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STEM Tuesday
  • STEM Tuesday-- Deserts --Writing Tips & Resources
    STEM Tuesday– Deserts –Writing Tips & Resources
    July 16, 2024 by
    Hello from my desert home, Utah, and welcome to STEM Tuesday. I’m Stephanie. I took this photo several years ago at Snow Canyon State Park in Saint George and it really encapsulates what I love about life sciences. Nature gives us these unexpected—but beautiful—moments. This is the desert! Before I get into writing tips and resources, I wanted to highlight some recent and forthcoming nonfiction desert books: First up, Weird, Wild, Amazing! Desert by Tim Flannery, published in 2022. Written by an Australian scientist in his unique blend of strange factoids and clear explanations, this book is a must-read for desert explorers ages 7-10. Second, for children 8-10, Deserts in Danger (A True Book: The Earth at Risk) by Cody Crane, publishing September 3, 2024 with Children’s Press / Scholastic Trade Publishing. This title highlights the impacts of climate change. Next, you may enjoy A Day in the Life of the Desert by Roxie Munro, publishing on September 17, 2024...
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  • STEM Tuesday-- Deserts -- In the Classroom
    STEM Tuesday– Deserts — In the Classroom
    July 9, 2024 by
    Deserts may seem dry and desolate, but they are thriving ecosystems filled with wildlife and plants that have adapted to survive harsh conditions. And even though school is out, these activities can help kids learn about the amazing desert and the unique life that thrive there. Weird, Wild, Amazing! Desert: Exploring the World’s Incredible Drylands by Tim Flannery; illustrated by Sam Caldwell Welcome to the weird wildlife you might find in a desert, from ants to lizards, rattlesnakes to scorpions. Each of the seventeen animal profiles is filled with in-depth and sometimes bizarre facts that highlight issues like climate change and conservation or explain more about evolution and habitats.       Classroom activity: As students read through this fascinating title, tell them to create a comic book profile of one of the strangest animals described. They can use a notebook to record the animal’s name and basic information, and...
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  • STEM Tuesday-- Deserts -- Book List
    STEM Tuesday– Deserts — Book List
    July 2, 2024 by
    From the Antarctic to the Sahara, deserts cover about twenty percent of our planet. Despite harsh conditions, plenty of plants and animals – even people – have found a way to live in the desert. Weird, Wild, Amazing! Desert: Exploring the World’s Incredible Drylands by Tim Flannery; illustrated by Sam Caldwell Welcome to the weird wildlife you might find in a desert, from ants to lizards, rattlesnakes to scorpions. Each of the seventeen animal profiles is filled with in-depth and sometimes bizarre facts that highlight issues like climate change and conservation or explain more about evolution and habitats. A Walk in the Desert (Biomes of North America) by Rebecca L. Johnson, illustrated by Phyllis V. Saroff A lower middle grade text, this book uses photographs, notebook-like illustrated sidebars, and an engaging text to explore various North American deserts and the ways numerous plants and animals have developed strategies to exist...
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  • Tiger cover
    STEM Tuesday– Survival Science — Christine Taylor-Butler
    June 25, 2024 by
    Welcome to STEM Tuesday: Author Interview, a repeating feature for the last Tuesday of every month. Go Science-Tech-Engineering-Math! Today I’m doing something different. I’m not interviewing a different author. I’m going to use the time to talk about writing nonfiction and in particular, the books I wrote as part the “Save The . . .” series developed by Chelsea Clinton and Penguin Random House. The reality is, that in studying and understanding these animals, we may in fact, be learning how to save ourselves. How I got started: I grew up in an inner city environment surrounded by overachieving nerds at a time when the Civil Rights Act was still being debated. Back then I didn’t think much about what it took to survive. All the basic necessities were available. By the eighth grade I had a math teacher, Walter Havenhill. According to him, I was the only student who...
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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.…

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Callie Dean

Callie Dean is a musician, writer, educator, and program evaluator. She teaches applied research at Eastern University and is passionate about the role of the arts in effecting community transformation. She lives in Shreveport, La., with her husband and two sons.  She is the director of CYBER.ORG, a STEM education organization with a national network of more than 25,000 K-12 teachers.…

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Andi Diehn

Andi Diehn grew up near the ocean chatting with horseshoe crabs and now lives in the mountains surrounded by dogs, cats, lizards, chickens, ducks, moose, deer, and bobcats, some of which help themselves to whatever she manages to grow in the garden. You are most likely to find her reading a book, talking about books, writing a book, or discussing politics with her sons.…

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Jenna Grodinski

Jenna Grodzicki is the author of more than twenty fiction and nonfiction children’s books. Her books include Wild Style: Amazing Animal Adornments (Millbrook Press 2020) and I See Sea Food: Sea Creatures That Look Like Food (Millbrook Press 2019), the winner of the 2020 Connecticut Book Award in the Young Readers Nonfiction Category.…

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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 Margo Lemieux

Margo Lemieux

A recently retired professor of art, Margo is devoted to seeing that the A stays in STEAM. Science & technology need the heart that comes with art. It was lack of heart that led to the ecological crisis we have today. The process of creativity is closely related to that of scientific inquiry.

She is a  published picture book writer and illustrator, editor, poet, and amateur ukulele player.…

Photo of Lydia Lukidis

Lydia Lukidis

Lydia Lukidis is the author of 48 trade and educational books, as well as 31 e-Books. Her latest STEM book, THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST (Kane Press, 2019), was nominated for a CYBILS Award, and her forthcoming STEM book, DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench will be published by Capstone in 2023.…

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 Shruthi Rao

Shruthi Rao

Shruthi was that kid who actually enjoyed writing essays in school! She wrote her first novel when she was eleven. It was an Enid Blyton rip-off. It was terrible (so she says). She didn’t write stories for a long time after that. Instead, Shruthi got a Master’s degree in Energy Engineering from one of the top schools of India, and worked in the IT industry for four years.…

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 Susan Summers

Susan Summers

Susan started her career as a zookeeper and enjoyed working with polar bears, wolves, and owls – to name just a few of her favorite animals. Interest in science and nature firmly took hold and she followed that career by becoming a wildlife biologist. In this engaging field, she was able to participate in research on a variety of wildlife, including bears, bats, and fabulous birds!…

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!…