STEM

STEM Tuesday– CSI – Forensic Science and Anthropology- Book List

 

This month we uncover clues into the science of Crime Scene Investigation. Forensics is the science of finding evidence and analyzing it for clues. Evidence can be anything: blood spatters, carpet fibers, insects, pollen, powders, fingerprints, and footprints. Each piece of evidence reveals something about what happened at the scene of the crime – even if the crime happened hundreds of years ago.

Crime scene investigation:

Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA by Bridget Heos (YA)

Crime scene investigation is not new; early detectives discovered ways to test for poisons, and conducted autopsies to determine cause of death. Over the years, crime-solving tools have become more sophisticated as technology improves. This book examines evidence from prints to ballistics, blood spatter to DNA and more.

Fingerprints : dead people do tell tales by Chana Stiefel.

Fingerprints are unique identifiers. Not even identical twins have the same fingerprints. This book explains the techniques scientists use to collect fingerprints and to identify criminals, and contains stories about how fingerprints helped solve real crimes.

 

Forensics: Uncover the Science and Technology of Crime Scene Investigation by Carla Mooney

This book introduces the science of crime scene investigation, with chapters about fingerprints, blood evidence, bones, and bodies. Sidebars highlight forensic careers, and there are plenty of hands-on activities for kids to try on their own.

Forensic Identification: Putting a Name and Face on Death by Elizabeth Murray

Forensic anthropologist, Dr. Elizabeth Murray takes readers into morgues and labs where scientists use technology to determine the identities of remains. Filled with case files and a diversity of techniques including facial reconstruction, dental records, X-rays, and DNA testing.

Ancient Cold Cases:

Bone Detective: The Story Of Forensic Anthropologist Diane France by Lorraine Jean Hopping

Meet forensic anthropologist Diane France as she lugs a two-gallon bucket containing a brain …without letting it slosh around. Any other day she might be examining skeletal remains of past royalty or Civil War soldiers, or be called to the site of a disaster to help identify victims. Side bars, photos, and diagrams explain science concepts.

Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker

Forensic scientists use their knowledge of human remains to help solve mysteries of remains found in colonial-era graves near Jamestown, Virginia. Using science, they help recreate the lives of a ship’s captain, an enslaved African girl, and more.

 

Two books about the Kennewick Man:

  Mysterious Bones: The Story of Kennewick Man by Katherine Kirkpatrick and Their Skeletons Speak: Kennewick Man and the Paleoamerican World by Sally M. Walker and Douglas W. Owsley

In July of 1996, two young men accidentally uncovered a skeleton along a bank of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington. Was this an unsolved murder or the remnants of a settler’s or Native American’s unmarked grave? Scientists determined that the bones were more than 9,000 years old – transforming our understanding of how humans colonized North America.

 

Channel your Inner Detective:

CSI Expert!: Forensic Science for Kids by Karen Schulz

This book contains 25 hands-on forensic science activities, including fingerprinting, blood-stain identification, chemical analysis, ballistics, and fiber identification. Each activity is set up as a lab.

 

Crime Scene Detective Arson: Using Science and Critical Thinking to Solve Crimes by Karen Schulz

This book includes everything teachers (or mystery dinner hosts) need to set up a mock crime scene based on arson. There are suspects to interview, forensic lab tests, and a section on forensic science careers.

Carson-Dellosa Forensic Investigations Resource Book by Schyrlet Cameron, Janie Doss, & Suzanne Myers

This book contains ten cases for students to solve, including forgery, theft, and vandalism. Each case (unit) highlights specific skill-based activities, such as handwriting analysis. Labs challenge students to apply the skills they learned to solve the crime.

 

One-Hour Mysteries, Private Eye School: More One-Hour Mysteries, and More One-Hour Mysteries by Mary Ann Carr

A series of fun classroom mysteries for 4th and 5th graders. Each book provides five mysteries that challenge students to apply their skills of deductive reasoning, inferring, taking notes, organizing data, and analyzing evidence to solve the case.

 

 

STEM Tuesday book list prepared by:

Sue Heavenrich writes about science for children and their families, from space to backyard ecology. Bees, flies, squirrel behavior—things she observes in her neighborhood and around her home—inspire her writing. A long line of ants marching across the kitchen counter generated one of her first articles for kids. When not writing, you can find her committing acts of science from counting native pollinators to monitoring water quality of the local watershed. Her most recent book is Diet for a Changing Climate (2018).

 

Maria is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She’s been a Cybils Award judge since 2017 and a judge for the #50PreciousWords competition since its inception. Two of her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2016 and 2014-2015 anthologies. When not writing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at www.mariacmarshall.com

 

Geeking Out on Science– A Weekend at the World Science Festival

This past weekend it was my great thrill and honor to be a part of the World Science Festival in New York City.

 

From their website, www.worldsciencefestival.com:

OUR MISSION:
Our mission is to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.

OUR WORK:
The World Science Festival gathers great minds in science and the arts to produce live and digital content that allows a broad general audience to engage with scientific discoveries. Through discussions, debates, theatrical works, interactive explorations, musical performances, intimate salons, and major outdoor experiences, the Festival takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, parks, museums, galleries and premier performing arts venues of New York City and beyond.

 

I bolded the last part of their work. That is because I think that’s the most important thing that this organization does, gets science OUT to the real world, where the people are. If you know me, you know that I am very passionate about science, particularly as it applies to technology and engineering. So being a part of this amazing organization was a definite career and personal high.

Why am I telling you this? Because they invited me to be a part of this event not for my science degree, or the fact that I am a middle school science instructor, but because I write science books for kids! Yes, this weekend was a true mix of science and literacy.

 

Saturday night I was a part of the Saturday Night Lights: Stargazing at Brooklyn Bridge Park event.


 

We played science trivia mostly centered around my book, Astronaut- Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact (NGKids, 2018).  As you can see on the screen, I asked questions and they voted on which they’d rather be– astronaut or aquanaut. It was close, but astronauts won (not surprising since the entire night was focused on space).

 

The rest of the night was an exciting mix of on-stage science experiments (who doesn’t like to see things blow up?) and scientists talking about Dark Matter. (wow!) But the literacy/STEM tie-in wasn’t done. Another scientist/children’s author came to the stage to share her book, but in a unique way. It was a journey of what you might see while “vacationing” on Mars. Jana Grcevich has her PhD in astronomy and wrote this fun book:

 

The final part of the night was truly amazing because world-famous conductor and composer Eric Whitacre played the music that he wrote to Deep Field, the images of over 3,000 galaxies that were found using the Hubble Space Telescope. Eric shared his artistic journey for creating this piece of music. To my surprise, it was similar to how I write a book. As the music poured out of the speakers, we all stood in awe and watched the awesome images of galaxies millions of miles away from us appear on the big screen.   To have the music mixed with the science made a a true STEAM moment if I’ve ever seen one. It was quite simply… magical.

 

Even if you aren’t into science, you will mostly likely be enthralled by this video. It is spectacular. That, my friends, is the feeling of science that I would love everyone to experience. I endeavor to show my passion and excitement for science through my books. Eric does it so well with his music. Both ways are wonderful. Science and the arts are not separate, but are intertwined. They both engage the senses, inspire passion, and show passion for science in similar ways.  It is my hope that kids and adults everywhere can see that science is not scary, or boring, but surrounds us every day in everything we do. However you choose to do science, is perfectly correct.

I invite you to go out and STEAM up the world!

Middle-Grade Meets the Moon

By the time this post goes live on Monday, January 21st,  we will have all experienced (or slept through) the Blood Supermoon Lunar Eclipse of 2019.  The eclipse is, of course, the passing of the moon through Earth’s shadow. The “blood” comes from the crimson and oranges colors that can be seen, and “supermoon” refers to the how large the moon appears due to its relative proximity to Earth.

NASA has prepared some very useful tools for parents and teachers, and even though the event has passed, everyone will be talking about it. What better time to investigate further? Look for NASA’s Teachable Moments for the 2019 total lunar eclipse here  and lunar eclipse moon lessons guide for teachers is available here.

And, what better time to bring the moon into our to-be-read lists?

Let’s make a list of middle-grade books that capture our imaginations using the mystery of the moon – at least in their titles. I’ll start. Please comment below with additions to this list!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin is a Newbery Honor winner and it received the 2010 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.

From Indiebound:  In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune.

 

 

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is the 2011 Newbery Medal winning middle-grade tale of Abilene Tucker and a Kansas town called Manifest. Abilene navigates Manifest’s present and past mysteries in order to find the answers she’s been looking for.

This is one of my favorite middle-grade novels.

 

 

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the “Indian-ness in her blood,” travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells them of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a “potential lunatic,” and whose mother disappeared.

As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe’s outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold—the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.

 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is the winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal.  Wait. I’m seeing a pattern here. Are you? Wow! There are a lot of Newbery books with “moon” in the title!  Anyway, this book didn’t stop at the Newbery. It has racked up Best Book of 2016 Awards from School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Chicago Public Library, Entertainment Weekly and New York Public Library. Filled with mystery and wonder, magic and suspense, this is a book comes along once in blue moon. (I had to. I’m sorry.)

 

I haven’t read The Moon Within yet, but only because it isn’t out yet! The pub date for the Aida Salazar’s The Moon Within is February 26, 2019.  But, what a cover! WOW!

From Indiebound:Celi Rivera’s life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.

But most of all, her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It’s an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be? 

 

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a firm believer that picture books belong in middle-grade readers’ hands. So, although this is a picture book, I’m featuring Margaret and the Moon.   Written by Dean Robbins and Illustrated by Lucy Knisley, it is the true story of Margaret Hamilton, whose code writing for NASA helped put a man on the moon.

 

 

 

The Far-Out Guide to the Moon was written by Mary Kay Carson, who is one the Mixed-Up Files STEM Tuesday contributors.  A wealth of information and facts, the book makes an excellent addition to middle-grade reading lists.  Strike now while the lunar interest is hot and everyone is talking about the eclipse we had last night!

 

 

 

 

What titles would you add to our Middle-Grade Meets the Moon list? Drop them in the comments below!