STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


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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.

marie-curie-for-kids

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.

 


Caroline’s Comets

carolines-cometsCaroline’s Comets, a true story

by Emily Arnold McCully

40 pages; ages 6-10

Holiday House, 2017

In 1786, Caroline Herschel became the first woman to discover a comet. She was also the first woman to be paid for doing scientific research.

Weaving Caroline’s memoir and correspondence into the text, Emily McCully takes us into the life of an early astronomer.

Caroline’s father was the first to show her the stars; her mother taught her the practical skills she would need. But then, when she was 22 years old, her brother William invited her to join him in England. In addition to helping around the house, he needed some help recording his astronomy observations – and some help building a telescope.

So Caroline became his assistant inventor. She pounded and sifted dried horse manure so her brother could build a mold for making the mirror. Their first telescope magnified things 6,000 times. That might not seem like a lot these days, but back in the 1700s it was astronomic.

They discovered that the Milky way was made of stars. They discovered a new planet (Uranus). And then, as the King’s Astronomer, William began a sweep of the sky.Caroline discovered nebulae and star clusters and two new galaxies – and all the while she did needlework, kept William’s accounts, and cleaned all the equipment.

Then, December 21, 1786, Caroline discovered a comet. McCully fills the pages with wonder, discovery, and comets. She also includes great back matter with a timeline, glossary, and additional notes.

 

STEM Friday

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2017 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.


Black History Makers


@Booklist_Briana made a Pinterest board for my February Booklist Quick Tips for Schools and Libraries column: Focus on STEM: Black History Makers.

(And my Booklist editor @gillianengberg added a thumbnail of the cover of my forthcoming picture book Up! Up! Up! Skyscraper (Charlesbridge, May 2017) to the byline.)

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

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


Sir Cumference and the Fracton Faire

Sir Cumference and the Fracton Faire
written by Cindy Neuschwander; illustrated by Wayne Geehan
2017 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

“They’re Fracton numbers, my lady,” the woman answered. “They are used to measure equal pieces of something, such as this beautiful cloth.”

Lady Di of Ameter and Sir Cumference are visiting a fair with their friend the Earl of Fracton. In Fracton, you can buy a whole item or pieces of it. Lady Di spies a bolt of red fabric, but while she is getting a lesson on numerators and denominators from the seller, the fabric disappears. Meanwhile, Sir Cumference and the Earl are craving a snack so they chat up the cheese monger. He provides a lesson on equivalent fractions, which disappoints Sir Cumference because he, like an overeager second grader, thought choosing a large number for the denominator would guarantee more cheese. When the cheese monger turns to cut from the cheddar wheel, it’s missing too! In fact, all of the vendors are missing items. Momentarily flummoxed, the Earl decides to think like a thief which allows him to devise a fracton-like plan to catch the stealing stinkers. Through the medium of a puppet show, a reward of one valuable gold coin is offered to the customer that can find the largest fraction written on pieces of paper distributed throughout the fair. The Earl surmises that only a visitor to Fracton would be delighted with a low numerator and a high denominator. Sure enough, a motley crew leader boasts of having found 1/32 and is outwardly annoyed when his fraction is not declared the winner. Case closed.

Fractions are one of the hardest topics for math students in grades 2-5. So when an engaging resource can be found to propel their learning, there is mathematical mirth to be had. The concepts are explained in an enlightening way both textually and visually. You also get the added bonus of fun wordplay, which is a hallmark of the Sir Cumference book series. All hail this new addition to a venerable math series!


Ultimate Oceanpedia


Ultimate Oceanpedia: The Most Complete Ocean Reference Ever
by Christina Wilsdon (Author)

Booktalk: From tsunamis and sea turtles to riptides and reefs, learn all about the creatures, science, and ecology of our oceans, which cover more of the planet than all the continents and are just as important! Travel through all parts of the ocean to learn how it affects of our world, including storms and climate. Amazing facts, photos, illustrations, and diagrams are found throughout this book, along with conservation tips, weird-but-true facts, and a mini ocean atlas. Challenges to the health of our ocean and its creatures are also presented along with what people are doing to keep it pristine for generations to come.

Snippet:
THE PACIFIC OCEAN
The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean. It’s so big that it could hold all of the Earth’s continents, with room to spare. It contains nearly half of Earth’s ocean water.

But the Pacific isn’t just the biggest ocean. It’s also the deepest. The average depth of the Pacific is about 14,040 feet (4,280 m)–more than 10 times the height of New York City’s Empire State Building. It’s also home to the deepest place on Earth: Challenger Deep, which sits in the Mariana Trench, a canyon on the ocean floor. Challenger Deep plunges 35,827 feet (11 km).

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

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


The Astronaut Instruction Manual

The Astronaut Instruction Manual: Practical Skills for Future Space Explorers

by Mike Mongo, read by Mike Mongo with foreword by Alyssa Carson

Listening Library, 2017

47 minutes

the-astronaut-instruction-manual

The Astronaut Instruction Manual began as a book on Inkshares, basically a “Kickstarter” for self-published books.  Largely do to its author’s subject knowledge and enthusiasm, it became a popular seller, hence the recent release of the audiobook version.  According to the Hollywood Reporter, there is also a television series in the works.

Mike Mongo narrates his own book with an infectious enthusiasm for guaranteed to draw you in to this practical and inspirational look at the future of space travel.

My complete review of The Astronaut Instruction Manual may be found in AudioFile Magazine, in print and online at this link [http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/121233/the-astronaut-instruction-manual-by-mike-mongo/].

(See all of my reviews at Shelf-employed)

 Copyright © 2017 L.Taylor at Shelf-employed. All Rights Reserved.

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


Rise of the Lioness

rise-of-lionessRise of the Lioness: restoring a habitat and its pride on the Liuwa Plains

by Bradley Hague

56 pages; ages 8-12

National Geographic Children’s Books, 2016

The Liuwa Plains are in Western Zambia – a perfect habitat for zebras, wildebeests, and lions. Back in 1972, the plains were declared a national park. But as the 20th century drew to a close, the plains were radically changed by war and poaching.

In less than a single human generation, Liuwa’s ecosystem collapsed and by 2003, when peace finally settled, there was only one lion left: a lioness called Lady.

The thing about animals is that they don’t just live in their environments; they shape them, too. And the Liuwa Plains without its top predators was “the environmental equivalent of tearing down a dam or blowing up a road,” writes Hague. The loss of the lions created a trophic cascade, affecting the behavior of almost every animal in the habitat.

This book follows the scientists who studied Lady and figured out how to rebuild the local ecosystem. That meant reintroducing animals, including lions – easier said than done. But after many years, the Liuwa ecosystem was restored. This is a story of perseverance, patience, and pride.

Head over to Archimedes Notebook for another book focusing on predator-prey interactions.

STEM Friday

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

Site Meter Copyright © 2017 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.