STEM Read on Location at C2E2-2020

by STEM Read staff

 Join STEM Read at C2E2-2020 this weekend!

The STEM Read team will be on location at C2E2-2020 this weekend on Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 1, hosting a panel, doing hands-on activities at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) booth, and recording interviews for the STEM Read Podcast and NIU STEAM’s sister podcast Failure Bites.

C2E2 Show Floor

We’re most excited to bring you our very first panel at C2E2! Check out the details below and join us to geek out about horror in the classroom with old friends like SWE, a 40,000 member organization founded in 1950 that strives to establish engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women, and new friends like Summer Scares, a reading program sponsored by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) in partnership with Library Journal and School Library Journal, United for Libraries, and Book Riot. Gillian will also reveal some of the stemtastic activities we’re cooking up for October 2020. Our STEM Read Official Selection for the fall is Daniel Kraus’ latest novel, Bent Heavens!!! We’ve been dying to share this with you. Here’s a rundown of our C2E2 activities. Put us on your schedule!

C2E2 Panel

STEM and the Scream: Harnessing Horror in the Classroom Saturday, February 29 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Room S503

From robot overlords to zombie pandemics to good-old-fashioned alien invasions, students are bombarded with ideas about the end of the world. STEM Read and our collaborators fed on the fun of the freak out and turned terror into teachable moments. At this interactive session, we’ll play some of the games and activities we’ve created around new and classic horror and hear from the creators themselves as we make a case for horror as a way to ensnare both ravenous and reluctant learners.


Gillian King-Cargile

Gillian King-Cargile is the author of several stories for adults and children. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University and is the founder and director of STEM Read at Northern Illinois University. Her short fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, River Styx, Every Day Fiction, HelloHorror and other publications. Gillian’s children’s books, The Toy and the Twister, The Toy and the Tide Pool, and The Toy and the Test Drive are published by NIU Press. She is passionate about creating frighteningly fun ways to get people excited about reading and learning.


Carolyn Ciesla

Carolyn Ciesla is the Dean of Learning Resources and Assessment at Prairie State College in the Chicago suburbs. Ciesla holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and an MLS from San Jose State University. Prior to working at PSC, she worked as a library and web services librarian and a teen librarian at public libraries in northern Illinois. She also has held positions at Stanford University, Georgetown University, and the International Coalition on Newspapers for the Center for Research Libraries. She’s a member of the American Library Association and the Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois Technology group. Ciesla also reviews horror titles for Booklist Magazine and is currently enjoying providing all the scary books to her teen daughter and revisiting a few along the way.

Daniel Kraus

Daniel Kraus is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is Bent Heavens, the STEM Read official selection for fall 2020.

Bent Heavens

With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored The Shape of Water, based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Kraus co-authored Trollhunters, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. Kraus’s The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch was named one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 10 Books of the Year in 2015, and he has won two Odyssey Awards (for both Rotters and Scowler) and has been a Library Guild selection, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Bram Stoker finalist, and more. Coming soon is The Living Dead, a posthumous collaboration with legendary filmmaker George A. Romero.

Karen Horting

Karen Horting, CAE, is Executive Director and CEO for SWE. She has a BS in Biology from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Before joining SWE, Horting was the Director of Strategic Planning at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) and managed marketing and fund development on a global level for Science’s Next Wave, a ground-breaking career development website for graduate students and postdocs in STEM. She currently serves on the FIRST Robotics Board of Directors, the Automation Federation Board of Directors, the STEM Ed Coalition Board of Directors, the Leadership Circle of the 50K Coalition, and is chair for the Association Forum’s Executive Women’s Forum. In 2019 she received the Association Forum’s Inspiring Leader award.

Rebecca C. Thompson

Rebecca C. Thompson has devoted her career to public engagement and education, despite being a physicist by training. After receiving an BA from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD in physics from the University of Texas at Austin, she joined the outreach team at the American Physical Society, where she authored the popular Spectra series about laser superhero, Spectra, and her battles with Miss Alignment and General Relativity. Thompson also had the unique job of being on panels at New York Comic-Con, Denver Pop Culture Con, and Comic-Con International. Her efforts at the University of Texas and The APS earned her the title of Fellow of the APS and lots of fond memories of the comic book world. In 2019, she left APS to head up the newly formed office of education and public outreach at Fermi National Accelerator Lab. This same year, she published her first popular science book, Fire, Ice, and Physics: The Science of Game of Thrones.

C2E2 Crowd Waiting for a Panel

You don’t want to miss out on this fun, fabulous STEM Read at C2E2-2020!