STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


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Science is lyrical: STEM Friday

Science Is Real!

If you have any interest in children and science, technology, engineering, and math, you owe it yourself to buy They Might Be Giants’ “Science Is Real” album (with videos for every song). And if you hear a tune when I say “The sun is a mass of incandescent gas,” then you really must buy it because, as they say, “that thesis has been rendered invalid.”

I love the first song on the album (above) because when they sing “the facts are with science,” it’s true of course, but it’s truth wrapped in imagination and make believe and carried along by the tools of art. Making up stories is often the best way—sometimes the only way—to tell ourselves what is “true.”

“When I’m seeking knowledge, either simple or abstract, the facts are with science,” goes the song, proving that yes, the facts are with science, but their delivery depends on art

Kate Hosford and Gabi Swiatkowska’s Infinity & Me was a project born in this spirit: take a painfully abstract mathematical concept and make the facts of it resonate through the art of the picture book.

And so we were very please to learn yesterday that Infinity & Me  is a finalist for the Bank Street College’s Cook Prize, honoring “the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture book published for children aged eight to ten.”

  Anna Cavallo, Zach Marell—the book’s editor and designer respectively–and I are very proud of this honor for Kate and Gabi’s book. It represents a core value of our picture book program at Carolrhoda.

-Andrew Karre, editorial director of Carolrhoda Books

Join STEM Friday! We invite you to join us!

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STEM Friday

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

  • Link your post to the comments of our weekly STEM Friday Round-up. (Please use the link to your STEM Friday post, not the address of your blog. Thanks!)

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STEM Friday: Max Axiom is Back!

Max4Kids’ favorite super scientist Max Axiom is back in a brand new graphic nonfiction series perfect for STEM studies, Graphic Science and Engineering in Action.

For those that need a reminder on Max’s backstory… Using the powers he acquired in a freak accident, Max has the ability to shrink to the size of an atom or ride on a sound wave. Equipped with his sunglasses (giving him x-ray vision) and lab coat (allowing him to travel through time and space), Max Axiom demonstrates and explores concepts in ways never before experienced in the classroom. Max illustrates the how’s and why’s of science, making difficult concepts accessible to readers.

Max1In Graphic Science and Engineering in Action, Max Axiom is on new missions, from using the engineering process to design and build a skateboard and recycling center to learning more about the amazing careers in science and the incredible work of engineers. Readers see firsthand how cool and exciting science can be!

Kids who love science with Max Axiom will love our new poster too! We’re giving away copies on the Capstone Connect blog, so head on over there and enter for your chance to win one for your library or classroom!

This post is part of STEM Friday, a collection of children’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math books. Check out more book reviews from STEM bloggers in the comments section of this post.

Join STEM Friday!

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  • Link your post to the comments of our weekly STEM Friday Round-up. (Please use the link to your STEM Friday post, not the address of your blog. Thanks!)

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Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building – a review

Hale, Christy. 2012. Dreaming Up: A celebration of building. New York: Lee and Low.

As a youth services librarian in a public library, I don’t have the same type of interaction with children as  a teacher or school media specialist might. I see more preschool than school-aged children, and though my goal is to “teach” the love of reading and the power of information, children and parents often come to the library seeking pleasure and entertainment. Teaching and learning moments are offered in the form of story time programs, book clubs, or crafts.

That’s why a book like Dreaming Up is so perfect!  Imagine a book that “teaches” architecture,  concrete poetry, design, and the power of imagination. Now imagine that book is suitable for preschoolers  up to grade 4, that it sparks opportunities for imaginative play, that it is factual (Architecture, DDC 720), that it is properly sourced, that it is multicultural, and yes – it’s attractive, too!

On the page facing each illustrated poem is a photograph of the famous or architecturally significant structure which inspired the poem. Featured buildings are from locations around the globe and include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater inPennsylvania. Back matter includes information on each of the fifteen structures as well as biographical information on each building’s architect.

No need to dream; there is such a book and it’s Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building.  Go. Read it. Share it.

Get out some boxes, and blankets, and pillows, and playing cards, and Popsicle sticks and building blocks. Encourage the young people you know to “dream up.”

I purposefully did not quote from the book because in concrete poetry, you must see the structure of the words themselves.  Please preview a few pages of Dreaming Up here on the publisher’s site.

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The Drop in My Drink

The-Drop-in-My-Drink-Hooper-Meredith-9780670876181Water.  We love it, we need it, we all depend on it. “All the water we have is all the water we’ve always had…”  and so begins the story of where the water dripping slowly out of the tap in my kitchen came from, and where it is going.

Meredith Hooper and Chris Coady wrote a beautiful story when they created The Drop in My Drink.  But fantastical as this lengthy picture book is, it is also true. The water on Earth is as old as the planet itself, and yet also timeless. This book explores how every drop of water has cycled through the rivers, the ice sheets, the oceans, and the waves on its endless path around and around. It forms life, it is carried by wind, and it has soaked through countless bodies of penguins and dinosaurs and sunflowers.  And inevitably, it drips through each of us.

This book was published in 1998 and has big words like erodingsubstancesmicroorganisms, and evaporated, and tackles concepts like 390 million years ago, and how limestone caves form. But I read this book to my Earth Champs/Scouts group last weekend, and the young five to nine year olds were impressed by the story.  Impressed because they got it, they understood. Even with all those big words. With some stopping here and there for comments from both the other adults in the room and by our group’s very smart kids, we waded happily through the water cycle.  

While I admit my throat was a bit dry when I was done reading aloud, I felt like we all had gone on a journey. An amazing journey around the earth on a tiny droplet of water. More than anything this book gives its readers a sense of our place in the world. We are made of water, it flows through us, and it always has, and always will.

 

Join STEM Friday!

We invite you to join us!

  • Write about STEM each Friday on your blog.
  • Copy the STEM Friday button to use in your blog post.

STEM Friday

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

  • Link your post to the comments of our weekly STEM Friday Round-up. (Please use the link to your STEM Friday post, not the address of your blog. Thanks!)

Site Meter Copyright © 2012 Amanda K. Jaros All Rights Reserved.