I never really think about how much I like science until I see something really cool, like the periodic table. Why am I so drawn to this chart of elements? Could it be my librarian brain enjoying something so organized? Or is it the chart’s bright colors? Maybe the appeal lies in how the letters and numbers are arranged in each square and have a meaning. Not sure. Whatever the reasons, I like it. A LOT. But I digress. The reason I am obsessing about the periodic table at all is the website Chemicool.
This site displays the periodic table with an awesome feature: you can click on each element and find out everything you ever wanted to know about that element. (Well, I am assuming it lists everything…I’m not a scientist!) Things like the atomic weight, history, classification and many other interesting tidbits are included. Visit Chemicool and see how cool it is for yourself. I don’t think you will be disappointed! Continue reading
Kids need more exposure to science. We’ve all heard the news reports. And, while some of us have fond memories of looking at boogers under our first microscopes, I know some of you groan under the remembered weight of textbooks full of big words. How can you make science fun for your children? Check out the National Science Teachers Association’s recently published list of Outstanding Science Books for K-12 Students for 2013.
How do books make the cut? Continue reading
In 1983, Sally Ride became the first female astronaut from the United States to travel into space. In the years that followed, she continued to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, dedicating the last years of her life to education. In 2001, Ride founded Sally Ride Science, an education company that supports and fosters children’s–especially young girls’–interest in science, math, engineering and technology. Sally passed away this week after a battle with pancreatic cancer, but her legacy lives on.
Here are some resources to learn more about Sally Ride and inspire the young scientists in your life:
- “Almost Astronauts” by Tanya Lee Stone. The story of 13 women, known as the Mercury 13, who fought for the right to soar into space during the 1960s.
- “Sally Ride: Astronaut, Scientist, Teacher” by Pamela Hill Nettleton. A straightforward biography of the first American woman in space for the youngest readers. Ride didn’t start out wanting to be an astronaut–she wanted to play shortstop for the L.A. Dodgers!
- “Space Exploration” by Giles Sparrow. This recently published book presents the life of an astronaut from take-off to surviving, adapting and working in space stations. Discusses space travels throughout history, including the first landing on the Moon, and looks at future space exploration plans.
- Check out this list of additional biographies of female astronauts.
Facts about Sally Ride from Biography in Context, an online resource available for free with your DBRL library card.
Take the opportunity this Earth Day to teach the kids in your life about the environment and how their choices can affect the health of the planet. Is your child already an animal lover? Read books together about species extinction and habitat preservation. Have a budding scientist in your house? Choose titles about climate change, electric cars or other alternative energy sources. Here’s a list of recent children’s books that explore ecological themes in appealing ways.
Each April the American Library Association sponsors a week-long celebration of libraries, promoting their use and recognizing the great services they provide to job-seekers, entrepreneurs, readers, writers, teachers, students of all ages and, of course, children. April 8-14, in a coincidence of geek-tastic proportions, National Library Week coincides with National Robotics Week, aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of “robo-technology” and inspiring students of all ages to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields. What better way to celebrate both of these weeks than with books and information about these fascinating machines? Whether the kids in your life are into R2D2 and WALL-E or real-life robots helping build cars or perform surgeries, you’ll find plenty of resources to spark their imaginations. Continue reading