STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


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STEM Friday: Feats of Engineering

Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects by Donna Latham
2012 Nomad Press

Sunny mornings like today always conjure up some of the spectacular vistas that stick in my mind from all sorts of places I’ve been in my life. Since I spent many years in the Bay Area, the views across the bay are some of the most frequent. And I’m not alone. Once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, you never forget it. The view is nothing short of stunning in all directions. But there’s a lot more to that bridge than meets the eye.

I’d like to introduce you to our new Investigate Feats of Engineering titles by featuring the first in this category that we’ve done. Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects invites children 9 and up to explore the innovation and physical science behind these remarkable structures that our world depends on. They’ll learn about some of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles like vast canyons and mountain ranges that engineers and builders have tackled to design and construct such amazing passageways. Bridges and tunnels are lifelines that connect people and places. And some of the world’s most spectacular bridges have equally amazing stories to go along with them.

This book takes a challenging topic and makes it accessible to children. Hands-on activities encourage children to embrace the important engineering skill of trial and error. They’ll experiment with a triangular toothpick dome, liquefaction, and corrosion. They’ll make an egg bungee jump and a soda pop can engine. And with some great history thrown in, there are many lessons to be learned!

Enjoy this title and we look forward to Canals and Dams: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects coming soon!

Today’s post is part of STEM Friday, a weekly round-up of children’s science, engineering, math and technology books.

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Happy STEM Friday to all!

Pam at Nomad


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STEM Friday: The Invention of Time!

Did you know there’s a clock in Boulder, Colorado that can keep the time to within 1 second in 3.7 billion years?! It’s considered the most accurate clock in the world. It’s an optical clock, and what that means is that instead of using the vibration of atoms or molecules, like our current atomic clocks use, it uses light to keep time.

That’s pretty cool. But how did this method of keeping time evolve? And why is it even important to be this accurate?

When a child (or an adult for that matter!) asks, what is time, the explanation isn’t an easy one. Yes, time is a way to keep track of our lives—the school year, the season, the age of our dog (in human and doggy years)…it seems like time has always existed. Well, it has, but what time is today—seconds, minutes, days, etc.—isn’t what time was millions of years ago, when telling time didn’t exist as we know it. It’s easy to forget that the act of telling time is one of the greatest inventions of mankind!

It’s easy to forget that things like minutes and months are an invention in the first place! So that’s why we’re featuring, Timekeeping: Explore the History and Science of Telling Time with 15 Projects for today’s STEM Friday post. Because understanding timekeeping involves knowledge of all of these things: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Timekeeping, a book for kids ages 9-12,explores how humans have measured the passage of time since, well, since the beginning of “time,” when the sun told the time, and days were kept with a shadow clock. Nights were kept by the phases of the moon. It teaches kids about the process of mathematically calculating calendars, and about all of the phases our current Gregorian calendar has gone through to be the twelve-month, 365-day calendar that it is now. They’ll learn how to make a sundial and a clepsydra, a clock devised by the Egyptians that uses dripping water to track time. They’ll also learn cool facts like why Daylight Savings Time exists, and that another name for it is “War Time,” because it was originally implemented to save fuel during WWI.

The projects, facts, and much more make reading this book no waste of time!

Today’s post is part of STEM Friday, a weekly round-up of children’s science, engineering, math and technology books.

Join STEM Friday!

We invite you to join us!

  • Write about STEM each Friday on your blog.
  • Copy the STEM Friday button to use in your blog post.

STEM Friday

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

  • Link your post to the comments of our weekly STEM Friday Round-up. (Please use the link to your STEM Friday post, not the address of your blog. Thanks!)

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