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Dr. Wendy Saul serves as the Shopmaker Professor of Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is editor-in-chief of Thinking Classroom: An International Journal of Reading Writing and Critical Reflection published by the International Reading Association and author/editor of a number of books about the science-literacy connection, including Vital Connections: Children, Science, and Books (Heinemann 1991), Beyond the Science Kit (Heinemann 1996), Science Workshop: Reading, Writing, and Thinking Like a Scientist (Heinemann 2002) and Crossing Borders in Literacy and Science Instruction: Perspectives on Theory and Practice (IRA/NSTA 2003) . As director of the National Science Foundation-supported "Elementary Science Integration Projects," she has a special interest in helping educators create reading and writing activities that inform and are informed by science She is also the originator of Search It! Science The Books: You Need at Lightning Speed (searchit.hememann.com), a web database program that suggests appropriate science titles for young readers, their teachers, and librarians.
Donna Dieckman, Program Director for the Elementary Science Integration Projects at UMBC, works with classroom teachers, administrators and university researchers on programs designed to support science and literacy connections. During her nine years as a classroom teacher, she became a strong advocate of using children's literature in the classroom. She has served as a member of the Children's Book Council-National Science Teacher's Association joint panel that selects the Outstanding Science Trade Book Awards in children's literature. She is a co-author of Science Workshop: Reading, Writing and Thinking Like a Scientist and a contributor to Beyond the Science Kit: Inquiry in Action, published by Heinemann, as well as the user's guide for Search It! Science, a database of over 4,000 outstanding children's science books. She is pursuing her research interests in science-literacy connections as a student in the Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. program.
Megan Dieckman is a student at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in chemistry. Megan is an ESIP administrative assistant. She works on the Search It! Science Database and is actively involved in the Kids' Inquiry Conference. Megan was a participant in KIC as a 4th grader and she hosts the "Ask Meg" section of the KIC website. She enjoys pottery, quilting, and travel.
A 2002 graduate of UMBC, Holly Buck has also spent time at Arizona State University and the University of New Orleans. She graduated with a degree in English, and enjoys studying contemporary American literature. While her work as a research assistant at ESIP primarily involves writing and compiling material for the Search It! database of children's science trade books, her passion is creative writing, and she is pursuing her M.F.A in Writing & Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.