STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

STEM Friday: Understanding Natural Disasters


NaturalDisasters_Cvr_500pxUnderstanding Natural Disasters
By Kathleen Reilly
Illustrated by Tom Casteel
Nomad Press

Much of the East Coast is still reeling from the infamous Frankenstorm that struck our shores this past October. As its storm-nickname suggests, Hurricane Sandy was a bizarre and indomitable intermixing of atmospheric events. Because its path was so atypical, its magnitude felt that much more frightening. It’s not often a hurricane of such strength spirals toward the Big Apple, the most populated city in the United States at 19 million people.

Natural disasters remind us of our vulnerability as a species. They remind us that we cannot control everything. They remind us that we can do our best to prepare for the worst, but even our best defenses are not imperishable in the face of nature.  And they probably never will be. In reality, New Orleans will never be completely safe from flooding, and the Jersey shore will probably get hit again.

But what if we can understand these disasters better? What if we can at least get a stronger and stronger grip on how and why they form? Advances in technology have helped us to predict earthquakes and hurricanes much more accurately than just ten years ago. Advances in engineering have helped us to better protect what we love—our family, friends, homes, towns and cities.

Natural disasters are a pertinent STEM topic, relating to how and why they occur as well as how we can build defenses to protect ourselves against them. That’s why we’re featuring our book, Natural Disasters: Investigate Earth’s Most Destructive Forces with 25 Projects for STEM Friday this week. This title introduces young readers to nature’s most common and destructive disasters throughout history, explains what causes them, describes their impact on civilizations, and tells how people today cope with natural disasters. Readers are taught the science behind these natural events, and then challenged to put their technology and engineering skills to use as they build a wind tunnel, experiment with wind speed, and construct a shake table.

Among other things, this book teaches readers that the more we know, the more we can do, which is very much a STEM theme!

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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Happy STEM Friday to all! Jane at Nomad

5 thoughts on “STEM Friday: Understanding Natural Disasters

  1. You can’t go wrong with a book about natural disasters. At NC Teacher Stuff, I am featuring a new book about humpback whales:

  2. Happy STEM friday! At Tamarack Writes, I’ve got an oldie, but goodie, with a review of I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb.

  3. Over at Archimedes Notebook I’m “sound-mapping” bird wing flir-r-rs and other winter noises.

  4. At Booktalking I’m reading Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems by J. Patrick Lewis