STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Nefertiti, the Spidernaut

nefertiti-space-spiderNefertiti, the Spidernaut

by Darcy Pattison; illustrated by Valeria Tisnes

32 pages; ages 6-8

Mims House, 2016

Early in 2012, in a greenhouse near Yarnell, Arizona, a Johnson jumping spider laid an egg sac.

One of the spiderlings that hatched from that egg sac became a famous space explorer. Her name was Nefertiti and she spent 100 days in space. Her job: to hunt. In a weightless environment.

What I like about this book: It takes the reader through the scientific process, plus some “pre-launch” tests to make sure Nefertiti could handle conditions in space. Once aboard the International Space Station, Nefertiti has to learn how to hunt all over again. On earth, she jumped in an arc to capture prey. In space, once she jumped? Furthermore, once she returned to earth, could she re-adapt to gravity?

I like the backmatter: facts about Nefertiti, resources for learning more, and a discussion about the engineering problems of building a spider habitat for space.

Head over to Archimedes Notebook for some beyond-the-book activities and more for your curious space cadets.

STEM Friday

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

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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