 early childhood reading, family learning, and informal STEM education experts to explore the role of children’s fiction books as a tool for supporting STEM learning with young children and their families. Participants included educators and researchers from across the country representing a broad range of learning contexts, professional roles, audience focus areas, and STEM discipline expertise.Through the discussions, the group developed a series of recommendations for future work, with a particular focus on integrating diversity and equity perspectives into the use of storybooks for family STEM learning.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (43 posts)
  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 10, 2021 | 07:07 p.m.

    Thanks for watching our video from the Storybook STEM project. This was a small National Science Foundation-funded conference grant, so the video focuses on the key themes that emerged from the conference discussions and related activities. We are eager to hear how this relates to your work and other ways that researchers and educators are integrating stories and narratives with STEM learning for young children and their families.

    A few questions that we are particularly interested in based on what emerged from the project:

    • What are ways that STEM educators and researchers can broaden our ideas about narrative and story and connect with the storytelling practices that exist within families from different cultural communities?
    • What are new and innovative ways we can collaborate with families at every stage of developing, implementing, and studying projects involving storybooks and STEM?
    • How do our conceptualizations of and goals for STEM learning change when we think about the naturally interdisciplinary ways that families learn through books and stories?
    • What are the unique ways that stories and narratives can be leveraged to frame and motivate learning within each STEM discipline—for example, how might stories be integrated for math learning versus an engineering design challenge?

     For more information about Storybook STEM, please visit the project website.

     
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    Sasha Palmquist
  • Icon for: Amy Alznauer

    Amy Alznauer

    Facilitator
    Lecturer
    May 11, 2021 | 08:27 a.m.

    Good Morning Everyone!

    This is a presentation after my own heart. You had me from: “One powerful entry point … is stories.” And I love that you are looking to fiction for STEM content, noting that often it is the emotional impact of a story that really engages students in the subject. Your project was really about idea generation and seemed to result in a focus on families and on equity and inclusion. Questions:

    Could you say a bit more about how you envision working with families? Through what types of programming and what venues (preschools, libraries, community centers …) do you imagine engaging families and young children?

    And then, how would you imagine measuring the impact of this programming? I know your summit was for brainstorming and the drafting of recommendations, but I am curious to know how you imagine these ideas traveling into practice.

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 11:08 a.m.

    Great to meet you, Amy, and thanks for your interest in our project. Our primary goal for this work was to inspire others, so we don't have a specific vision for how folks will use the findings to work with families or how they will measure  impact. That being said, the discussions have informed our other current projects, including Head Start on Engineering. For that project, we are pushing ourselves to rethink how we partner with parents, such as highlighting the expertise that they already have around engineering (the content focus for that project) and providing avenues for them to share this knowledge directly with other parents and educators (e.g., home-made videos, parent discussion groups). We are also trying to better balance how we measure outcomes based on our own goals for the project as well as the goals that families have. In the most recent iteration of our in-depth interview protocol, we ask parents to talk about why they originally chose to join the program and then have them rate how well the program activities supported those goals. Not only has this been a valuable measure of success, but it has also been a great way of catalyzing discussions with parents about their experience with the project.

    I'm also curious what you and others have been thinking about in these areas...

  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 11, 2021 | 10:57 a.m.

    Hi Scott,

    I don't think we've met, but I know your work.

    I do want to know how you've used the results from this conference in your more recent work.

     

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 11:16 a.m.

    Great to meet you, George, and thanks for your interest in our project. Of course, I'm very familiar with your work, as well!

    The discussions have informed are thinking on many projects, including Head Start on Engineering and REACH-ECE. For both projects, we have been trying to expand the way we think about story and narrative in relationship to supporting family engagement with engineering design. In the past, many of the activities developed through the research have used physical storybooks to motivate and frame engineering challenges for families. More recently, however, we have been experimenting with songs, narrative elements without a full story (e.g., stuffed animals that children use to create their own stories), and connections to family everyday storytelling (e.g., planning a taco party for family and friends). It's been interesting to see how different families connect with these different approaches in very unique ways or gravitate to particular forms of story but not others. Also, we have been trying to better recognize and support the multiple goals families have for storytelling beyond our own engineering engagement goals. For example, many Spanish-speaking families use stories and conversations to reinforce language learning in both English and Spanish for their children (especially around bilingual books).

    Does this resonate with any of the work you have been involved with recently?

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Sasha Palmquist
  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 11, 2021 | 01:34 p.m.

    Scott,

    Thanks for asking. but I haven't been involved with any relevant projects on these issues at all recently. (I do give my grandchildren and great-grandchildren books.)

  • Icon for: Kris Morrissey

    Kris Morrissey

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 01:04 p.m.

    In graduate school I took a class on children’s literature and as a parent and grandparent, I know the power of stories and children’s books to expand (or distort) how children see the world. I am excited to hear more discussion about this project.

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 04:43 p.m.

    Thanks, Kris. Great to see you at the video showcase!

  • Small default profile

    Patricia Author

    May 11, 2021 | 01:52 p.m.

    Hi Scott--

    I'm so excited you're working on STEM stories for children. After studying your resource list, I noticed that only 28.6% of your recommend titles are nonfiction. However, most of them are older books that don’t reflect the recent transformation in children’s nonfiction. As a STEM nonfiction author, I would like to ask you to incorporate more nonfiction titles into your Storybook STEM program and share with young readers this new body of info-licious work written by a diverse array of authors. These books are the perfect way to achieve your goal of fueling a child’s curiosity and inspiring a love of the natural world.

    Enriching Storybook STEM with nonfiction would support the current emphasis on informational reading and writing in state ELA curriculum standards, but more importantly, it would honor the growing body of research indicating that the younger a child is, the greater their preference for nonfiction.

    For example, when kindergarten teacher Marlene Correia tracked her students’ library check-outs for three and one-half months, she discovered that they selected significantly more nonfiction than fiction. Researcher Katherine A. J. Mohr found that more than 80% of first graders chose to read nonfiction. Another study shared on NPR found that children ages four to seven were “significantly more likely to prefer fact over fiction.” A three-year study published in Teacher Librarian concluded that more than 40% of students in grades one to six opted for nonfiction books when reading for pleasure. As Heather Simpson, the Chief Program Officer of Room to Read notes, “Children want their nonfiction books, adults may be their barriers.”

    Today’s nonfiction has grown and evolved from the traditional nonfiction we read as kids. The nonfiction published now delights as it informs, and the abundance and range of titles is breathtaking, especially in STEM books. Because I believe so strongly that Storybook STEM readers deserve access to high-quality STEM nonfiction titles written by a diverse array of authors, my colleague Melissa Stewart and I would like to volunteer to develop a list of engaging nonfiction titles that would work well for your program. 

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Small default profile

    Patricia Author

    May 11, 2021 | 01:52 p.m.

    Hi Scott--

    I'm so excited you're working on STEM stories for children. After studying your resource list, I noticed that only 28.6% of your recommend titles are nonfiction. However, most of them are older books that don’t reflect the recent transformation in children’s nonfiction. As a STEM nonfiction author, I would like to ask you to incorporate more nonfiction titles into your Storybook STEM program and share with young readers this new body of info-licious work written by a diverse array of authors. These books are the perfect way to achieve your goal of fueling a child’s curiosity and inspiring a love of the natural world.

    Enriching Storybook STEM with nonfiction would support the current emphasis on informational reading and writing in state ELA curriculum standards, but more importantly, it would honor the growing body of research indicating that the younger a child is, the greater their preference for nonfiction.

    For example, when kindergarten teacher Marlene Correia tracked her students’ library check-outs for three and one-half months, she discovered that they selected significantly more nonfiction than fiction. Researcher Katherine A. J. Mohr found that more than 80% of first graders chose to read nonfiction. Another study shared on NPR found that children ages four to seven were “significantly more likely to prefer fact over fiction.” A three-year study published in Teacher Librarian concluded that more than 40% of students in grades one to six opted for nonfiction books when reading for pleasure. As Heather Simpson, the Chief Program Officer of Room to Read notes, “Children want their nonfiction books, adults may be their barriers.”

    Today’s nonfiction has grown and evolved from the traditional nonfiction we read as kids. The nonfiction published now delights as it informs, and the abundance and range of titles is breathtaking, especially in STEM books. Because I believe so strongly that Storybook STEM readers deserve access to high-quality STEM nonfiction titles written by a diverse array of authors, my colleague Melissa Stewart and I would like to volunteer to develop a list of engaging nonfiction titles that would work well for your program. 

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 04:48 p.m.

    Hi, Patricia. Thanks for your interest in our project. Our convening was meant to synthesize ideas in the field and inspire the next generation of work by educators and researchers. The list of resources provided on the website was summarized from our national survey and discussions during the online forum and in-person discussions associated with the project. So, they represent ideas from the field rather than our own recommendations. I think exploring the importance of non-fiction books is a great opportunity. Hopefully others in the video showcase can share ways they have used both fiction and non-fiction books in their programs or research studies.

  • Icon for: Kris Morrissey

    Kris Morrissey

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 04:11 p.m.

    In graduate school I took a class on children’s literature and as a parent and grandparent, I know the power of stories and children’s books to expand (or distort) how children see the world. I am excited to hear more discussion about this project.

  • Icon for: Nancy Songer

    Nancy Songer

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 11, 2021 | 04:45 p.m.

    Great topic, TERC and Notre Dame. I am curious what research questions you are asking and what early results you have realized? Thanks. 

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 04:56 p.m.

    Thanks for your interest in our project, Nancy. I know several of the convening participants are working on new programs and research studies. Here are a few questions that emerged from the discussions beyond the equity-oriented recommendations outlined in the video:

    Focus Area 1: Research to identify effective approaches for empowering parents and communities through storybooks and making family stories and practices visible and valued

    1. What are the existing family practices and knowledge related to STEM (or more broadly) that can be supported by books and stories?
    2. How can researchers effectively collaborate with practitioners and families throughout the research process?
    3. What is the alignment (and misalignment) between approaches and communities?

    Focus Area 2: Research to investigate the role of books, story, and narrative across different STEM domains and for different goals

    1. What are effective strategies for integrating books and stories with other activities and programs?
    2. How does the potential role of stories and narrative vary across STEM disciplines?
    3. What are effective approaches to balancing multiple goals (e.g., STEM learning, cultural relevance, engagement and interest, literacy development) when selecting, incorporating, and studying stories and STEM?

    You can find more details in the final project report.

    Do any of these questions connect with the work you are currently doing?

     
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    Amy Alznauer
  • Icon for: Amy Alznauer

    Amy Alznauer

    Facilitator
    Lecturer
    May 11, 2021 | 09:30 p.m.

    Patricia Author - I am just wondering if you might be the Patricia I know from SCBWI-IL? If so, I would love to collaborate with you and Melissa Stewart on that list of nonfiction titles and possibly collaborate in some way with this project.

    And Scott, I wonder if you have encountered this fantastic program: https://stemread.com/ It seems quite aligned with your goals. 

     

     

  • Small default profile

    Patricia Newman

    May 12, 2021 | 12:53 p.m.

    Hey Amy-

    Thanks for your reply. I'm an SCBWI member, but in northern California. Please contact me via email. My address is on my website: Home - Patricia Newman (patriciamnewman.com). Have a great day!

  • Small default profile

    Patricia Newman

    May 12, 2021 | 12:53 p.m.

    Hey Amy-

    Thanks for your reply. I'm an SCBWI member, but in northern California. Please contact me via email. My address is on my website: Home - Patricia Newman (patriciamnewman.com). Have a great day!

  • May 12, 2021 | 09:02 a.m.

    Scott, thanks for this video! Penny Noyce has written many STEM novels for middle school kids, and we're trying to figure out how to do research on the importance of narrative as a focus for afterschool clubs that also involve a lot of data activities.  The question you raise about "balancing multiple goals" when reading such stories is one that resonates with us. Any suggestions about doing this would be appreciated!

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Amy Alznauer
  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 12, 2021 | 03:55 p.m.

    Great to hear from you, Jan! Sounds like a fascinating project. It may be worthwhile to start by better understanding the narrative and storytelling practices of the youth and families participating in the clubs. Then you could identify opportunities to investigate further. Another idea that occurs to me is to do some participatory research with youth to develop relevant narratives with them that connect to data. This might also help connect the data exploration activities to problems and stories relevant to the community. Or it might surface ways for youth to use data to tell stories that are important to them. I'd love to brainstorm more offline. You might also want to talk to Dorothy Bennett at NYSCI or Catherine Haden at Loyola University. They have both been doing some interesting work integrating narrative into engineering and making activities.

     
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    Amy Alznauer
  • Icon for: Aditi Wagh

    Aditi Wagh

    Researcher
    May 13, 2021 | 10:04 a.m.

    Hi Scott -

    We've briefly met at TERC when I was collaborating with Eli Tucker-Raymond a couple of years ago. Loved the video - exciting stuff! I have a lot of questions, but let me start with two: 1. Was there any conversation about the role of storybooks for STEM learning in classrooms? I can imagine it being particularly powerful in elementary/upper elementary classrooms; and, 2. How do your team see the role of "storybooks" as different from/related to the discourse practices of storytelling and storymaking in STEM learning? 

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful work!

     

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 13, 2021 | 10:59 a.m.

    Hi Aditi,

    Great to hear from you again. And thanks for your interest in our project. In response to your first question, most of the research on storybooks and STEM has actually been in the classroom. So our focus was more on family learning in out-of-school settings. That being said, I think the lessons are still applicable across formal and informal education contexts. Classroom work often focuses on storybook read-alouds by teachers. I think much more exploration could be done on different ways of integrating story and narrative and drawing from the storytelling practices of families to inform classroom teaching.

    To your second question, I agree that storybooks are closely tied to the discourse practices of storytelling and storymaking. That was one of they key areas of discussion during the convening: moving away from a traditional idea of storybooks and thinking about story more broadly. Is there work on the discourse practices of storytelling and storymaking that you know of and could share with this group?

  • May 13, 2021 | 01:20 p.m.

    Scott,

     Excellent and important project!  My Masters is in Children's Lit with a thesis on interactive factors within narrative, specifically to explore media that develop reader discussion topics for STEM. 

    Exploring “storybooks” is harder than one would think…and certainly an important sector of developing individual learning.  I research two areas that you requested for info in the discussion boards with your focus areas for input;

    Focus Area 2: Research to investigate the role of books, story, and narrative across different STEM domains and for different goals

    1. What are effective strategies for integrating books and stories with other activities and programs?
    2. How does the potential role of stories and narrative vary across STEM disciplines?

    The term storybooks spans the “picturebook” and Young Adult areas with a broad vision as the term “story” has an expectation of a fictional structure which is carefully developed to bridge the author, reader/speaker and the listener, inviting each to share their experiences and enjoy the process of reading. 

       Strategies for integrating books and stories with activities requires allowing a stretch from the “decoding” to interact with full senses as well as multiple views of the primary character with the characters involved connecting or depicting with the age and interest of the listener. This enables them to “act out” areas or at least reflect on them from their experience.  Reaching programs is an issue of balancing the topic with the image that is “realistic” in action and relating favorably to the story events.  Yes…fear but realistic management of that issue with an outcome that the listerner accepts as positive..not told to feel that ending.

     

    The role of storybooks that partner with illustrators to write may be either fiction or non-fiction from the adult method of defining materials as all fiction is an attempt to take a situation and “try it out” in a way that may be shared between these three stakeholders that “entertains” by the narrative while engaging at a pace of illustration to match the pace of the story.  Elements of facts have to be pared down or eliminated by the illustrations. 

     

     Balancing the purchaser or formal educator adds yet another difficult measurement to how equitable fine books that fall into the hands of learners are written, published and on the shelf. Measuring from shelf selection is something I hope you will expand in your project.  What are your next steps?

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 13, 2021 | 10:10 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Betsy. I'm looking forward to checking out your video. Have you published any work recently that you could post to this discussion board?

    As for next steps, our primary goal for this conference project was to inspire and advance the work of others--both researchers and educators. In my own projects, we are currently investigating a variety of ways to integrate narrative elements into engineering activities for preschool-age children and their families and exploring how these elements support engineering design practices in different ways. I'm also interested in the role of story and narrative as a research method and an approach to engaging parents in participatory research and program development approaches (e.g., allowing space for parents to tell their stories as part of the research or highlighting their experiences with STEM through video-based storytelling). I welcome ideas from the group about these and other potential lines of inquiry.

  • May 15, 2021 | 10:03 a.m.

    Holly and Bob have been involved in multiple ventures over the years and continue to extend their connections. Thanks for sharing the links. Developing multiple entry forms is an ongoing art and science practice of observation and willingness to chance unexplored ventures and sharing as colleagues in research.

    The question of publication is kindly addressed by Bob, linking to his NSTA middle school article published this spring.  If you view the pictures, you will see three young children in a family who joined the data collection while out to fish off the same dock.   Engaging them and their parents was easy and a change for all of us. Roles that fit their experience, yet push to the “unexpected” are remembered.  Originally the sensors where offered at the NSTA tradeshow with Hobo Henry, pictured in the article with a storybook of how the sensors saved the day in various adventures as he rode the rails. 

    He also carried data loggers into position in the across country data collection of the 2017 eclipse with extended discussion on the NSTA’s list serve. The data was all remarkable, yet similar but the stories from each part of the pathway  in are in multiple  forms.-poetry, myths and 3D visuals.

    We continually include ELA connections with our projects, adding a bookshelf/roundtable discussion to the science classrooms, reviewing books and alternating presentations at NSTA and literary association meetings. Our first state project (2009) involved integrating EIE materials, a grant from Boston Museum of Science which formed the base topic of Elementary level which we augmented with toolkit items and book extensions.  The continued engagement with varied outreach includes preparing for safe/privacy  online (middle school) discussion of projects and media. 

    Working with other authors, illustrators and storytellers, with teaching and family experience (Shelby Mahan, Taylor Morrison and Odds Bodkin) has developed a discussion on media changes and expectation. You hear the voice of Amanda Cockrell in our video and the fellow with the bike has sent nearly daily data with photos from his Covid experience locked down as a scuba instructor.  His photo this week showed the new type of lights on the docks that are “turtle friendly” luminous.  We are following the turtle nesting reaching North Carolina beaches this week and will place data loggers out to capture the temps/light in nesting locations.   Data is part of STEM however without the story…and experiences the numbers lose their impact.  Keep up the great project!

  • Icon for: Lisette Torres-Gerald

    Lisette Torres-Gerald

    Researcher
    May 13, 2021 | 04:18 p.m.

    Great video and project, Scott and Smirla!

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 13, 2021 | 10:01 p.m.

    Thanks so much, Lisette!

  • Icon for: Bob Riddle

    Bob Riddle

    Column Editor
    May 14, 2021 | 10:49 a.m.

    Hello,
    Betsy asked me to post some comments about the work we have shared over the last few years.
    What I am describing is how we combined motion and sound data, visuals, and music into performances under a Planetarium Dome.
    I met Betsy, don't remember how, but it was by way of a high-altitude balloon project I was involved with. Betsy sent us data loggers we attached to the payload package. They collected motion data throughout the ascent and descent. We also had cameras as part of the payload for recording pictures and video. While from Betsy's perspective collecting motion, light, and sound data was a high priority our data priority were the visuals. We had two successful flights: one landed 10 miles away, the 2nd one went from the western Kansas City, MO suburbs to almost the Illinois River on the other side of Missouri. I worked with a group of musicians and students from several high schools. Work on the payload and other components was done at a local hobby shop.
    What was done with the data collected was made into a full-dome video, Ascent, that was accompanied by a live performance of music written specifically for the video. This led to our being invited to launch a balloon from Kauffman Stadium during an event hosted by a local TV station called "School Day at the K." We launched the balloon equipped with a TV camera for live broadcasts from the balloon. These were displayed periodically on the large screens. One of my columns that year was about the balloon project.

    Here is a link to that column:http://currentsky.com/Scope-on-the-skies/2012/nov12-ascent.pdf
    This was a collaboration between me, as the Astronomer/graphics editor and a group of musicians. Collectively we called ourselves Dark Matter. The Ascent production was our second collaboration - the first was called Orbit and were several full-dome videos about our solar system accompanied with original music.
    Some of the music were space sounds, radio and other instrument sounds, as well as some electronic wizardry during the performance.
    Betsy and I co-authored a column about the use of data collectors: Give them the Tools
    Here is a link to the Dark Matter videos stored in my cloud:Dark Matter Videos

  • Icon for: Holly Ralph

    Holly Ralph

    May 14, 2021 | 12:22 p.m.

    I too have used Betsy's loggers.   Over a year ago I was asked to train some teachers in Moosonee on James Bay in February!   The trip there was epic and it was 40 below the 3 days I was there.  There are lots of stories about the Hudson's Bay Company (this was one of their original posts) and one could have great discussions about the STEM skills they needed to fix things in the wilderness under brutal conditions.

    I also put loggers on my motorcycles for cross-country trips.  In 1916, the Van Buren sisters rode 2 motorcycles from Manhattan to San Francisco.  One sister went to the factory first to learn how to be a mechanic since there was no AAA to come to the assistance when (not if) they broke down.  In  2016, I rode with a group of others, including descendants of the sisters, on the route the sisters took.  It was so much easier now, but we still needed some mechanical skills.   A photographer rode with us and published a picture book of our ride.  You can read about the Van Buren Sisters and other early women long-distance women riders in Grace and Grit by William M. Murphy.  As Augusta Van Buren said  "Woman can if she will."

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 14, 2021 | 06:55 p.m.

    Thank you, Bob and Holly, for sharing these stories and resources. They seem like great examples of how we expand our ideas about storytelling within the context of STEM education.

  • Icon for: Pendred Noyce

    Pendred Noyce

    Founder and Executive Director
    May 16, 2021 | 08:25 a.m.

    I'm glad to see so much exchange about the value of story in STEM and suggestions of directions in which it should go. I also agree with those who say that for picture books, fiction and non-fiction can be equally engaging and beautiful, and of course non-fiction has the advantage that science content can be more directly addressed.

    At Tumblehome Books, we focus solely on science-related books, and we focus especially on middle-grade books, including fiction with a science theme. Most recently this has led us to a project using a just-in-time novel about epidemics to pair with a series of club activities teaching data literacy. (You can find this in our video.) We are always open to talking with authors to develop books or researchers to develop projects! www.tumblehomebooks.org.

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 17, 2021 | 11:37 a.m.

    Thanks for shairing, Pendred. I'm curious, as a publisher, what has been your experience finding ways to increase the diversity of children's book authors or collaborating directly with families in the development of children's books?

  • Icon for: Martin Storksdieck

    Martin Storksdieck

    Facilitator
    Director
    May 16, 2021 | 04:16 p.m.

    I am so glad to see the connection between Scott/Smirla/Gina and Penny/Jan. There are so many questions around the role of storytelling in STEM engagement, and I want to add that Judy Koke and I had done a lot of formative work on the Charlie an Kiwi's Evolutionary Adventure object theatre and subsequent children's book. The big question for all of us (beyond the motivational one, which seems clear): how does the overall narrative or story aid in the conceptual understanding of a larger concept?  

  • Icon for: Holly Ralph

    Holly Ralph

    May 16, 2021 | 05:38 p.m.

    the tumblehome books look like a great resource, @Pendred Noyce.  Thanks for the link.  @Marin Storksdieck, there are probably infinite ways the narrative aids in conceptual understanding.   Any of the myths that explain natural phenomena are good examples.   How does one explain that Hawaii is on a hot spot and the island is the result of volcanic activity from that?  The geology is interesting but the concept becomes clearer when we see two sisters fighting; Pele the goddess of fire is building land, while Namaka the goddess of fire is trying to destroy it.  Pele wins while the island is directly over the hot spot, but as the island drifts away Namaka gains the upper hand.

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 17, 2021 | 11:43 a.m.

    Adding to this thread from Holly and Martin, one of the Storybook STEM convening participants, Deborah Kelemen, has lead a number of studies looking at the impact of books on children's understanding of evolution. Definitely worth checking out her research. There was also some interesting discussion during the convening about whether or not conceptual understanding should be a primary goal for these book-based experiences or if educators should focus more on STEM-related processes and practices. For example, see the work of Julia Plummer who also participated in the meeting.

  • Icon for: Martin Storksdieck

    Martin Storksdieck

    Facilitator
    Director
    May 17, 2021 | 01:46 p.m.

    We certainly found in our work that it was the narrative that allowed for kids to understand the broader concepts, and that does not surprise (it merely confirms). That said, I am always a little weary of conversations that ask whether X or Y should be the goal since the answer is invariably Yes. I think a useful question is: If X is your goal, how can I optimize what I do toward X. In other words: it is great that some pursue processes and practices as goals, others declarative knowledge, still others conceptual understanding (that was us), and yet others maybe more attitudinal or identity-related goals. They are all good and valid. The question is how storytelling supports them (or not). Alas, I can see how conversations arise in which people advocate for specific goals. I can see this happening when other goals are perceived as dominant and overbearing. Back to Julia: storytelling is a great way to address process, which is why NOVA and such have been focused on it so much.

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 17, 2021 | 09:56 p.m.

    Point well taken, Martin. And looking back at the project recommendations, I think it's also important to explore what goals families have for these experiences (usually multiple) and how these relate to those of the educators or researchers.

  • Icon for: Tracey Sulak

    Tracey Sulak

    Researcher
    May 17, 2021 | 12:50 p.m.

    Very interesting work! Do you have any suggestions for recruiting families into similar programs? Recruiting is always a challenge because some families are harder to reach than others and this creates an equity problem from the start. 

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 17, 2021 | 10:02 p.m.

    Thanks for your interest in the project, Tracey. Here are a few ideas based on the equity-oriented discussions we had during the convening:

    • Partner with community-based organizations that families trust
    • Go where families are, not where you want them to be
    • Make sure your team reflects the diversity of the community you want to work with
    • Give first before asking for time and information from families
    • Think about relationship building as a long-term process (and commitment)
    • Provide incentives that are meaningful to families
    • Emphasize how the work will give back to the community (and stay true to that vision)
    • Collaborate with a small group of family or community leaders that can then spread the word
    • Acknowledge and actively try to disrupt the harm that past research and education efforts have done to the community

    I'm sure others in the showcase have additional thoughts!

  • Icon for: Hsiu-Wen Yang

    Hsiu-Wen Yang

    Researcher
    May 17, 2021 | 03:03 p.m.

    What a wonderful project!  We (STEMIE) are also creating storybook resources for young children with and without disabilities. https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu/resources?f%5B0%5D=field_routines_everyday_activity%3A64 

    Do you have any suggestions for families who are not able to afford buying books? 

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 17, 2021 | 10:09 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this great resource, Hsiu-Wen. I agree that access to and affordability of books is an important issue to consider. In our projects, books have always been a free resource that has been provided to families (in the language of their preference). More broadly, one of the recommendations that emerged from the Storybook STEM convening was exploring other ways of helping families incorporate stories into their STEM learning or leveraging the storytelling practices that already exist within families. In our work with Head Start, families and staff recommended that we consider songs as a narrative inspiration that would resonate with families. We have been experimenting with basing some of our engineering design activities on songs that are familiar to either English- or Spanish-speaking families (e.g., Pollitos Dicen). Finally, I would say libraries are a great resource for connecting families with books and encouraging story-based STEM learning.

  • Icon for: Monika Mayer

    Monika Mayer

    Education Consultant / External Evaluator
    May 18, 2021 | 06:55 p.m.

    Great video and exciting project! I met you years ago as a participant in the Math in the Making Convening. Integrating storybooks to connect youth and families to STEM has always been important in my work. I really appreciate that your project allowed you to convene a group of experts to identify solutions with a focus on broadening participation. Thanks for sharing your findings on recruiting. I couldn't agree more. I am glad you mentioned libraries as a resource for connecting families to books and encouraging story-based STEM-learning, especially families who might not be able to afford buying books. In a current project around family engineering  we launched a partnership with local libraries and are planning to combine our programming with a summer reading program. Here is the link to our video:
    https://stemforall2021.videohall.com/presentati...
    Do you have any suggestions for us for a collaboration with the summer reading program?

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 18, 2021 | 07:14 p.m.

    Great to hear from you again, Monika. This sounds like an exciting project. I'm looking forward to watching the video and learning more.

    In terms of collaborating on the summer reading program, this is making me think of insights shared by Gigliana Melzi during the convening. She gave a great summary of the early childhood reading research, which is outlined in the project report. During her talk, she said we need to balance the strong research findings about the importance of reading for early child development with the alternative perspective that book reading is a culturally situated practice not shared across all communities. I wonder what this balance would look like for a summer reading program? What ways could the program both encourage reading for families but also acknowledge and support other types of narrative and storytelling practices? Just some initial thoughts. Looking forward to hearing what comes out of it!

  • May 18, 2021 | 07:41 p.m.

    As the time period for discussion ends I'm pleased to see Scott state based on the the project report " During her talk, she said we need to balance the strong research findings about the importance of reading for early child development with the alternative perspective that book reading is a culturally situated practice not shared across all communities. I wonder what this balance would look like for a summer reading program?"

    Story telling is an old art that is important to include in ELA as a tool..but had uniquely been altered by technology.   Story tellers watch their audience and have "milestones" in their story to access involvement.  Written stories add illustrations at hard to translate pieces of an event.  These two processes have been the challenge of publishers to build products for one on one transition to reading.   Readers who know those who are listening find their milestones  in how the tell their story...and embellish it.    Those who  are reading to an unknown audience can figure the interest out.   Those who feel that telling a story simply from their stage or in concept of the stereotype of the audience may be published...but do a disservice to the idea of story delivery.

    Thank you for studying the full concept.

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