STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


Recycling

greenplanetrecycling

Recycling
by Rebecca Pettiford (Author)

Booktalk: For Earth Day –or any day– learn about how everyday products and packaging can be broken down and reconstructed into new items.

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It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


A Rocketful of Space Poems

For National Poetry Month we are featuring A Rocketful of Space Poems, chosen by John Foster and illustrated by Korky Paul, at Growing with Science blog.

space-poems

The collection includes poems from the likes of J. Patrick Lewis, Eric Finney, and Judith Nicholls. Many of the poems are not particularly serious, since they are about monsters, witches, magicians and aliens. They allow the reader to “fly into space, drive to the moon, meet an asteroid dog and a flurb blurp, and then play intergalactic Squibble-Ball.” As you can see, the featured poems are highly imaginative but have a science-based foundation underneath.

Korky Paul’s illustrations are wacky and delightful. Each two-page spread has a frame around it filled with fun things to discover.

Pick up A Rocketful of Space Poems today and share a few with young readers for National Poetry Month. Let their imaginations soar!

And be sure to stop by Growing with Science for related activities and more.

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It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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Amphibians

Amphibians (Animal Classification)
by Erica Donner (Author)

Booktalk: In this Animal Classification series book, early readers learn about the defining characteristics of this animal group. Vibrant, full-color photos and carefully leveled text will engage early readers as they discover what features set these animals apart.

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It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


S.M.A.R.T.S. and the Invisible Robot

S.M.A.R.T.S. and the Invisible Robot
by Melinda Metz (Author) and Heath McKenzie (Illustrator)

Booktalk: The S.M.A.R.T.S. can’t wait for the local high school’s Art of Science exhibition. It’s sure to be a great show, except for one problem–the centerpiece necklace has vanished!

Snippet: “Okay, everyone, listen up! I have a surprise for you,” Mrs. Ram–short for Mrs. Ramanujan–called to her students. All eleven kids in the makerspace–the community area at the back of the school’s media center where students could meet to collaborate on ideas, robotics, science, and computers–turned towards her. Mrs. Ram patted the sheet covering a large table next to her. Something lumpy and bumpy was hidden underneath.

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


Karl, Get Out of the Garden!

Karl, Get Out of the Garden!
written by Anita Sanchez; illustrated by Catherine Stock
2017 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Karl decided to get things organized. He planned to bring order to the chaos and give everything a clear and simple name. 

Karl’s parents wanted his nose in a book. He’d rather have it in a flower or near a striped insect. How to compromise? With plants being an important part of medicine, Karl begged to attend medical school, and pass on being a lawyer or a minister, so he could spend plenty of time outdoors. As he tried to cure ailments, Karl ran into the same problem again and again. There was no consistent agreement on the names of plants. People would have several different names for the same plant. He also noticed that this conundrum applied to animals as well, so Karl set out to develop a more organized system. Dividing the plant and animal kingdoms, he created classes for plants and gave each plant and animal a name with only two parts. An important aspect of Karl’s research was observation. He traveled north to Lapland to find wildflowers. Whether climbing high to gather pine cones or checking the mouth of a bat, Karl thought, “Truth ought to be confirmed by observation.” In addition to his work in classification, Karl also was a teacher. The outdoors was a classroom where discoveries would literally be trumpeted in celebration. This paid off as his students went out into the world. With the help of specimens sent to him from his students, he “created a new language of science.”

If you told me, “Hey, I have a picture book about the history of taxonomy”, I might be classified as bloggerus runtheotherwayis. But this is a really interesting picture book biography about the father of taxonomy. I like how it’s framed as a story of someone who thought differently and went against the grain. Karl is a problem solver and eager to take up challenges. I also like the extra information attached to the lovely watercolor illustrations. It could be a quote from Karl or examples of his classification work. That’s like finding an extra flavor in a delicious dish of food. Karl, Get Out of the Garden would be a terrific addition to a biography or science unit.


Insects – the most fun bug book ever

Insects, the most fun bug book ever

by Sneed B. Collard III

48 pages; ages 9-12

Charlesbridge, 2017

Earth is a great place to live. But, says Collard, if you look at all the animals on our planet, it becomes clear that insects dominate the life on Earth. Scientists have catalogues nearly 1 million species of insects, and they haven’t come close to finding all of them.

Collard gives us the basic body plan for bugs, and then goes into details about how well they can see (some see ultraviolet light), how fast they can fly (35 mph for dragonflies), how tough they are (ironclad for some beetles). He points out the hairiest and the hungriest, tells us the secrets of insect communication, and gives us an inside view of “growing up insect”,

As promised, this is a fun bug book. We learn about insects’ favorite foods – some will dine on tacos from a dumpster while others prefer sweet nectar – and there’s an entire section devoted to the “party animals”. Some bugs are very social. Collard introduces us to “good” bugs, those that we use for dyes, food, medicine, and pollination services. He introduces us to “bad bugs” that chew up crops and damage homes. The key thing: insects are essential and play a vital role on our planet. So if we want to do right by our six-legged buddies, we should be planting more gardens – and throwing out the pesticides.

Check out another fun book about bugs over at Archimedes Notebook today.

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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A Book of Bridges

A Book of Bridges: Here To There and Me To You
by Cheryl Keely (Author) and Celia Krampien (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Bridges are some of the most fascinating structures in our landscape, and they come in all forms. From towering suspension bridges to humble stone crossings, this book visits them all with bouncy text and expository sidebars.

Snippet:
They can be wooden-covered,

golden-gated,

or in London, falling down.

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.