STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

S is for STEM and S is for Spring!

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S is for STEM and S is for Spring!

Contributed by Pamela Miles, editor at Nomad Press

Away go the skis and skates and out come bikes, bats, and balls of all sorts. It’s spring and that means endless opportunities for kids to engage in the scientific process outside! So to get you started, we’re sharing a book that offers 25 ways for you to engage your young scientists in learning about the magic of spring.

Explore Spring! 25 Great Ways to Learn About Spring
By Maxine Anderson
Illustrated by Alexis Frederick-Frost

What better way is there to learn about soil temperature than to stick a thermometer in the dirt? But is that all there is to it? Well, that wouldn’t be much of an experiment, would it? But if the experiment involves finding a sunny spot and a shady spot and charting changing temperatures over time, well . . . a child might learn something that way! And with simply two thermometers and some paper, there’s not much to it! But it’s a learning experience that teaches kids how soil warms in the spring and it teaches them how to conduct a simple experiment and draw conclusions.

The experiments in this book also prompt kids to question and investigate even further. With the soil experiment above, for example, kids are asked questions such as, “Did the soil in one area warm up faster than the other?” As a parent or educator, you can take this to the next level and work with your student to figure out just how much faster the soil in one area warmed up as compared to the other.

Here’s another one that sounds like fun:

By tying different colored yarn and ribbon around the yard at different heights, kids can figure out whether the birds in their area prefer a certain color or material more than another, and which height the birds like best.

These are just two activities of many in this book that will get kids excited about spring and excited about science! The book also uses Did You Know questions as a vehicle for some mental math. Take this example: “Bamboo is a grass that grows in tropical climates, and it grows really fast – up to 3 feet in one day! Think about how long it would take you to grow 3 feet.”

Today’s post is part of STEM Friday, a weekly round-up of children’s science, engineering, math and technology books.

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5 thoughts on “S is for STEM and S is for Spring!

  1. Thank you for your post today, Pamela! This looks like a great book for elementary classes. At NC Teacher Stuff I have posted a review of From Flowers to Honey:

    http://www.ncteacherstuff.blogspot.com/2012/03/stem-friday-from-flower-to-honey.html

  2. Oh, thanks for the heads up on this book. I was just going to do a spring-themed blog post on my science blog and this will be a perfect tie-in.

    At Wrapped in Foil, I have a review of a new Basher Science book, Oceans: Making Waves http://blog.wrappedinfoil.com/2012/03/basher-science-oceans-making-waves/

    Happy STEM Friday everyone!

  3. At Booktalking, I shared Shetland Ponies Are My Favorite! by Elaine Landau http://wp.me/pa8jB-1oe

  4. This looks like an awesome book for kids to play around with. Thanks for reviewing it, Pamela. I like the yarn idea. I’m not reviewing a book today, but I have posted a spring science activity at http://archimedesnotebook.blogspot.com/2012/03/noisy-season.html

  5. Looks like great fun for kids.
    On the Rourke Publishing blog, I share I Use A Mouse by Kelli Hicks
    http://blog.rourkepublishing.com/2012/03/29/stem-friday-i-use-a-mouse/