The STEM Read Podcast - Games, Goldfish, and Greatness

Episode 12: Games, Goldfish, and Greatness with Filament Games and Jennifer L. Holm

Sometimes the greatest discoveries have humble beginnings. A man with a messy lab and a moldy petri dish could discover of a life-saving medicine. A woman toiling away in a leaky shed could alter our understanding of radioactive materials. A teenage girl’s experience as a candy striper could send her on a career path that veers away from medicine and into writing children’s literature. A college drop-out could change the way video games help kids learn. The world is full of the possible and the unexpected. In this episode we talk to people who have embraced the possible in their careers and their creative pursuits.  

We talk with author Jennifer L. Holm (@jenniholm) to discuss her novel, The Fourteenth Goldfish, and the newly released sequel The Third Mushroom. These fun, fiction books for middle graders tell the story of Ellie and her scientist grandfather who has suddenly reversed his own aging process and is forced to attend her middle school. Fun adventures and cool facts about famous scientists follow as Ellie and her teenage grandpa bond over science, ethics, friend drama, and cafeteria food. 

Then we chat with Dan Norton (@filanorton) and Ethan Cayko (@ethan_cayko) from Filament Games about their new VR game Breaking Boundaries, which explores the lives of three famous female scientists: Marie Curie, Grace Hopper, and Jane Goodall. Dan and Ethan will talk about how they created the game and demystify video game careers. 

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 stemread.com.  

The STEM Read Podcast is produced in collaboration with WNIJ.

Notes & External Links

·      Check out our lesson plan for Filament Game's Breaking Boundaries

·      Learn more about Jennifer L. Holm

·      The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm

·      Who were Candy Stripers?

·      What is an agar plate?

·      Fall down the rabbit hole of life extension research

·      What is Argonne National Lab?

·      What is failure-based learning? 

·      Babymouse Series by Jennifer L. Holm

·      Who is Jonas Salk?

·      Who is J. Robert Oppenheimer?

·      Who is Alexander Fleming?

·      Who is Caroline Herschel?

·       Who is William Herschel?

·      Learn more about Filament Games

·      Learn more about Dan Norton

·      Learn more about Ethan Cayko

·      What is VR?

·      Explore the world of Breaking Boundaries!

·      What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee

·      What are intrinsic and extrinsic Rewards?

·      What is Oculus?

·      Visit the Jane Goodall Institute

·      Who is Jane Goodall?     

·      Who is Grace Hopper? 

·      Who is Marie Curie?

·      Here’s one of many great Grace Hopper picture books!

·      What is non-linear story telling?

·      What goes into making a video game?

·      What does the live of a video game designer look like?

·      What does life as a video game programmer look like?

·      What does the life of a video game illustrator look like? 

·      What does the life of a video game sound engineer look like?

·      What does the life of a video game producer look like?

·      What does the life of a  video game quality assurance person look like?

·      That octopus dad game totally exists

·       So does the one with the piece of bread

·      Listen to STEM Read’s podcast with Tom Lichtenheld to hear more about the power of constraints in creative pursuits