STEM Tuesday

STEM Tuesday — The Living Seas– In the Classroom

STEM Tuesday


This month’s theme is all about the OCEAN! Not only are Earth’s oceans massive, what happens there impacts everything else on Earth. Here are a few of this month’s books that help explore the oceans.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit

Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean
by Patricia Newman; photographs by Annie Crawley

Readers will discover how closely THEY are connected to the ocean, regardless of where they live.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit
Into the Deep: An Exploration of Our Oceans
by Wolfgang Dreyer; illustrated by Annika Siems

Discover the latest scientific research through a ride on a submarine.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit
Secrets of the Sea by Kate Baker

Explore rocky pools, shoreline, and the deepest depths of the ocean.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit
Oceanology: The Secrets of the Sea Revealed by DK/Smithsonian  

An informative and beautiful introduction into the ocean ecosystem.

So where do you start exploring something that is so big and overflowing with life? (You’re sure to never run out of things to explore!)

Just How Big Is It?

Oceans cover over 2/3 of the Earth. It’s hard to fathom just how big the oceans are. Here are some activities that can help our brains process this.

There is a really great video from the Smithsonian called “Just How Big Is The Ocean?”  (While you’re there, check out ideas for lessons relating to the ocean:

Print out a world map. Color the oceans blue. Color land masses another color. (To practice even more geography, color each continent a different color.) Here are a few to check out:

The oceans don’t just spread out, though. They also go deep. The Smithsonian Ocean website has a great visual showing just how deep the ocean goes:

Compare the depths of the ocean to things that are familiar. How many school busses could you stack? How do skyscrapers compare to the ocean depths? (Check out skyscraper heights here: What other items can you use to compare?


Get Visual

Another way to think about how much of Earth is covered in oceans is to create visual representations of the different numbers related to the ocean. Brainstorm some ways to represent the different numbers. Not sure what to do? Get inspired by the book Dinosaurs by the Numbers by Steve Jenkins ( – an entire book devoted to infographics.

To see some visuals related to how climate change is impacting the oceans, check out this site: There are several buttons on the Climate Dashboard that show statistics related to the oceans.


Explore What’s In the Ocean

More things live in the ocean than live on land. Scientists are still discovering new creatures that live in the seas. There are lots of places online where you can explore what’s being seen below the waves.

One of my favorite places to explore the oceans from home is through the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. You can browse photos ( and videos ( on their website.

You can also see videos they’ve posted on YouTube. Discover MBARI scientists’ Top 10 Deep-Sea Animals ( or MBARI Top 10: A treasure trove of bizarre, interesting, and wondrous encounters in 2019 ( They have loads of playlists to choose from, too, including Deep-Ocean Soundscapes and Weird and Wonderful. (

There are lots of things to explore through the Smithsonian Oceans site. Here is a page that’s loaded with things to explore about Ocean Life:

NOAA’s Ocean Service also has lots to explore – most of them closer to home.

Check out an aquarium – either in person or online. Here are a few of the big ones in the U.S.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD:

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL:

Monterey Bay Aquarium in CA:

Get some practice doing research and writing reports. Pick an animal that you find while browsing. Dig into what information you can find about them. Report about the animal by creating a poster, putting together a slide show, or writing it up ( Be sure to include the research sources and properly credit any images used.


Follow the Challenger

If you’ve watched the first video mentioned or just done some research about the oceans, you’ve probably noticed that the deepest part of the ocean is named Challenger Deep. This is named for the first oceanographic expedition, conducted in the 1870s by scientists aboard the HMS Challenger.

There are whole websites dedicated to the HMS Challenger expedition. Many of the samples taken during that voyage are still held at scientific institutions around the world.

Here are a few sites for exploring the Challenger and how what it did compares to research today.

The samples taken during the Challenger voyage are helping scientists study climate change today.


Make a Difference

Now that you’ve explored the oceans a bit, hopefully you think they’re a resource worth saving. Everyone can make a difference when it comes to saving the oceans, no matter how far from the ocean they live.

Here are some resources in addition to the books on the book list:

Come up with 3 concrete things you can do to help the oceans. Think of what you will change and how you will measure it. Track what you’ve done for a few weeks.


Hopefully you continue to have fun exploring the oceans. And please be sure to do what you can to help the oceans out. Without life in the oceans, there will be no life on land.


Janet Slingerland loves learning about science, history, nature, and (well) everything, which she then turns into a book. She is currently researching an animal that lives on the floor of the ocean. To find out more about Janet and her books, check out her website:

STEM Tuesday — The Living Seas– Book List

STEM Tuesday

Dive beneath the waves with us this week as we explore our world ocean. Did you know our planet is 70% ocean and only 30% land? Yet the ocean is less explored than outer space. Use these books to explore the wild, the weird, and the wonderful about our blue planet.

Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean by Patricia Newman; photographs by Annie Crawley

Readers will discover how closely THEY are connected to the ocean, regardless of where they live. Be sure to explore the dazzling QR code videos! Jeff Bridges, Academy Award winner and environmentalist, call this book a “must read.”

Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact by Jennifer Swanson

Discover how scientists prepare for exploring deep-space and deep-sea.

Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species by Ana Pego; illustrated by Isabel Minhos Martins and Bernado P. Carvalho

Readers will explore plastic pollution in the ocean inspired by biologist Ana Pego’s life’s work.

Beneath the Waves: Celebrating the Ocean Through Pictures, Poems, and Stories by Stephanie Warren Drimmer

Enjoy amazing animal profiles, poetry, photography, and lots of great facts.

The Next Wave: The Quest to Harness the Power of the Oceans by Elizabeth Rusch

Readers will meet the scientists and engineers working to tarnish our oceans for renewable energy.

Into the Deep: An Exploration of Our Oceans by Wolfgang Dreyer; illustrated by Annika Siems

Discover the latest scientific research through a ride on a submarine. 

Secrets of the Sea by Kate Baker  

Explore rocky pools, shoreline, and the deepest depths of the ocean. 

Oceanology: The Secrets of the Sea Revealed by DK/Smithsonian  

An informative and beautiful introduction into the ocean ecosystem.

Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion by Loree Griffen Burns

This Scientists in the Field title explores the exploration of ocean trash.

Explore the Salish Sea: A Nature Guide for Kids by Joseph K. Gados and Audrey DeLella Benedict

This title explores the creatures that call the Salish Sea home, from the rhinoceros auklet to the giant Pacific octopus. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is thumbnail-150x113.jpg

Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years including, THE STORY OF SEEDS, which earned the Green Earth Book Award, Junior Library Guild Selection, and other honors. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia.  She strives to inform, inspire, and empower her readers. Nancy also served as Regional Advisor Emeritus of the Eastern NY SCBWI region. Her 2020 international title about farm and food is THE FARM THAT FEEDS US: A Year In The Life Of An Organic Farm. Visit her at 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Patricia-Newman-150x150.jpg

Patricia Newman writes middle-grade nonfiction that empowers young readers to act on behalf of the environment and their communities. Academy Award winner and environmentalist Jeff Bridges calls Planet Ocean a “must read.” Newman, a Sibert Honor author of Sea Otter Heroes, has also received an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book Award for Eavesdropping on Elephants, a Green Earth Book Award for Plastic, Ahoy!, and a Eureka! Gold Medal from the California Reading Association for Zoo Scientists to the Rescue. Her books have received starred reviews, been honored as Junior Library Guild Selections, and included on Bank Street College’s Best Books lists. During author visits, she demonstrates how young readers can use writing to be the voice of change. Visit her at

A Shout Out for the STEM Tuesday Team!!

stem tuesday image


As we come up on our fourth anniversary of STEM Tuesday (yes – FOUR years!) I thought it would be a great time to remind you of the AMAZING authors who make STEM Tuesday possible.

The STEM Tuesday blog posts are written by a group of award-winning children’s authors, teachers, and writers who are passionate about presenting STEM/STEAM topics in a way that kids of all ages will find exciting, inspiring, and engaging.

You can find more information about each of them by visiting their websites, purchasing some of their books, and also inviting them to your schools and conferences.

Meet the STEM Tuesday TEAM!

Nancy Castaldo, authorBook The Story of SEedsNancy Castaldo      @NCastaldoAuthor

Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years. Her 2016 title THE STORY OF SEEDS: From Mendel’s Garden to Your Plate, and How There’s More of Less To Eat Around The World introduces older readers to the importance of seeds, farming, and the crisis we currently face. It received the Green Earth Book Award and many other accolades.



author christine Taylor-butler

book The Circulatory System
Christine  has written more than 80 books including The Lost Tribe series. She has been an advocate for diversity in character representations and led by example.

Taylor-Butler majored in civil engineering and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1981. She has written nonfiction for Scholastic, including for their True Book educational series.


image of author Mary Kay CarsonBook - Wildlife Rangers
Mary Kay Carson is a nonfiction children’s book author. She’s written more than fifty books for kids about wildlife, space, weather, nature, and other science and history topics.






JAnet Slingerland authorAtoms and Molecules Book
Janet Slingerland is the author of more than 20 books for readers in grades K through 12. Her favorite subjects include STEM, history, and the history of STEM.

Janet grew up reading, writing, and conducting science experiments. After working for 15 years writing computer programs, She started writing books.





Author Carla MooneyBook The Human Genome  Carla Mooney 


Carla Mooney is an award-winning children’s author from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

She is the author of numerous nonfiction and fiction books and magazine articles for children and teens. She has won several nonfiction awards for her books.



Author Patricia Newman

Planet Ocean BookPatricia  Newman


Award-winning author Patricia Newman shares her excitement for writing and hopes to inspire readers and writers of all ages to share their vision of the world.




author Karen Latchana Kenney

book Folding Tech   Karen Latchana Kenney


Karen writes books about animals, and she looks for them wherever she  goes—from leafcutter ants trailing through the Amazon rain forest in Guyana, where she was born, to puffins in cliff-side burrows on the Irish island of Skellig Michael. She especially enjoys creating books about nature, biodiversity, conservation, and groundbreaking scientific discoveries—but also  civil rights, astronomy, historical moments, and many other topics.


Kirsten Williams Larson authorWood, Wire and Wings book  Kirsten W. Larson


Kirsten used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes books for curious kids. Kirsten is the author of WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: EMMA LILIAN TODD INVENTS AN AIRPLANE, as well as 25 nonfiction books for the school and library market.




Author Sue HeavenrichBook Diet for a Changing Climate Sue Heavenrich

Sue Heavenrich is an independent environmental journalist and children’s writer. She has written for a variety of magazines including Ranger Rick, Highlights, Cobblestone, and Organic Gardening as well as local and regional newspapers. She writes the “Archimedes Notebook” science column for Ithaca Child, a bimonthly parenting publication.




Author Heather L. MontgomeryWho Gives a Poop? book Heather L. Montgomery 


Heather L. Montgomery writes for kids who are wild about animals. Her 14 nonfiction books include SOMETHING ROTTEN: A FRESH LOOK AT ROADKILL, LITTLE MONSTERS OF THE OCEAN: METAMORPHOSIS UNDER THE WAVES, and BUGS DON’T HUG: SIX-LEGGED PARENTS AND THEIR KIDS.



Writer Maria MarshallMaria Marshall


For as long as anyone can remember, Maria had a book in her hands. During the summer of herthird grade year, she read every book in the Library’s children’s section A to Z. She loved to write, make up stories, and create elaborate treasure hunts and maps for my brother and sister. So she went to college and wrote for four years to earn a degree in English and Political Science. Then she took my love of writing and telling stories to Law School. Maria is passionate about using picture and chapter books to make reading and nature fun for children. Check out her Picture Book Buzz Blog


Writer Mike Hays Mike Hays


Mike Hays has worked hard from a young age to be a well-rounded individual. A well-rounded, equal opportunity sports enthusiasts, that is. If they keep a score, he’ll either watch it, play it, or coach it. He also is a history fanatic, especially regional history. A molecular microbiologist by day, middle-grade author, sports coach, and general good citizen by night.


And me,

author jennifer swansonBook Beastly Bionics  Jennifer Swanson


Jennifer Swanson is the award winning author of over 40+ nonfiction books for children, mostly about science and technology. Jennifer’s love of STEM began when she started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. While no longer working from the garage, Jennifer’s passion for science and technology resonates in all her books but especially, BRAIN GAMES (NGKids) and SUPER GEAR: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up (Charlesbridge), Astronaut-Aquanaut, and Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner, Save the Crash-test Dummies. Her  BRAIN GAMES book was even #13 on the The 50 Best Science books Ever Written.


We hope you are enjoying our STEM Tuesday blog. If you use it in your classroom or homeschool, please let us know. And if you have a topic that you would like us to cover that we haven’t yet, leave your suggestion in the comments below.  GO STEM!!