STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


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Do you know Scratch?

If you don’t know Scratch, you don’t know what you’re missing!  Developed at the MIT Media Lab, with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Intel Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Google, Iomega and MIT Media Lab research consortia, Scratch is an easy, open source  programming language that can be used to program almost anything the imagination can conjure!

To give you an example — several years ago, without any help from me, my son drew a picture on MS Paint, and used Scratch to animate it.  The picture is below. If you click on it, you can view the image in Scratch and watch the man take a bite of the hamburger, chew, swallow, drink soda, swallow, and return to smiling.

Scratch Project

Click to view the project on Scratch, then click the green flag to animate it!

Fast food

The colored lines in the left frames are the lines of code required to animate the drawing.

My son created this by himself while in elementary school.  Imagine what he could have created if the following book had been available!

Super Scratch Programming Adventure! Learn to Program by Making Cool Games!  LEAD Project, 2012, No Starch Press.

Super Scratch Programming Adventure! is part instruction manual and part graphic novel. Mitch and Scratchy are trapped in a battle with the Dark Wizard and his Minions. You, the reader, can extradite them from predicaments using Scratch.  The story may not be engrossing, but it is a novel and entertaining way to introduce step-by-step coding instructions.  The reader is simultaneously creating video games and inhabiting one.  By the end of each of the book’s ten chapters, the reader will have a fully functioning game created from scratch (both literally and figuratively), with each chapter building upon knowledge from previous chapters.

The game I was creating with Super Scratch Programming Adventure! is lost to a pre-Superstorm Sandy computer, however, I can attest to the fact that it was fun, easy and satisfying.

The book is available in print or ebook (PDF) format.

Click here for a sample chapter from Super Scratch Programming Adventure!

Classroom teachers may not have the available time to devote to programming with Scratch, but they should certainly become familiar with it. Computer club advisers, homeschoolers, scouting groups, and parents of young “tech geeks” should not waste a minute in checking out Scratch’s infinite possibilities.  Suggested for ages 8 and up.

A sample of the games that can be created using Super Scratch Programming Adventure!

From the Scratch website:

“Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.”

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 Lisa Taylor All Rights Reserved.


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Be a “Habitat Spy” this Earth Day

Habitat SpyThis weekend celebrate Earth Day by checking out the habitat you live in. A habitat is the physical environment around you, along with the plants and animals that share it. Your backyard is a habitat. So is the city you live in, a vacant lot, a forest or lake.

When Cynthia Kieber-King explored her back yard, she often wondered what was beyond the trees, beyond the hills… and what she would find if she started walking. Her book, Habitat Spy (Sylvan Dell, 2011) takes us on that journey with her, from one habitat to another across the country. But instead of describing the animals and plants you’ll find, Cynthia focuses on their actions: flycatchers dart, scorpions sneak… and she does it in quick, punchy rhyme.

What better thing to do this Earth Day than head out and get moving like the animals – and plants – that share your home? Like other books published by Sylvan Dell, Habitat Spy includes four pages of “beyond the book” activities focusing on what makes a habitat, animal adaptations, and food chains.   You can read a short interview with Cynthia over at Archimedes Notebook, and remember to check out more STEM books and posts below and in the comments.

Here’s what other people are posting today:

castle

Over at NC Teacher Stuff, Jeff talks about how castles work – this is a great resource for kids who love dragons, knights, the Tales of King Arthur and the Round Table.

 

 

painted-green

Roberta reviews The Earth is Painted Green: A Garden of Poems about Our Planet at her blog, Wrapped in Foil. Poems by different authors and “lush illustrations”, she says.

 

 

Face Bug

Over at Sally’s Bookshelf, Sue celebrates poetry that is certain to bug you – and a bunch of very cool photographs and great illustrations to boot.

 

 

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 © 2013 Sue Heavenrich  All Rights Reserved.


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Discovering STEM Poetry Books

Today we are going to honor National Poetry Month by taking a look at poetry books with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math themes. Because STEM poetry books are usually shelved together with other poetry books over in language arts, they have the potential to be neglected in science class. Let’s pull STEM poetry books off the shelf and shine a spotlight on them.

Why STEM poetry? What a fantastic opportunity to introduce the poetry fans to STEM and the STEM fans to poetry. It’s win-win!

STEM Poetry Books:

forest-has-a-song

Up first this morning is Forest Has a Song, illustrated by Robbin Gourley, at Sally’s Bookshelf. Sue has a revealing interview with author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, as well as suggestions for related activities. VanDerwater notes the science underpinnings to the book are provided by her biology teacher husband.

cuckoo-haiku

Over at Archimedes Notebook, Sue has Nest Building is For the Birds – but you can help. If you would like to accompany the project with reading from a poetry book about birds, try The Cuckoo’s Haiku: and Other Birding Poems, written by Michael J. Rosen and illustrated by Stan Fellows. See Tricia’s Thematic Book List – For the Love of Birds for more suggestions.

out-of-this-world

Today at Growing With Science we are soaring with a collection of STEM poetry books about space. For example, have you seen Out of This World: Poems and Facts about Space by Amy Sklansky and illustrated by Stacey Schuett? It combines inspiring, intriguing poems with supporting facts in a sidebar on the same page. This book really does live up to its name.

face-bugs

Doing a unit on insects? Earlier in the week we featured Science Poetry Books About Bugs at Growing With Science, including a new book by Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis called Face Bug.

unBeeleivable

Anastasia shared UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian, a collection of poems about honey bees at Booktalking last week.

Books that just might inspire poetry:

flowers-by-number

Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff has a review of Flowers by Number by David Shapiro and illustrated by Hayley Vair. It encourages children to look closely at flowers and to learn their numbers. Seems like a lot of potential for poetry here.

picture-a-tree

Jeff did use Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid as an inspiration to write his own tree-related haiku.

A-Black-Hole-Is-Not-A-Hole

At Booktalking, Anastasia is featuring A Black Hole Is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano and illustrated by Michael Carroll, which is sure to inspire some poetry about space.

Related activity:

Anastasia has suggestions for writing STEM-based haiku. Be sure to visit to see what others are sharing and perhaps share yours as well.

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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 Roberta Gibson All Rights Reserved.


Write a STEM Haiku for Poetry Month

It’s not Friday yet, but it is the first day of Poetry Month, so I’m sharing my post early this week to let you know that we will be inviting readers to share their original STEM haiku with us again this year.

National Poetry Month

Q. How do you write a STEM haiku?

A. Try this.

  1. Select a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) topic.
  2. Brainstorm a list of words about your topic.
  3. Count the syllables in each word.
  4. Use the words to share a short STEM thought using the haiku format.

Q. What is the haiku format?

A. Haiku has 3 lines.

  1. The first line has 5 syllables.
  2. The second line has 7 syllables.
  3. The third and final line has 5 syllables.

Writing Resources:

Share your original STEM haiku with us by adding it to the comments on our Haiku page.

Comments
A blog is a place
to share your thoughts. We invite
you to share yours here…
© 2012 Anastasia Suen

(After you add your haiku, see the 2012 STEM Haiku that our readers shared.)

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 © 2013 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.