STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Flying Deep

Flying Deep

by Michelle Cusolito; illustrated by Nicole Wong

32 pages; ages 5-9. Charlesbridge, 2018

Imagine you’re the pilot of Alvin, a deep-sea submersible barely big enough for three.

This book takes you on an adventure down, down, down to investigate a site where underwater volcanoes erupted. Two miles below the surface of the ocean, scientist are studying the living things taking hold near the hydrothermal vents. Getting there is a bit tricky, because you could get trapped in nets – and you only have three days of air – and who would come and rescue you?

What I like love about this book: The adventure of a day in Alvin! The cool creatures that scientists discover in the deep, deep sea! There are ghost crabs, six-foot tall tube worms, and dinner plate-sized clams. I love the language Michelle Cusolito uses to describe fish – an elusive eelpout – and the technology – they toggle the slurp gun into position. Slurp Gun! How can you not love science when you’ve got a slurp gun?

And of course, the back matter – and there is plenty for everyone. Michelle writes about underwater food webs at hydrothermal vents. Too deep for sunlight and photosynthesis, the creatures of the deep depend on bacteria and microbes to convert chemicals vented from inside the earth into food. Those microorganisms are in turn eaten by bigger animals. She also writes about her sources: Don Collasius, a former Alvin pilot, and Bruce Strickrott, a current Alvin pilot. Illustrator Nicole Wong writes about her research to get the illustrations correct – from the technology to how it moves underwater. There are Alvin Facts, a glossary, and a guide to the organisms Alvin scientists have found, along with sources for further exploration.

Head over to Archimedes Notebook for an interview with Michelle and Beyond the Book activities.

STEM Friday

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

Copyright © 2018 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.

Author: Sue Heavenrich

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

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