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STEM Tuesday
  • STEM Tuesday-- Astronauts and Space Travel -- Writing Tips & Resources
    STEM Tuesday– Astronauts and Space Travel — Writing Tips & Resources
    March 24, 2020 by
    Behind the Scenes Astronauts are awesome, don’t get me wrong. They’re like the quarterback of aeronautics and space exploration. They’re the face of the mission just as the quarterback is the face of the football team. But I’m a lineman. Linemen do the work in the trenches that keeps the quarterback on track for success. Space travel requires an army of men and women working in the trenches in order to make a mission successful and bring their astronauts home safe and sound.  I was full of wonder as only a newly-minted five-year-old birthday boy can be when I saw the Eagle land on the moon in July of 1969. That sense of wonder never left me but years later I got to thinking deeper about this life-changing event. Sure we all watched Neil Armstrong take one small step but what about the thousands of people working behind the scenes to make it possible? From the spacesuit to the landing...
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  • STEM Tuesday-- Astronauts and Space Travel -- In the Classroom
    STEM Tuesday– Astronauts and Space Travel — In the Classroom
    March 17, 2020 by
    Reading books from this month’s list confirmed something I instinctively knew – I am nowhere near adventurous enough to be an astronaut. Here are my brief takes on the books I read. Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez Countdown tells the story of how mankind journeyed to (and first walked on) the moon. Unlike most books about astronauts, this book is told in free verse poetry. It is also primarily illustrated, gorgeously, by Thomas Gonzalez.   Lost in Outer Space by Tod Olson This book screams for a read-aloud. Once you get into it, it gets increasingly difficult to put down. Olson does a great job of telling Apollo 13’s story. He puts his own spin on it by sprinkling the perspective of Commander Jim Lovell’s daughter Barbara (a teenager at the time) throughout.   Cutting-Edge Astronaut Training by Karen Latchana Kenny This...
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  • STEM Tuesday-- Astronauts and Space Travel -- Book List
    STEM Tuesday– Astronauts and Space Travel — Book List
    March 10, 2020 by
    So you want to be an astronaut! What’s next? According to Chris Hadfield, who spent two tours aboard the International Space Station, you need to get a good education. Learn new things. Fortunately, we’ve got a list of books for that. ASTRONAUTS: Cutting-edge Astronaut Training, by Karen Latchana Kenney This book shows how astronauts train for space missions, what type of gear they need, and the technology they use. Readers visit the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston and learn how astronauts aboard the International Space Station used a 3-D printer to manufacture a wrench needed for urgent repairs.   Chasing Space Young Readers’ Edition, by Leland Melvin Astronaut Leland Melvin knows how to solve problems, whether on the football field or aboard the space shuttle. He shares a personal and realistic journey through astronaut training and space travel. Includes hands-on STEAM experiments at the back.   Lost in Outer Space:...
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  • Middle Grade Author Michele Weber Hurwitz tackles an environmental mystery in her latest book, Hello from Renn Lake
    Middle Grade Author Michele Weber Hurwitz tackles an environmental mystery in her latest book, Hello from Renn Lake
    March 6, 2020 by
    I’m so thrilled to interview MUF contributor Michele Weber Hurwitz about her newest middle grade book, Hello from Renn Lake (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House Children’s, May 26 2020). The book centers on 12-year old Annalise Oliver whose family owns and runs a lakeside cabins in Renn Lake, Wisconsin. As a young child Annalise discovered she could communicate with the lake. However, when an algal bloom threatens the lake, she can no longer hear Renn. Annalise and her friends desperately search for a way to save their beloved lake and their community. Michele, I just love how you alternate between 12-year-old Annalise Oliver, and centuries old Renn, the lake. And then Renn’s cousin, Tru, the river, also has a voice. How did you come up with making the lake and river actual characters in the book? (Also, I was so happy you included Violet, a small quiet lake.) In my first...
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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 Carolyn DeCristofano

Carolyn DeCristofano

Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano has been paid to stay overnight at a science center and has enjoyed her share of after-hours staff parties at museums, where she and her husband once won a prize for a costume modelled after the Boston Museum of Science’s Van der Graaf generator exhibit. Carolyn’s work is all about creating vivid science and engineering learning experiences—interactive exhibits, innovative teacher professional development programs, national curricula, and fresh, accessible, and sometimes quirky science and STEM books for kids.…

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 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.…

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!…