By Gillian King-Cargile, STEM Read Founder & Director
Season 3 of The STEM Read Podcast
Season 3 of the STEM Read Podcast starts now! Our latest episode is “Going Wild with Peter Brown and Dr. Holly Jones.” I’m really excited for folks to listen to this one. Joining me on these interviews are Kristin Brynteson, Director of Professional Development for NIU STEAM, and Melanie Koss, associate professor of literacy education in NIU’s College of Education.
We had a great talk with Holly Jones, an associate professor of Biology at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Jones specializes in island ecosystems, conservation, and sea birds. We talked with her about everything from mass extinctions being caused by invasive species to the ways your house cat could be a fuzzy little murder machine. We also talked about one of her favorite books, Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot. Dr. Jones shared her insights on why the book is a great way to get kids excited about getting out into nature, flipping logs, getting dirty, and exploring ecosystems.
After that, we talked with author and illustrator Peter Brown. Peter is the award winning creator of The Wild Robot, The Wild Robot Escapes, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, and several other books for young readers. He’s also the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor–winning picture book Creepy Carrots (written by Aaron Reynolds). Peter talked about his desire to contrast natural landscapes with the most unnatural thing he could think of: a robot. He also shared his anxiety about writing novels, revising them, and releasing them into the wild. His insights into the creative process will be inspiring for anyone who has struggled to define the point at which a project needs to be perfect and the point at which it needs to be DONE.