STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


More STEM Fiction: The Trouble With Ants

This week we have found another middle grade novel that promotes STEM, The Nora Notebooks, Book 1: The Trouble with Ants by Claudia Mills and illustrated by Katie Kath.

The-Trouble-With-Ants

Nora, the main character, is a 10-year-old budding myrmecologist with an ant farm and a passion for studying ants. She records fascinating facts about ants in a journal, tidbits of which are given at the ends of chapters. Nora even does a simple experiment with ants and writes a paper about it.

In addition to information about ants, the text reveals basics of how scientists work. For example, Nora’s mother specializes in studying Saturn’s rings. In another part, Nora’s dad explains to her how scientists publish their work in scientific journals, something youngsters probably have no inkling about.

If this basic STEM theme doesn’t sound appealing, you will still want to give this book a chance. In fact this story is as rich and layered as a torte, with themes of boy versus girl, keeping pets, and even cat videos. It will find a wide audience because different readers are going to find different aspects relevant.

For more details about the layers and for using The Trouble With Ants for studying writing as well as promoting science, check our full review at Wrapped in Foil blog. Growing with Science also has related ant science activity suggestions this week.

STEM Friday

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2015 Roberta Gibson at Growing with Science All Rights Reserved.


Up, Up, and Away!

Rocketry_Color

Rocketry: Investigate the Science and Technology of Rockets and Ballistics
by Carla Mooney, illustrated by Caitlin Denham
128 pp.
ages 9 to 12
Nomad Press, 2014

 

These days it’s not unusual to turn on your television or computer and spot pictures of planet Jupiter or hear news from planet Mars. In some ways, the galaxies that surround us are closer than ever before. As our technology improves, we are able to travel closer and closer to places once though prohibitively distant.

Our first step toward the stars was taken a long time ago when an ancient Greek named Heroherodeveloped the aeolipile, a steam-powered rocket device. Fast forward to 1232 when the Chinese used the same laws of motion to launch fire arrows filled with a gunpowder mixture at their enemies. Since then, rocketry has become increasingly sophisticated and now we can send rockets to space with the most delicate of payloads—human life.

In Rocketry: Investigate the Science and Technology of Rockets and Ballistics, kids will learn how rockets work, who figured out to make them work, and what the future might hold for rockets and space travel.
Best of all, step-by-step instructions for designing and testing their own rockets are included in each chapter. Safety first! Use eye protection and adult supervision with all projects!

rocket

Kids are fascinated with stuff that flies, and Rocketry helps them connect that fascination with an exploration of this very STEM subject!

 

STEM Friday

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2015 Nomad Press All Rights Reserved.


Rude Bugs!

How RudeHow Rude! 10 Real Bugs Who Won’t Mind Their Manners
by Heather L. Montgomery; illus. by Howard McWilliam
32 pages; ages 6 + up
Scholastic, 2015

“Some bugs litter. Some pass gas. Others throw poop.”

This book introduces some of the rudest bugs around… although they are still young – larvae or nymphs – so we might excuse their juvenile behavior if it wasn’t SO gross!
Author Heather Montgomery introduces the bugs as contenders in a “Battle for the Grossest”- and you get to choose the winner. Each spread focuses on one insect and its uncivil behavior: mesquite bugs who pass gas, caterpillars who ooze green goo, beetle larvae who carry their poop around on their backs, and even one youngster who turns to cannibalism.
There is, of course, great back matter: some explanations about why this behavior is adaptive and not just “bad” juvenile hijinks, a handy map showing where to find these insects when traveling across the US, and a glossary.

Head over to Archimedes Notebook for an interview with the author.

STEM Friday

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2015 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.


Comparing Amphibians and Reptiles

AmphbnReptileAmphibians and Reptiles: a Compare and Contrast book
by Katharine Hall
32 pages; ages 4-8
Arbordale Publishing

People who study amphibians and reptiles are called herpetologists. Ask them what they study, and they lump ’em all together into one large group they call “herps”. Still, frogs and toads have some similarities, and they are very different from snakes and tortoises.

Katharine Hall compares how reptiles and amphibians are similar – they are cold-blooded and hatch from eggs. She also compares how reptiles differ from amphibians. Most amphibians have smooth skin, while reptiles tend to have dry, scaly skin. Photographs illustrate the important features: eggs, skin, fangs, webbed feet.

At the back are pages that go beyond the simple story. There kids can learn more about the five classes of vertebrates (things with backbones) and play a mystery sorting fame. There’s a wonderful page that explains what being a herpetologist is all about, and what you’ll need in your “herpetology research kit” and more.

If you really love frogs, then head over to Sally’s Bookshelf today where there’s a bunch of frog-related activities.

STEM Friday

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2015 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.