Posts Tagged Curriculum Tie-in

STEM Tuesday – Shining the Light on Technology, Engineering, and Math — Book List

This month’s theme focuses specifically on the TEM in STEM. The following list features  books that use technology, engineering, and math in real-world situations. We hope they inspire young readers–and you! the adults in their lives –to promo all STEM categories. If you have other title ideas for middle-grade readers, please share them in the comment section below.

The Next Wave: The Quest to Harness the Power of the Oceans  by Elizabeth Rusch  In this Scientists in the Field title, we meet the engineers working to transfer the power of the ocean into energy for us to use. Through imagination, innovation, and science they have developed devices to create “ocean electricity” that is renewable and an alternative to using fossil fuels.

Hidden Figures: Young Readers Edition by Margot Lee Sheerly  This edition of the bestselling book of the same title allows younger readers to become empowered by the powerful story of the African-American female NASA mathematicians who were instrumental in our early space program.

 

Everything Robots by Jennifer Swanson  We’ve already seen robotic vacuums, but can you imagine tiny robo-bees or a joke-telling robot? Readers will discover an entirely new world of technology in this National Geographic book. Packed with visuals, readers will explore what artificial intelligence is all about.

The Way Things Work Now by David Macauley
This revised and updated edition for Macauley’s The Way Things Work includes wi-fi, touchscreens, 3D printers, as well as levers, lasers, and windmills.  Budding engineers will love this one!

 

The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond by Patrick Dillon, illustrated by Stephen Biesty Aspiring architects will enjoy the look at the inner workings of many famous buildings in this book.

 

Women of Steel and Stone: 22 Inspirational Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Designers by Anna M. LewisThis book features 22 profiles of women who have designed, built, and landscaped our world. The inspirational stories are perfect for Women’s History Month and every month after.

 

 

Curious Jane: Science + Design + Engineering for Inquisitive Girls by Curious Jane   The pages of Curious Jane are filled with DIY projects from making face scrubs to building a cloud in a jar.

 

Coding programs have sprung up all over the country. These next two books can get girls (and boys) started on creating apps, games, and robots. Readers will have fun exploring the world of computer science .

Girls Who Code: Learn To Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani, illus. by Andrea Tsurum

 

Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting it Done by Andrea Gonzalez and Sophie Houser

 

 

And a fabulous FICTION series to pair with the above two coding titles:

Monsters and Modules by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes — the final installment in the Secret Coders series
This title will be released October 2, 2018, but until then students can solve logic puzzles and learn basic coding skills while Hopper, Eni, and Josh solve a mind-bending mystery.

 

STEM Tuesday book lists prepared by:

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 Green Earth Book Award and other honors. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia. She enjoys sharing her adventures, research, and writing tips. She strives to inform, inspire, and educate her readers. Nancy also serves as the Regional Advisor of the Eastern NY SCBWI region. Her 2018 title is BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction. www.nancycastaldo.com

Patricia Newman writes middle-grade nonfiction that inspires kids to seek connections between science, literacy, and the environment. The recipient of  a Sibert Honor Award for Sea Otter Heroes and the Green Earth Book Award for Plastic, Ahoy!, 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 her writing skills give a voice to our beleaguered environment. Visit her at www.patriciamnewman.com.

STEM Tuesday — Highlights!

Hello STEM Tuesday enthusiasts! Can you believe that we’ve been doing this blog for 7 months now? How cool is that? We couldn’t do it without your interest and support. So, THANK YOU!!  It’s been a fabulous run and the best part is that we are just getting started. We have many more intriguing book topics for the rest of the year. If you haven’t signed up to get this newsletter weekly, please do so now. You will find the subscriber button in the upper-right hand corner.

BONUS: If you subscribe you won’t just get STEM Tuesday posts, but you’ll have access to all of the awesome posts by the Mixed-Up File-rs. GO Middle Grade books!

To celebrate our STEM Tuesday success and to provide you with a list of some STEM books for summer reading, we are going to take a look back at some of our past posts. So take time to click on the links below to see some of the awesome STEM middle grade books that we have highlighted. (HINT: If you click on the topic listed, you’ll be able to review the book list for that month)

Don’t worry, we are keeping STEM Tuesday running through the summer. Look for our list of exceptional STEM books COMING SOON in July so you can know what books to add to your classroom curriculum in the fall.

In the meantime, if you have suggestions, questions, or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us. Just send an email to STEMmuf@gmail.com

Cheers!

HIGHLIGHTS OF STEM TUESDAY

November– Zoology  

Book of the Month : Zoo Scientists to the Rescue by Patricia Newman 
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December  Science in Fiction Books

Book of the Month : Saving Wonder by Mary Knight
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January  Exploration

Book of the Month: Astronaut- Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact by Jennifer Swanson
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February  Wild and Wacky Science

Book of the Month: Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines by Sarah Albee

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March   Field Work

Book of the Month: Life on Surtsey: Iceland’s Upstart Island by Loree Griffin Burns

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April  All About Conservation  

Book of the Month: Back from the Brink by Nancy Castaldo

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May– Cool Inventions and the People Who Create Them  

Book of the Month: Alexander Graham Bell for Kids by  Mary Kay Carson
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Happy Reading! and GO STEM/STEAM books!

This blog was prepared by Jennifer Swanson

   Science Rocks! And so do Jennifer Swanson’s books. She is the award-winning author of over 30 books for kids. When not writing, Jennifer can be found looking for the Science all around her. www.JenniferSwansonBooks.com

 

STEM Tuesday Inventors- Those Awesome People of Science – Writing Craft & Resources

 

Reading Between the Facts

Don’t you just love it when a story comes to life? When you are reading something and you can smell the sooty aromas, hear the grinding gears of a new invention, taste the tang of tart pie? And when, long after you’ve put a book down, you find yourself wondering about the characters? But that’s fiction, right? A story that wraps you up and carries you away.

Wait, what about fact-filled books that transport you like that? When I looked at this month’s book list, packed with techy inventions and their nerdy inventors, a story that transported me was the last thing I expected. Physical science isn’t my thing, so I gritted my teeth anticipating some dull, dry reading.

                     Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgSupport Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgSupport Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org                      
Boy was I wrong. Flying Machines: How the Write Brothers Soared had me so hooked I convinced my aerospace engineer husband he had to read it (sidenote: he was impressed with the accuracy of the content).  Eureka! Poems About Inventors drew me through periods of history I had never cared about. And then there’s Isaac The Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d which made me pondering how light works, I mean really think about the physics of it. A week later I found myself Googling “Newton’s Laws of Motion because I wanted to actually understand them – not just memorize them. How did this book do this to me?

I had to know.

So I did what every good writer does, I studied the words on the page. I looked at how Mary Losure cast stories, how she used sentences, how she arranged paragraphs, and how she constructed chapters that draw me in. And then I noticed something.

Writing Between the Facts

Mary Losure had written a lot between the facts. When you research a historical figure, you only have so much information.  From the level of detail included (like the child’s drawings found in the house where Isaac grew up) it is obvious that this author dug and dug and dug until she found gold. But even a gold nugget won’t reflect light unless it is polished and placed in just the right position – in this case it shone a spotlight on Isaac’s childhood attributes. Losure had to bridge the gaps between the facts.

I’m not saying she falsified facts. No, through clearly-stated, careful conjecture, she brilliantly brought her readers into the world of inquiry.

“Far in the future, a child’s drawings would be found scratched in the farmhouse’s soft stone walls: a windmill, a church, a figure with a spurred boot. It was clear the child who drew them was bright and imaginative. The pictures had been hidden by layers of plaster for many years. The people who found them wondered if the drawings had been made by Isaac. It was easy to imagine him scratching away, unnoticed by anybody in the busy household.” Page 5, The Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d

Once I noticed that, I turned my mental search engine on, pulled out my wet-erase markers and transparency paper. I got to work. I wanted to ferret out all of the hard facts on a page, find the gaps between them, and see how Losure bridged them. Laying the transparency paper over a page allowed me to mark up the page without leaving a mark in the book.

I highlighted the obvious facts in green, qualifying words in red, and passages I wasn’t sure about in yellow.

Page 5, Isaac The Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d 

Cool! Working my way through the book, I found lots of examples:

  • She presented us with quotes from texts he read: “In his book The Mysteries of Nature and Art, there were instructions for making: A Water Clock …” page 31
  • She admitted we don’t know but presented evidence: “No one today can know exactly how Isaac and his friends spent their time, but the list Isaac made …” page 55
  • She referenced oral history: “To this day, people tell an old familiar story …” page 122

I learned lots of writing moves from Mary Losure that day. And as a bonus, the next time I read a fact-filled text, you can be sure my mind will read right between the facts – that’s an skill for every reader needs to hone.

—–

By Heather L. Montgomery

Heather L. Montgomery writes for kids who are WILD about animals. She reads and writes while high in a tree, standing in a stream, or perched on a mountaintop boulder. www.HeatherLMontgomery.com


The O.O.L.F Files

For the Out of Left Field (O.O.L.F) post, let’s look at inventions gone wrong.

Some inventions are completely pointless, like shoe umbrellas and the car exhaust grill : http://www.complex.com/style/2013/05/25-inventions-that-are-completely-pointless/air-conditioned-shoes

Inventions aren’t always used the way they were intended. Read how a soybean fertilizer became Agent Orange and why the Wright brothers regretted creating airplanes:

http://bigthink.com/laurie-vazquez/6-scientists-who-regret-their-greatest-inventions

Time shares 50 of the worst inventions, including pay toilets, DDT and hair in a can:

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1991915,00.html

And then there are always human errors… To read true tales of technological disasters, check out Steven Casey’s Set Phasers on Stun.