STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Up, Up, and Away!


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!


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)

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The Brain: Discover the Universe Inside Your Head
by Carla Mooney, Illustrated by Tom Casteel
128 pages, grades 7-9
Nomad Press, 2015



We all have them. We use them to know when and what to eat, to make decisions both large and small, to sense who to trust and who to stay away from, and to recognize pain and react accordingly.


Brains! That three-pound lump of grayish matter can do things that no other animal or machine can do. Without your brain, you would not be alive. Your brain regulates your heartbeat, blood pressure, and breathing. It tells you when to eat, drink, and sleep. Your brain also makes you the person that you are. It guides and directs your actions and behavior. Your brain controls how you feel, perceive, and think about the world around you. That’s a pretty huge job.

In The Brain: Discover the Universe Inside Your Head, kids learn about the structure and function of the brain, how it develops as a person ages, and how we use our brains to form memories, develop language, feel emotion, and sense the world around us. A whole chapter is dedicated to ideas on how to keep brains healthy and how unhealthy habits, such as not eating well or using drugs, can affect your brain for the worse.

Readers 12 to 15 will appreciate the hands-on projects, including building a model of a brain and performing memory tests. Lots of STEM connections make this book perfect for both home and classroom!

 Try this activity to see how neurotransmission works!

STEM Friday

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

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