STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


On Gull Beach

Let’s take a look at On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Bob Marstall, a beautiful picture book that came out this week.

The story follows a young boy as he explores a Massachusetts beach. Along the way, he spots a sea star. Before he can reach it, however, a seagull picks it up and flies away. Find out what he discovers as he chases the gull along the beach.

Jane Yolen’s simple, but expertly-crafted rhyming text and Bob Marstall’s exceptional illustrations make a delightful combination. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a bird book published by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

Young birdwatchers will love On Gull Beach. It would also be a great choice for a trip to the beach, either in real life or in the reader’s imagination. Enjoy a copy today!

Visit Growing With Science blog for the complete review and related activity suggestions.

Invention of Facebook and Internet Privacy

Invention of Facebook and Internet Privacy
by Tamra B. Orr (Author)

Booktalk: This book relays the factual details of the invention of Facebook in 2004 through three different perspectives. The narrative provides multiple accounts of the event, and readers learn details through the point of view of a Harvard student, Harvard professor, and potential investor. The text offers opportunities to compare and contrast various perspectives while gathering and analyzing information about a modern event.

Snippet: “Look at this,” I said, pointing at the screen. “It lists each person’s birthday, e-mail address, and cell phone number. Those are a lot of personal details. Is that safe?”

Professor Edmonds shook his head slowly. “I doubt it,” he said. “My guess is that Zuckerberg isn’t too worried about it either.”

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

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


Baby Loves Quantum Physics!


Baby Loves Quantum Physics!
by Ruth Spiro (Author) and Irene Chan (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book engages readers in a game of hide-and-seek with Schrodinger’s famous feline. Can cat be awake and asleep at the same time? Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two!



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

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


I am the Rain

I am the Rain

by John Paterson

32 pages, ages 3-8

Dawn publications, 2018

Sometimes I’m the rain cloud and sometimes I’m the rain.

Using poetic language and art, author John Paterson takes us on an adventure through the water cycle. He knows water – where it flows and how to paddle through it. And he knows its many moods, from wild and splashy to misty fog.

What I like about this book: I like the first-person point of view – a story about the water cycle from the perspective of the water. I like how we learn about water through the different seasons, and in different states – gas, liquid, solid. Water is everywhere on our planet and, as it notes, “All of life depends on me.”

The back matter is filled with so much information and ideas for exploration. There are notes to explain the “science behind the poetry” and tips for taking care of water. Plus science, engineering, and math activities.

Head over the Archimedes Notebook for hands-on activities and some science-connected art.

STEM Friday

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

Copyright © 2018 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.

Working in Engineering

Working in Engineering (Career Files)
by Vicki C. Hayes (Author)

Booktalk: Find out more about the skills and education you will need to pursue a career in engineering with this backstage tour of work from robotics to roads.

Snippet: In 2007, a bridge that was part of Interstate 35W in Minnesota collapsed into the Mississippi River, It happened during evening rush hour. Many people were injured and some died. To find out what happened, the state of Minnesota hired a team of forensic engineers.

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

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Izzy Gizmo

Izzy Gizmo

by Pip Jones; illus. by Sara Ogilvie

32 ages; ages 4-8

Peachtree Publishers, 2018

Izzy Gizmo, a girl who loved to invent, carried her tool bag wherever she went…

Izzy mends things that don’t work. She also tweaks them and embellishes them or invents something new. Her inventions are marvelous, magnificent … and too often malfunction. Like the spaghetti-eating machine, and the nearly-automatic hair cutting robot. Just when Izzy is ready to quit in frustration, she finds a crow with a broken wing. Izzy knows she has to help.

What I like love about this book: I love the feisty and determined Izzy. I also like her patient and supportive grandpa who reminds her that inventors make a lot of mistakes before they get to “ah-ha!” What I really love, though, is when Izzy decides to help the crow regain flight. She’ll invent wings. Sounds easy, but she’s got to collect some materials (I love the scene where she liberates a couple engine sprockets from a motorcycle while the leather-jacketed guys aren’t paying attention!).

I love the bright illustrations, the wonderfully expressive characters, and even the end pages that look like an erector set blew up and landed on the paper.

Head over to Archimedes Notebook for some beyond-the-book hands-on engineering activities.

STEM Friday

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

Copyright © 2018 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.

Thank You, Earth

Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet
by April Pulley Sayre (Author / Illustrator)

Booktalk: From life cycles to weather, colors, shapes, and patterns, a poetic text structured as a simple thank-you note introduces science, nature, and language arts concepts. Back matter includes kid-friendly ideas for conservation projects, information about the photographs, and additional resources.

Thank you for rays
and radials,
and overlapping greens.

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

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


Two New National Geographic Books About Dogs

In time for National Puppy Day (March 23) and to celebrate the Year of the Dog, National Geographic is publishing not one, but two great nonfiction children’s books about dogs.

It’s a Puppy’s Life by photographer Seth Casteel is a picture book with an irresistible combination of adorable photographs of puppies and romping, bouncy partially-rhyming text.

As we would expect from National Geographic, the photographs are fantastic, funny and cute. We see puppies playing, sniffing, making a mess, and sleeping.

Where’s the science? In the back matter are 32 thumbnails of the photographs used in the book with captions that identify each by breed. The puppies range from basset hounds to Yorkshire terriers, allowing readers to explore the concept of inheritance and variation of traits, a Next Generation Science standard.

Even the most reluctant reader is going to enjoy It’s a Puppy’s Life. It is an obvious choice for anyone who is a dog enthusiast, plus would be a great choice to share for National Puppy Day, March 23.


The second book is the middle grade title Dog Days of HistoryThe Incredible Story of Our Best Friends by Sarah Albee.


In this title, Albee starts out with a discussion of where dogs come from. The scientific name for dogs is Canis lupus familiaris, which indicates it is a subspecies of wolf (Canis lupus). In fact, dogs share most of their DNA with wolves, but show incredible variation in appearances.

The remainder of the book progresses in chronological order, with chapters exploring the relations of people and dogs in the ancient world, middle ages, etc., through modern times. Albee features famous dogs through history, like Lewis and Clark’s dog, Seaman. The final chapter wraps up with the role of dogs in modern culture and a glimpse of the future of dogs.

It’s a great reference for dog lovers that they will return to again and again.

See Growing with Science blog for the rest of the review, plus suggested science activities to accompany the books.

Women in Archaeology and Architecture

Archaeology: Cool Women who Dig

by Anita Yasuda; illus. by Lena Chandhok

112 pages; ages 9-12

Nomad Press, 2017

March is Women’s History month, and I can’t think of anything more appropriate than to share a couple of books from Nomad’s “Girls in Science” series.

Archaeology begins by making an important distinction between collecting and archeology – you might have a stamp or coin collection, but archaeological collections demand careful notes and context that provides insight into he society that created the artifacts.

Chelsea Rose, for example, studies a Gold Rush town in Oregon. In addition to field work and interviews, she researches census records, mining claims, and newspapers. Justine Benanty is another archaeologist, but her passion is maritime archaeology and slave ships. So in addition to sifting through documents, she dives deep into cold water to uncover the facts.

Our world may be mapped, but the past remains largely unexplored. Which means there is a lot of room for you – if you love history and enjoy solving mysteries. It’s not all about deserts and dirt – there are space archaeologists, and garden archaeologists!

Architecture: Cool Women who Design Structures

by Elizabeth Schmermund; illus. by Lena Chandhok

112 pages; ages 9-12

Nomad Press, 2017

Are you creative? Do you like solving problems? Architecture combines art and science – not only do you have to understand physics and engineering, but you get to design beautiful buildings. Or bridges.

Patricia Galvan designs post offices and modernized schools. She works at a small firm where she gets to see projects through, from start to finish. Farida Abu-Bakare remembers that she was inspired by the computer game “Sim City”. And Maia Small is an urban designer. She remembers building structures in her back yard when she was a kid.

While the young women agree that the jobs they do are fun and challenging, they say that they are treated differently than men in the same position. They tend to be cut off when talking, or their proposals may not be taken seriously by their male colleagues. Still, they can’t think of more fulfilling work. Their advice: study hard and try to get a mentor when you head into the working world.

STEM Friday

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

Copyright © 2018 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.