The Center for Children's Literature and Culture at the University of Florida, The France-Florida Research Institute, Florida Museum of Natural History, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida with the support of the Alachua County Library District, The Howe Society and the The Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature present:

Transforming Encounters II: Children and Science, Imagination and Inquiry

A colloquium to explore a range of innovative approaches, new and traditional, historical and contemporary, for bringing science into children's lives.

John Cech is the Director of the Center for Children's Literature and Culture at the University of Florida. He produces and hosts the daily public radio program "Recess!" about the cultures of childhood.  He is a past president of the Children's Literature Association and currently serves on the advisory boards of the Institute for Children's and Adolescent Research and Evaluation, the Weston Woods Institute, and the Chicago Children's Humanities Festival.  He is the author of numerous articles, reviews, plays, and books for children and adults, including a study of the work of Maurice Sendak, Angels and Wild Things.  He teaches courses in children's and adolescent literatures and cultures at the University of Florida.

Vicki Cobb is the well-known author of more than eighty highly entertaining nonfiction books for children. Ever since 1972, when HarperCollins first published Science Experiments You Can Eat, Cobb's lighthearted approach to hands-on science has become her trademark for getting kids involved in experiences that create real learning. Currently, she is becoming increasingly popular as a speaker to children and adults as educators search out sources for materials and activities that promote learning. Today's popular buzz words in education--"whole language," "hands-on-science," "experimental learning," "outcome based," "multidisciplinary" and "critical thinking" are embodied in Vicki Cobb's work. She graduated from Barnard College with a major in zoology and went on to get a Master's degree in Secondary Science Education. After early careers as a laboratory researcher and science teacher, she became a full-time writer of science books for children.

Kevin Crowley is Associate Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research & Development Center. He is also Director of the newly founded University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE). UPCLOSE is a group of researchers and educators building and applying a practical theory of informal learning in partnership with a number of informal learning institutions in Pittsburgh and beyond. His two books and many journal articles focus on ways that families and children learn about science and technology in out-of- school settings. He currently serves as Associate Editor of the American Education Research Journal and was founding Chair of the Out-of-School Learning Environments Division of the American Educational Research Association. Before coming to the University of Pittsburgh, Crowley received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Marie Vannouque-Digne
The scope of Marie Vannouque-Digne's professional life is exceedingly broad and traverses multiple borders, both intellectual and geographic. She is both an academic and a diplomat who has been honored with the Palmes Academiques and the Legion d'Honneur. Ms. Vannouque-Digne began her career as a professor of English in France and then taught French literature in Great Britain. After leaving the classroom, she was appointed to various advisory and administrative positions in the academy as well as in municipal and regional government districts, working on the formulation of public policy in France surrounding educational and social issues as well as those of national defense.

Ms. Vannouque-Digne started her foreign service in the French Diplomatic Corps in Budapest, Hungary (1999-2001), where she worked on regional development programs that would prepare Hungary for admission into the European Union. She was next assigned to a post in Brussels, Belgium, (2001-2004) to work for the European Commission on projects that lay the groundwork for negotiating the terms for further enlargening the European Union. In 2004, she came to the United States to serve as the Chief of Services for the Cultural Attachee at the French Embassy in Washington, DC. Among her duties there is the oversight of French studies in the United States and Canada.

But, what brings Ms. Digne to us on this occasion is that within such an exemplary lifetime of service, she was also instrumental, in 1996, in founding "La main a la pate" program with the Nobel recipient Georges Charpak and several members of the French Academy of Sciences.

Betsy James DiSalvo is the project manager for the explanatoids™ Click! project. DiSalvo has gained experience in managing similar projects in state government, non-profit foundations, and in the private sector. In addition she is a founding member of the arts collective 0501, whose event-based installations engage political and consumer issues.

Betty Dunckel, Program Director/Associate Scientist, Informal Science Education & Outreach at the Florida Museum of Natural History, has more than 30 years experience in informal education. She has developed numerous programs that promote science interest and learning for diverse audiences. She also works with exhibition development, visitor research, and program and exhibition evaluation. Dunckel received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

Shari Ellis is a Project Director of Marvelous Explorations Through Science and Stories (MESS®), an early childhood science and literacy curriculum based at the Florida Museum of Natural History and operated in conjunction with local Head Start and public library programs. She also holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on the development of mathematical and scientific reasoning in school and in informal settings. Ellis received her Ph.D. from the University of Utah and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kristin Hughes is Assistant Professor in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design, where she teaches two- and three-dimensional design, advanced typography, and senior studio. Her current research focus is the creation of design-based programming for at-risk urban youth that develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In addition to this work that uses design as a tool for creating social change, she is also collaborating with an interdisciplinary team on an NSF funded exploration of gender-sensitive science-based communications, "explanatoids." explanatoids cultivates interest in science in pre-teen girls through environmental signage and programming. Ms. Hughes has a master's in visual communication from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Kenneth Kidd is the author of numerous articles about children's literature and culture, and, most recently, of Making American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale (University of Minnesota Press), a cross-disciplinary study of discourses of boyhood in and around realistic fiction, self-help writing, film, and psychoanalytic literature. He is the co-editor, with Sidney I. Dobrin, of the anthology, Wild Things: Children's Culture and Ecocriticism. Kenneth is at work on several projects, including an essay on children's literature and trauma; a longer study of children's book awards, cultural capital, and the American public sphere; and a collection of essays provisionally called Into the Archive: Reading the Baldwin, to be coedited with Baldwin Curator, Rita Smith. Kenneth's other research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, gender studies/queer theory, and environmental studies. He is an Associate Professor of English Department at the University of Florida, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Center for Children's Literature and Culture.

Mary Jo Koroly, Ph.D., is Associate Scientist, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Director of the University of Florida Center for Precollegiate Education and Training (UF CPET). She served on the faculties of Bryn Mawr College and Harvard Medical School before coming to UF in 1979. Her research interests and publications are in the area of cell regulation, membrane biochemistry, and science education. From 1989 - 1994, she served as the founding director of the Education and Training Program of the UF Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, a laboratory-based workshop program to teach new concepts and techniques of DNA science to scientists and physicians, graduate and medical students, secondary school teachers, and non- science professionals. She continues to teach undergraduate and graduate courses, directs the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology course for medical students, and serves on numerous education committees on campus and throughout Florida. Since 1995, she has led UF CPET in science, math and technology programs that link UF research faculty and graduate students with inservice teachers and their motivated students in grades six through twelve. She welcomes new collaborations in basic and applied science outreach with universities and businesses, with UF faculty and students, and with Florida's K-14 educators and students.

Linda Leonard Lamme is Professor of Education in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida where she teaches courses and seminars in children's literature including African American, global and international, Holocaust and other topics.  Linda enjoys working with teachers to make literature a central part of the elementary school curriculum.  She serves on the Children's Literature Assembly Board of NCTE and is a member of the Notable Books for a Global Society Committee of the Children's Literature and Reading SIG of the International Reading Association.  Her research focuses upon cultural authenticity of books and classroom applications of literature.

Roseanne Russo received BS and M.Ed from the University of Florida and her MLS from Florida State University. She is the Manager of Youth Services for the Alachua County Library District. Many people claim that I became a librarian out of spite. Even at the age of 5, I bristled if anyone, especially a librarian, told me what I could and could not read! And, while I loved the smell of libraries and loved taking out the books about Martyrs, I quaked at the thought of an overdue or lost book, so, to avoid punishment, I began my own system of "transforming encounters" - taking books out without checking them out and returning them without being seen. Such experiences got me through those childhood years and paved my way to becoming a provider of library services in conventional and
non-conventional ways.

Rita Smith recieved her Masters Degree in Library Science at the University of Michigan. She has taught English in the public schools in the United States and English as a Foreign Language in Cochabamba, Bolivia, SA. At the University of Florida Libraries she has worked in Acquisitions, Reference and Cataloging and since 1989 she has been on the staff of the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature. In 1996, she was appointed the Curator of the Baldwin Library, which is now part of the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections. Rita also serves as Associate Director of the Center for Children's Literature and Culture at the University of Florida and is a regular contributor to the radio program, "Recess." Rita has been an active member of the American Library Association and is currently a member of the Caldecott Award Selection Committee.

Janet Stocks, Ph.D., Principal Investigator for explanatoids™, is the Assistant Vice Provost for Education at Carnegie Mellon University where she directs the Undergraduate Research Initiative and the Fellowship Resource Advising Center. Stocks is a sociologist whose research experience includes educational research on mathematics and technology curriculum and initiatives in K-12 in the Pittsburgh region and research on gender. She has recently co-edited a book about the integration of research and education at the college and university level. Stocks is a faculty member in the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, a collaborative effort between Carnegie Mellon, Chatham College, and the Pittsburgh Public Schools. She is responsible for working with Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers to develop appropriate curriculum for the Explanatoids project and will continue to facilitate Carnegie Mellon University student and faculty participation in the project.

Martin Vala is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Florida and is involved in science literacy programs with local high schools. The main thrust of his research is on the preparation and spectroscopic study of unstable species that may contribute to signals observed from interstellar space. Most of these species are carbon-containing radicals and/or ions produced by laser ablation electron-bombardment or plasma glow discharge. The species are trapped in low temperature rare gas matrices and investigated by Fourier transform infrared or Raman spectroscopy and visible/ultraviolet absorption or emission spectroscopy. "We are presently developing a cavity ring-down spectrometer with an effective path length of over sixty meters for use on cold unstable gas phase species. We have been actively involved in studies on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon cations and carbon chain anions as possible carriers of the so-called 'unidentified infrared (UIR' emission bands, a set of bands observed from outer space. The origin of these bands is still not fully understood, even though their existence was discovered over twenty-five years ago."