STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


Explore Flight

Flight_500pxExplore Flight! with 25 Great Projects

By Anita Yasuda; illustrated by Bryan Stone

96 pages, ages 6-9

Nomad Press, 2013

When I was a kid I was positive that all I had to do to fly was run down a steep hill, flap my arms, and lift my feet. Soon I’d be soaring.

It didn’t work. Something about lift, thrust, and drag – not to mention gravity.

Still, I’m not the only one who tried flying. Throughout the ages people have tried to soar, glide, float, and flap through the air. In the 1300 the Chinese built kites that could carry people and by the 1400’s Leonardo da Vinci was designing all kinds of flying machines. By 1910 or thereabouts the US Postal Service had airmail routes, and fifty years later we landed men on the moon.

Now more than 4 million people hop on planes every day, flying all over the world. Which makes one wonder: why do airplanes have wings? And what if you changed the shape of the wings or ….? Inquiring kids want to know – and Explore Flight! is loaded with hands-on projects to help them discover some of the answers. From parachutes to power rockets, this book helps kids explore the history and science of aviation, and has a handy timeline to help frame the history of flight science.

If you want to build a flying machine, head over to Archimedes Notebook today and explore helicopters. And make sure to check out what other people are posting for STEM Friday. (I’ll add links in the morning and catch up with the rest in the evening.)

jo MacDonald hiked

 Over at Sally’s Bookshelf you can head out on a nature hike with Jo MacDonald Hiked in the Woods.

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!)

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For the Budding Scientist

Few things are more satisfying to me than writing for the youngest learners—so when the opportunity arose to write six STEM books for K–2 readers, I was ecstatic! The task was to write about things that change form when exposed to different temperatures (for example, things that change from solid to liquid when exposed to heat). To make this concept concrete for the K–2 set—and to answer the call for materials aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize hands-on learning—I decided to focus on activities that kids could try themselves to see how objects change form. That’s where the fun began!

51AV8K0eYWL__AA160_First, my colleagues and I brainstormed a list of objects that change form. We came up with: cake, candles, eggs, ice cream, popcorn, and popsicles. Next, for each topic, I researched kid-friendly steps our readers could follow to see how each object changes form. In the Cake book, for instance (cover pictured), I found simple instructions for baking a cake (with the help of an adult, of course!), so that readers could see how liquid batter turns into a solid, spongy, and delicious treat.

Finally, the real challenge came in. I attempted to “translate” the steps into a narrative that is accessible for emergent readers, meets our stringent Guided Reading Level standards, and incorporates high-frequency words. For each title, I also provided supplementary materials on the inside front cover, including a note for parents and educators, a word count, a list of the high-frequency words used in the book, and activities that support the Common Core State Standards. In addition, each book includes a table of contents, chapter headings, a glossary, and an index to introduce readers to informational text features.

I’ve rarely worked on a project that was more difficult, more satisfying, or more fun. I sincerely hope our books help you—the parents, educators, librarians, and caretakers entrusted with the crucial job of developing young minds—introduce the kids you know and love to a passion for science that will last their whole lives through.

STEM Friday

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

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Sir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert

Sir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert
written by Cindy Neuschwander; illustrated by Wayne Geehan
2013 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Check out STEM Friday for more math and science reviews

It’s time for the annual Harvest Faire in the kingdom. One tradition is the selection of a Harvest Sweet. With the castle cook felled by illness, someone else is going to have to create this treat. Lady Di of Ameter and Sir Cumference seek out two local bakers. Pia, from the French city of Chartres, makes wonderful pies. Bart Graf, a baker of German descent, is a creator of cookies. Both bakers are so good that Lady Di and Sir Cumference are unable to decide whose dessert should be the Harvest Sweet. Pia and Bart are instructed to whip up a batch of their best concoctions to present to the people of the town. The townsfolk will vote for their favorite. To keep track of the voting, Pia uses tally marks in flour on her baking table while Bart lines up dough pinches in groups of five. Unfortunately, their respective pets foil their attempt at data collection and another day of baking ensues. This time, Pia generates a pie graph using color candies and Bart stacks cookie molds like a bar graph. The results of the voting are such a surprise to both bakers that they work together to create a Harvest Sweet.

Sir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert would be an excellent kick-off to a unit on graphing. The humor of the wordplay and the subject matter of desserts will be very attractive to students and teachers. There are a variety of graphs presented in the story. Think about the possibilities of creating your own dessert graphs. A big cookie used as a pie chart would be fun. A candy bar graph using M&Ms or Skittles is another activity that is popular with students. Combining sweets and math is a can’t miss idea.

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

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.
  • 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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It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Copyright 2013 Jeff Barger


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CSI = STEM

Forensics
By Carla Mooney
Illustrated by Samuel Carbaugh
Nomad Press, 2013

Forensics_200pxWhat does CSI have to do with STEM, you ask? Everything.

We’re not just talking about the CBS hit series. We’re talking about real crime scene investigation. We’re talking about Forensic science. From the technology used to analyze blood spatter to the mathematics implemented to calculate time of death, even the easiest to solve crime scene draws upon science, technology, engineering, and math. That’s why for STEM Friday this week we’re featuring a title in our newest series, Inquire and Investigate, for readers ages 12 and older. Forensics: Uncover the Science and Technology of Crime Scene Investigation invites kids into the fascinating world of crime scene investigation.

Evidence is like pieces in a large puzzle; it takes an entire forensic team to put the evidence together to solve the crime. An analysis of blood spatter velocity, for example, can determine what weapon was used and from where the impact came. Furthermore, forensics specialists have to understand the properties of blood and how it reacts to forces that act upon it. And then there are trace materials, like fingerprints, hair, and even bones to be collected and analyzed from a crime scene. That’s a lot of science and technology!  We can be sure that as science and technology progress, so too will the tools for collecting evidence, making this a relevant STEM related subject. Furthermore, there are hundreds of forensic related careers! The options are limitless within the field. Kids can become fingerprint examiners, forensic pathologists, forensic anthropologists, or even forensic entomologists. The list goes on and on!

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

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

Happy STEM Friday to all! Jane at Nomad

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