The STEM Read Podcast

The STEM Read podcast explores the connections between STEM and storytelling. Join hosts Gillian King-Cargile and Dr. Kristin Brynteson as they dive into a hot topic in K-12 education with an educator or STEM expert. After that, they talk with an author whose books can ignite enthusiasm for reading and learning. Get great reading recommendations, spark stemtastic ideas for your classroom or library, and geek out with Gillian and Kristin about science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math.

Ways to Connect

The STEM Read Podcast - Going Wild

Sep 30, 2019

Going Wild with Peter Brown and Dr. Holly Jones

In this episode of the STEM Read Podcast Gillian King-Cargile (@gkingcargile), Kristin Brynteson (@kbrynteson), and Melanie Koss (@melaniekoss) sit down with NIU Biology professor Holly Jones, Ph.D., and author of The Wild Robot Peter Brown (@itspeterbrown) to talk island ecosystems, endangered species, writing, and robotics. 

The STEM Read Podcast - The Women of Frankenstein

Mar 22, 2019

Episode 16:  The Women of Frankenstein with Kiersten White and Christine Brovelli-O’Brien  

The STEM Read Podcast - Pangolin Party

Feb 15, 2019


Episode 15: Pangolin Party with Brendan Wenzel and Brookfield Zoo

The STEM Read Podcast - Revisions in Writing, Engineering, and Life

Jan 2, 2019

Episode 14: Revisions in Writing, Engineering, and Life with Craig DeAmbrose and Mike Mullin 

The STEM Read Podcast - Chainsaws and Wedding Cake

Nov 2, 2018

Episode 13: Chainsaws and Wedding Cake with Lex Thomas

Happy Halloween! On this spooky edition of the STEM Read Podcast Gillian and Kristin sit down with Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies, who wrote the popular Quarantine book series as Lex Thomas (@LexThomasAuthor). We’ll explore using horror books in the classroom and talk learning, writing, teaching, and most importantly, horror-movie binging. Grab a bowl of candy and kick back for this very special episode.

The STEM Read Podcast - Games, Goldfish, and Greatness

Oct 30, 2018

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

The STEM Read Podcast - Science Fiction to Fuel Science Fact

Oct 12, 2018

Episode 11: Science Fiction to Fuel Science Fact with Andy Weir and Joe Magliano

The STEM Read Podcast - #MeToo Movement in Children's Literature

Jun 26, 2018

Episode 10: #MeToo Movement in Children’s Literature with Anne Ursu & Martha Brockenbrough and Melanie Koss

In this episode of the STEM Read Podcast we sit down with two major voices in the children's literature #MeToo movement, Anne Ursu and Martha Brockenbrough, as well as NIU Professor and Literary scholar Melanie Koss. 

The STEM Read Podcast - Big Ideas for Little Makers

Jun 15, 2018

Episode 9: Big Ideas for Little Makers featuring Todd Burleson and Andrea Beaty 

How do we teach hands-on learning to young learners? At what age should students begin “making”? In this episode of The STEM Read podcast, we bring back friend-of-the-program, Andrea Beaty, and School Library Journal’s 2016 school librarian of the year, Todd Burleson, to discuss why we should be teaching higher concepts at younger grade levels and the important of a makerspace beyond the 3D printer. 

The STEM Read Podcast: What You Don’t Know Could Kill You!

Mar 20, 2018

Episode 8: What You Don't know Could Kill You! with Marilyn Black and Kate Moore

The STEM Read Podcast: Speaking Up Without Talking Down

Feb 19, 2018

Episode 7: 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.

The STEM Read Podcast: Doodlers and Daydreamers

Jan 19, 2018

Episode 6: Doodlers and Daydreamers with Dr. Rhonda Robinson and Tom Lichtenheld

The STEM Read Podcast: The Rise of F%@k

Dec 22, 2017

 Episode 5: The Rise of F%@k with Melissa Wright and M.C. Atwood

This episode of the STEM Read podcast contains strong language and a strong message. Join hosts Gillian King-Cargile (@gkingcargile) and Kristin Brynteson (@kbrynteson) as we chat with linguistic Melissa Wright ( and The Devil’s You Know author M.C. Atwood. We’ll explore the history, culture, and linguistics of swearing and examine the use of swearing as a tool to reveal character and breed empathy in YA literature.  

The STEM Read Podcast: Learning by Doing

Dec 8, 2017


Episode 4: Learning by Doing with Nancy Cavanaugh, Jasmine Carey, Mackenzie Thompson, and Melanie Koss

The STEM Read Podcast: Inquiry with Zack Gilbert and M.T. Anderson

Nov 10, 2017

Episode 3: Inquiry with Zack Gilbert and M.T. Anderson 

Students and sci-fi authors tend to question everything, but not all educators are ready to bring inquiry into their classrooms. Until recently, it has been the stuff of science labs. Now there is a push to embrace essential questions across the curriculum.   

The STEM Read Podcast: "What If?"

Oct 27, 2017

Episode 2: What If? with Aaron Starmer and Lynne M. Thomas

The STEM Read Podcast: Science and Storytelling

Oct 13, 2017


  • Episode 1: Science and Storytelling with Erika Gebel Berg and Mike Mullin

    In their debut episode, Gillian King-Cargile (@gkingcargile) and Dr. Kristin Brynteson (@kbrynteson) talk dinosaurs, cannibals, and the science of storytelling with biophysicist and science writer Erika Gebel Berg (@erikagebelberg) and award-winning author Mike Mullin (