STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


Butterfly Papercrafts: Top Flight for STEAM Projects

At Growing with Science blog today, we are finishing up our celebration of National Moth Week with Butterfly Papercrafts: 21 Indoor Projects for Outdoor Learning by Sal Levinson and illustrated by Danielle Levinson.

This book introduces children to both art and science in an integrated way. Topics covered include butterfly life cycles, butterfly gardening, puddling behavior, migration, camouflage and more. To explore these topics, children make finger puppets, flip books, paper airplanes, and even a butterfly-shaped kite.

The layout consists of a series of two-page spreads with instructions and information about a given butterfly-related topic on the left page and the reproducible template for the craft to make on the right hand page. Also included are black and white photographs of completed projects or activity suggestions. What a wonderful way to learn about butterflies and moths!

Butterfly Papercrafts would be a great resource to have on hand for STEAM festivals, units on insects, to accompany a trip to a butterfly house, or for a rainy day craft project at home. A must have for children who love butterflies.

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2017 Roberta Gibson at Growing with Science All Rights Reserved.

 

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A Rocketful of Space Poems

For National Poetry Month we are featuring A Rocketful of Space Poems, chosen by John Foster and illustrated by Korky Paul, at Growing with Science blog.

space-poems

The collection includes poems from the likes of J. Patrick Lewis, Eric Finney, and Judith Nicholls. Many of the poems are not particularly serious, since they are about monsters, witches, magicians and aliens. They allow the reader to “fly into space, drive to the moon, meet an asteroid dog and a flurb blurp, and then play intergalactic Squibble-Ball.” As you can see, the featured poems are highly imaginative but have a science-based foundation underneath.

Korky Paul’s illustrations are wacky and delightful. Each two-page spread has a frame around it filled with fun things to discover.

Pick up A Rocketful of Space Poems today and share a few with young readers for National Poetry Month. Let their imaginations soar!

And be sure to stop by Growing with Science for related activities and more.

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2016 Roberta Gibson at Growing with Science All Rights Reserved.


Mapping My Day

For Pi Day coming up next week, let’s take a look at the new nonfiction picture book Mapping My Day by Julie Dillemuth and illustrated by Laura Wood.

mappin-my-day

Mapping My Day introduces basic map concepts and vocabulary through a day in the life of a young girl named Flora. To start the day she wakes up to a lesson about cardinal directions, races to the bathroom while learning about map scale, and goes outside to use a treasure map full of landmarks. Wait until you hear what she does after breakfast.

The back matter includes a “Note to Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals” with explanations of why mapping skills are so important and an extensive section explaining map concepts with suggestions for numerous activities. Activity pages are included.

We often underestimate the ability of young children to learn how to read and understand maps. That’s why a resource like Mapping My Day is so important. It helps educators teach mapping skills in an engaging and age-appropriate way.

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What does mapping have to do with math and Pi Day? Although often associated with geography, mapping is a way to present visual information that is useful in many STEM fields. Think of genome maps for genetics. Or, how about all the coordinates you learn about in geometry? Mapping is everywhere.

For more information and related activities, see our post at Growing With Science blog.

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2016 Roberta Gibson at Growing with Science All Rights Reserved.


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Marie Curie for Kids

For Women’s History Month we have an amazing new middle grade book, Marie Curie for Kids: Her Life and Scientific Discoveries, with 21 Activities and Experiments by Amy M. O’Quinn.

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Right up front I have to say that I love Chicago Review Press books. They combine two of my favorite elements:  an in-depth biography and hands-on activities to reinforce learning. Those are a powerful combination on their own. Add that the title is about an outstanding woman scientist, and it is a must have.

Marie Curie was indeed a groundbreaking scientist. Some of her accomplishments include:

  • Studied radioactivity (she coined the term)
  • First woman to win a Nobel Prize
  • First person to win two Nobel Prizes
  • Only person to win Novel Prizes in two fields:  chemistry and physics

Author Amy M. O’Quinn delves deeply into Marie Curie’s life using many primary-source materials. I have read other biographies of Marie Curie, but this one has details I had not seen before. The author’s passion for her topic comes through clearly in her writing.

The 21 hands-on activities range from learning about Poland (Marie Curie’s birthplace) to chemistry and physics experiments, such as:

  • Build an atomic model
  • Make a compass with magnets
  • Explore Charles’s Law using soap clouds

Although Marie Curie for Kids is written for middle grade children, it has the depth to make it a wonderful resource for educators as well. Pick up a copy for Women’s History Month, STEM Friday, or just for fun and inspire a young reader today!

Find out more and see some related resources at Growing With Science blog.

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2016 Roberta Gibson at Growing with Science All Rights Reserved.

 


Exploring Bird Science with Bird-acious by Melissa Stewart

Melissa Stewart is an award-winning children’s book author who specializes in nonfiction and particularly science. Today we’re highlighting her book, Bird-acious.

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This book deserves a second look because it is a fun and educational introduction to birds for young readers. It contains big color photographs and interesting facts. It covers everything from feathers and flying to beaks and eating. There’s even a two-page spread that features photographs of cool bird tongues and describes what the various structures are used for.

But Bird-acious offers even more. In the cover image above, do you see the brown mass in the yellow oval to the right, just under the title? That is an actual owl pellet for kids to dissect. A bird book with its own hands-on activity included, how cool is that?

Want to find out what an owl pellet is? Check out the complete review at Growing with Science blog.

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2016 Roberta Gibson at Growing with Science All Rights Reserved.


Animal Planet’s Strange Animals

We seem to have an animal theme going on today at STEM Friday. I’m featuring a Cybils finalist in the elementary/juvenile nonfiction categoryAnimal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals by Charles Ghigna.

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Kids go wild over these kinds of books. With over 200 photographs of weird animals and text by award-winning poet and children’s author Charles Ghigna, how can you go wrong?

First up are the Strange animals. Some of the animals include the blobfish, which was once voted the world’s ugliest animal (see video below); the red-lipped batfish, which turns out can’t swim very well; and the lowland streaked tenrec, a tiny animal which looks like it got tangled up with the spines of a porcupine. After all the weird creatures in that section, it’s hard to imagine what they found for the Unusual, Gross, and Cool animal categories that follow.

Budding zoologists will definitely dare take a look at Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals. In fact, even the most reluctant reader will want to explore it. Check out a copy today!

Hop, leap or fly over to Growing with Science blog for a review, suggested activity, and a video about that really strange blobfish.

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2016 Roberta Gibson at Growing with Science All Rights Reserved.

 


Easy Plastic Bottle Science Activities

Today we are featuring a middle grade title Cool Plastic Bottle and Milk Jug Science (Recycled Science) by Tammy Enz.

milk-jug-science

Tammy Enz has come up with nine intriguing science activities that reuse plastic containers. It’s a win-win scenario because plastic containers provide inexpensive containers for science projects, and finding new purposes for water bottles or milk jugs keeps them out of the landfill.

The instructions for the activities are short and clear. There’s a list of materials you’ll need, step-by-step instructions how to put it together, photographs showing the set up, and a brief explanation of what’s happening. Activities range from making a cloud in a bottle in a few minutes to a longer term composting worm farm.

Cool Plastic Bottle and Milk Jug Science is perfect for a busy educator who needs a science activity fast. The best part is the materials are inexpensive and generally readily available. If you are doing science with kids, it’s a great book to have on hand.

If you are looking for activities to accompany the book, stop by Growing With Science blog.

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2016 Roberta Gibson at Growing with Science All Rights Reserved.