GUEST POSTS: NSTA Linking Literacy, NSTA National Convention, Boston, MA. 9 am – 3 pm, April 4, 2020.
The National Science Teacher’s Association has invited authors of Outstanding Science Trade Books and Best Stem Books to discuss literacy and children’s books at a special Literacy Event. 14 of these authors have contributed guest posts to run from January 7 – April 2, 2020.

See the full author list and the date on which they’ll post at Linking Literacy 2020

By Shanda McCloskey

I LOVE robots. I find the technology behind robotics fascinating, but what I find even more interesting is how we humans perceive them. In art and entertainment, robots are often depicted as characters with a meaningful purpose. They have names, and if they don’t, we give them one. We root for them (or not), love them (or hate them). We project emotional qualities on them. Machines don’t have emotions, yet we witness their selfless devotion, endless determination, and unwavering loyalty. A robot would sacrifice itself for the cause, its purpose. No hesitation. No questions asked.

When our first family robot (Dusty, the robot vacuum) “died”, I found myself thanking it for helping my family have a clean floor to play on for the past two years. Strange? Or strangely beautiful?

I believe the best STEM thinkers not only use their brains, but their HEARTS also to fathom EVERY possibility.

My book, DOLL-E 1.0, is about a little girl who programs a doll to be her new friend! I want to encourage you in your STEM thinking and STEM class discussions to also consider matters of the heart. These heart matters might greatly affect the science, the technology, the engineering, and the math.

Besides DOLL-E 1.0 by Shanda McCloskey (me!), other books I recommend for discussing similar thoughts above are THE WILD ROBOT and THE WILD ROBOT ESCAPES by Peter Brown. For general considerations of the heart in regards to science, I recommend THE THIRTEENTH GOLDFISH by Jennifer L. Holm. All these books are excellent read alouds with students that evoke questions!

And for some hands-on-crafting-coding fun, here is a DOLL-E 1.0 STEM Project Guide written by the brilliant Colleen Graves at Makey Makey Labz:

Now that’s linking literacy!

Shanda (rhymes with panda) comes from a whole family of different kinds of artists and entrepreneurs! She studied art in Atlanta and New York City. But before writing and illustrating kids books, she taught art to high-schoolers.

Shanda is the mama of two young girls and the wife of a cute web developer. DOLL-E 1.0 is her very first book about robots or anything for that matter!

DOLL-E 1.0 is out now, and its companion story, T-BONE THE DRONE, will release September 2019.

Shanda invites you to visit her at!

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