Resource Spotlight

Story Design STEAM Kits

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About Story Design STEAM Kits

This is a new and exclusive student-driven, project-based learning product from Barnes & Noble, which merges ELA with STEAM. They have taken some of the most popular classroom books educators love to read and teach, and combined them with exciting, interactive STEAM activities. Story Design can increase student engagement and participation, encourage higher-order thinking skills, improve knowledge retention, and translate into better performance on assessments. Included in the kits are curriculum guides and building tools.

The Story Design approach is an example of problem-based learning, or PBL, a student-focused approach in which students learn by solving an open-ended problem using procedures they devise. PBL reflects how real people encounter, identify, evaluate, investigate, refine and solve problems.

Story Design: Innovative STEAM Projects!
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What is included in a kit?

We have one kit designed for grades K-2 and another for grades 3-5.

Do the kits include class sets of books?

No, there is only one of each book. The kits are designed for you to see what Story Design is all about without having to spend money initially. The kits are not intended to be used for whole-class instruction. With the kits, we are hoping to offer you the opportunity to get your hands on the materials to see if it is something you would like to pursue with your library funds.

What are the differences between the upper and lower level kits?

Each box has grade-level appropriate books with a corresponding guide. The kits are organized this way to enable you to differentiate instruction. The kits can be used for differentiation, as appropriate, across all grade levels.

What will my students gain from STEAM Story Design?

Students will:
  • read and understand grade-level literature
  • identify conflicts in a literary text
  • identify a specific problem in the text that could have a practical, physical, or technological solution
  • design and propose a solution that incorporates science, technology, engineering, math, and design
  • construct, test, and improve a prototype of the solution
  • communicate the solution to the classroom or school community

Am I limited to the B&N chosen literature? Do I need the curriculum guide?

Am I limited to using the B&N chosen technology?

Not at all. You can use many different resources to create a Story Design STEAM lesson. Think donated and/or found materials, as well as those you may already have around your school. This is a fabulous opportunity for you and your students to be creative.

You are also welcome to purchase materials from anywhere. They do not have to be purchased from Barnes and Noble to use the B&N lesson guide.

How do I borrow a kit?

Contact Amanda Karian, SLS Specialist.

Additional Resources


If you have any questions about Story Design STEAM Kits, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Questar III School Library System

Kerrie Burch, Director of School Library System, Model Schools, and Arts

Amanda Karian, School Library System Specialist