Solve It For Kids Podcast

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Solve It For Kids!

The science podcast for curious &
creative kids and their families.

Peek into the world of real-life scientists, engineers, and experts as they solve problems in their every day jobs. Kids and families are then invited to take on a challenge and solve a problem themselves! Join Jennifer and Jed as they ask questions, solve problems, and offer challenges that take curiosity and creativity to a whole new level.

The show is hosted by our Dean of all things STEM & STEAM Jennifer Swanson. Jennifer is an award winning author of over 40 non-fiction books. She is joined by Jedlie, the host of the Reading With Your Kids Podcast. Together they give families a chance to find out how scientists, engineers, artists, astronauts, aquanauts & other experts solve problems using creativity, cooperation & critical thinking.



This Week’s Episode features an interview with an award-winning author-illustrator, Vanessa Brantley Newton who tells us how we can bring an illustration to life.

Vanessa Brantley Newton was born during the Civil Rights movement, and attended school in Newark, NJ. She was part of a diverse, tight-knit community and learned the importance of acceptance and empowerment at early age.

Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats was the first time she saw herself in a children’s book. It was a defining moment in her life, and has made her into the artist she is today. As an illustrator, Vanessa includes children of all ethnic backgrounds in her stories and artwork. She wants all children to see their unique experiences reflected in the books they read, so they can feel the same sense of empowerment and recognition she experienced as a young reader. ​

She first learned to express herself as a little girl through song. Growing up in a musical family, Vanessa’s parents taught her how to sing to help overcome her stuttering. Each night the family would gather to make music together, with her mom on piano, her dad on guitar, and Vanessa and her sister, Coy, singing the blues, gospel, spirituals, and jazz. Now whenever she illustrates, music fills the air and finds its way into her art.

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