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STEM Tuesday
  • Cover of The Wild World Handbook
    Diversity in MG Lit #28 June: Summer!!
    June 16, 2021 by
    Friends, it has been a long and challenging year. I feel equal parts hope and exhaustion going into the summer break. Mostly I’m looking forward to being outside. I will be spending my summer going to wilderness to research my future stories. I’m so grateful for public lands and all the advocates who have made access to the wilderness possible. At the same time I’m keenly aware that wilderness spaces can feel very unwelcoming to some communities of color and very inaccessible to the disabled. We all need open spaces. People of every race and continent have worked to defend the wilderness. I have just one book recommendation this month. If it were in my power I’d give this to every family in the world to encourage them to enjoy the wilderness and to do the work of protecting the earth. The book is The Wide World Handbook: how adventurers, artists, scientists–and you–can protect earth’s habitats by Andrea Debbink, illustrated...
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  • STEM Tuesday --- Serendipity Science -- Writing Tips and Resources
    STEM Tuesday — Serendipity Science — Writing Tips and Resources
    June 15, 2021 by
    “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but, ‘That’s funny … ‘ “ – Isaac Asimov Serendipity science. In the high-brow world of “real” science, we often poo-poo the very idea of serendipity being even remotely involved in science done “the real way”. We like to think we are in complete control. We like to think we have all the answers or the best possible answers already tucked away in our magnificent brains.  But we don’t. Science is not about how much we know; it’s about how much we don’t know. We often get this backward. Science and STEM, in general, are about using what we know to find out what we don’t know in order to improve our understanding. It’s about paying attention! The scientific method we all memorized repeatedly throughout our academic experience is just a guidebook. It’s like...
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  • Mistakes that Worked book cover
    STEM Tuesday — Serendipity Science — In the Classroom
    June 8, 2021 by
        This month’s book list highlights of my most favorite aspect of science –Serendipity! Why is it my favorite? Because while everyone may say science is exact, it is anything but that. Scientists conduct do research, make hypotheses, and then conduct experiments. Many times, the results they get are not what they anticipated in the first place. But that doesn’t mean they are wrong. Perhaps they have just discovered a new element, product, or created a brand new drug that will change the world (Alexander Fleming and penicillin)… accidentally!   While you most likely aren’t crazy about the idea of letting your students just do experiments without guidelines in your classroom on the off chance they will discover something amazing,  one of the best ways to introduce them to this topic is to introduce them to Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be by...
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  • STEM Tuesday -- Serendipity Science -- Book List
    STEM Tuesday — Serendipity Science — Book List
    June 1, 2021 by
    Do all discoveries, inventions, and innovations require plans and procedures? Nope. Serendipity, a blend of chance and wisdom, play a huge part in many instances. Tales of accidental brilliance are fun to read and show us the part in plays in all of our lives. Here’s a list of books that tell tales of serendipity. Accidental Archeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries by Sarah Albee Sarah Albee tells tales of the secret treasures that are found all around us in Accidental Archeologists. Readers will discover many incredible tales in this book of accessible archeology. Building Blunders: Learning from Bad Ideas by Amie Jane Leavitt  As a part of the series Fantastic Fails, this book shares building failures that led to learning. Gadget Disasters: Learning from Bad Ideas by Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan Another in the Fantastic Fails series, Gadget Disasters introduces readers to gadgets gone wrong and what designers learn from those...
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Contributors

Photo of Christine Taylor Butler

Christine Taylor Butler

Christine Taylor-Butler has been a prolific consumer of public
libraries from an early age. A consummate tinkerer it was deemed
advisable she study engineering at MIT for job security. Years later she made a break for the corporate door and delved into children’s literature hoping to write stories about talking animals when a sneaky editor at Scholastic conned her into writing non-fiction for children.…

Photo of Mary Kay Carson

Mary Kay Carson

Mary Kay Carson is the author of more than fifty books for kids and teachers about space, weather, nature, and other science and history topics. She has six titles in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s esteemed Scientists in the Field series, including Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard and Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt.

Photo of Nancy Castaldo

Nancy Castaldo

Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years including 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, which earned the 2017 Green Earth Book Award and other honors. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia.…

Photo of Mike Hays

Mike Hays

Mike Hays is from Kansas and is a tried and true flatlander by birth. He would most assuredly be obsessed with a statue of mysterious origins, especially if he could buy said statue on the cheap. He has worked as a molecular microbiologist for over 25 years, has coached high school sports, and writes middle-grade books.…

Photo of Sue Heavenrich

Sue Heavenrich

Sue Heavenrich writes about science for children and their families, from space to backyard ecology. Bees, flies, squirrel behavior—things she observes in her backyard and around her neighborhood—inspire her writing. A long line of ants marching across the kitchen counter generated one of her first articles for kids. If you can’t find her at the keyboard, check the garden.Her most recent book is  Diet for a Changing Climate (2018).

Photo of Karen Latchana Kenney

Karen Latchana Kenney

Karen Latchana Kenney loves to write books about animals, and 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 writes about civil rights, astronomy, historical moments, and many other topics.…

Photo of Kirsten W. Larson

Kirsten W. Larson

Kirsten W. Larson used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes about both science and history for kids. She is the author of 25 nonfiction books, including the Robotics in Our World series (Amicus). Calkins Creek will publish her debut picture book, WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane (illus.…

Photo of Maria Marshall

Maria Marshall

Maria is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She was a round 2 judge for the 2018 & 2017 Cybils Awards. 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.…

Photo of Heather L Montgomery

Heather L Montgomery

Heather L. Montgomery writes for kids who are wild about animals. The weirder, the wackier, the better. An award-winning educator, Heather uses yuck appeal to engage young minds. She has a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in environmental education and has written a dozen nonfiction books including How Rude! Real Bugs Who Won’t Mind Their Manners (Scholastic) and her upcoming Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill(Bloomsbury).

Photo of Carla Mooney

Carla Mooney

Carla Mooney loves to explore the world around us and discover the details about how it works. An award-winning author of numerous nonfiction science books for kids and teens, she hopes to spark a healthy curiosity and love of science in today’s young people. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids, and dog. When not writing, she can often be spotted at a hockey rink for one of her kids’ games.…

Photo of Patricia Newman

Patricia Newman

Patricia Newman writes middle-grade nonfiction that inspires kids to seek connections between science, literacy, and the environment. The recipient of the Green Earth Book Award and a finalist for the AAAS/Subaru Science Books and Films Award, her books have received starred reviews, been honored as Junior Library Guild Selections, and included on Bank Street College’s Best Books lists.…

Photo of Janet Slingerland

Janet Slingerland

Janet Slingerland grew up studying animals and conducting science experiments before pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. She spent 15 years writing code for things like submarines, phones, and airplanes before deciding to share her passion for knowledge and STEM with others. Janet now has more than 20 published books for readers in grades K through 12, including Explore Atoms and Molecules!…

Photo of Jennifer Swanson

Jennifer Swanson

Jennifer Swanson dreams of one day running away to the Museum of Science and Industry- then maybe she could look at all the exhibits and try out all the gadgets without competing for them with her kids. An author of thirty nonfiction science books for grades 3-6, Jennifer’s goal is to show kids that Science Rocks!…