Story Time STEM

Developing math and literacy skills through shared reading experiences: a guide for librarians, educators, and caregivers

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Story Time STEM: About the Project

photo of teachers collaborating

Story Time STEM (STS) is a research partnership between University of Washington Bothell School of Educational Studies, Washington STEM, and a broad range of partners including public library systems, community-based organizations, and public schools. STS emphasizes, through shared reading experiences, the integration of math and literacy, exploring concepts and practices through children’s literature, honoring young learners’ ideas through interactive discussion, and designing and facilitating professional learning with educators. 

Led by Drs. Allison Hintz and Antony Smith, STS is committed to supporting equity in early mathematics and literacy learning with children – and the adults in their lives – by experiencing the wonder and joy of mathematics and deepening positive mathematical identities through stories. Together, Drs. Hintz and Smith are co-authors of the upcoming book, Mathematizing Children’s Literature: Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder through Read-Alouds and Discussion.

About Us

photo of Drs. Allison Hintz and Antony Smith
Drs. Allison Hintz and Antony Smith

Drs. Allison Hintz and Antony T. Smith are associate professors in the School of Educational Studies at UW Bothell. Dr. Hintz’s research and teaching focus on mathematics education. She studies teaching and learning alongside partners in formal and informal educational settings and focuses on beliefs and practices that support children and the adults in their lives in lively mathematics learning. Dr. Smith’s research and teaching focus on the intersection of reading and mathematics and how exploring children’s literature can help deepen comprehension, develop vocabulary knowledge, and increase motivation and engagement for students to become lifelong readers


When we mathematize read-alouds, we are committed to:

  • Celebrating the joy and wonder of children’s ideas
  • Expanding the idea of who gets to ask math questions and what kind of math is valued by emphasizing diverse perspectives
  • Exploring stories and how they can be a playful context for children to think mathematically
  • Hearing children’s thinking and listening to understand their reasoning through lively discussion
  • Providing opportunities for children to generate their own mathematical questions to explore and problems to solve
  • Broadening ideas about stories that empower children to think in mathematically powerful ways
  • Encouraging children to make connections between stories, their own lives, and the world around them
  • Investigating features of stories to support children’s reading, language, and vocabulary development
  • Supporting child and educator learning


We collaboratively developed the ideas in this project with learning partners in elementary schools and community-based settings and organizations. We give tremendous gratitude to children, families, educators, and staff in Northshore School District, Issaquah School District, Seattle Public Schools, King County Library System, Pierce County Library System, Sno-Isle Libraries, Tacoma Public Libraries, YMCA Powerful Schools, Reach Out and Read, Para los Niños, and Chinese Information Services Center. This project was supported by our learning partners at Washington STEM, Project INSPIRE at the University of Washington (specifically the Partnership for Early Learning team), The Boeing Company, the Goodlad Institute at the University of Washington Bothell, and the University of Washington Bothell Worthington Research Fund.

For questions regarding the web presence for this project, please Email Us.