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STEM Related Books Sponsored by

The Scientific Method

FEATURED BOOK

Observation/Question - Research - Hypothesis - Experiment - Collect Data - Analysis - Conclusion… Welcome to the Scientific Method! As coronavirus cases continue to increase in many countries and right here within our county, the scientific community is under enormous scrutiny and pressure to identify potential treatments. Did you know that scientists have to use a procedure called the Scientific Method to help create vaccines? The scientific method is an organized way to help scientists (or anyone) explore observations, answer questions or begin to solve a problem about the physical world! More often than not, people think of the scientific method as a simple series of steps, but there are many ways that the scientific method can be applied to countless circumstances. Different scientific investigations need different scientific methods but they all require certain qualities to make the method work; such as answering a question – what do you want to learn? Or, the fun part, conducting an experiment with a control group and an experimental group. “The history of the scientific method in vaccine research has led to today’s carefully regulated vaccine development process. Over the years, the standards for vaccine studies have grown progressively more stringent, to make the control groups and the vaccine groups as much like each other as possible (https://www.historyofvaccines.org).” With the scientific community working hard to create a vaccine for COVID-19, we chose to highlight Mara Rockliff’s, Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France, as our S.T.E.M. book for September and October.  Can Ben Franklin’s approach of observing, hypothesizing, and testing get to the bottom of Dr. Mesmer’s tricks and prove that the scientific method is a way to learn about reality? Good for Grades 1-4, this book is a great resource for learning about the scientific method and placebo effect.

 

EDITORIAL REVIEW

 

From Booklist – Gr1 to Gr4

 

“*Starred Review* On brilliantly illustrated pages full of rococo details and beautifully calligraphed text, Rockliff tells the story of how Benjamin Franklin debunked Dr. Mesmer's magical cure-all. As scientific innovation swept France in the eighteenth century, Mesmer decided to bring his own discovery to the mix animal magnetism, an invisible force responsible for remarkable, seemingly spontaneous healing. Dubious of the true benefits of being mesmerized, King Louis XVI called on the most popular man of science, Ben Franklin, to help investigate. With a heavy emphasis on his use of the scientific method, Rockliff shows how Franklin's experiment blindfolding subjects so that they don't know they're being mesmerized led to the discovery of the placebo effect, a vital component of medical testing to this day. Her dramatic text is perfectly complemented by Bruno's lush, full-color illustrations, stuffed with period detail and sweeping ribbons and curlicues. Each page is teeming with personality, from the font choice to the layout to the expressive figures to the decorative details surrounding a name on one spread, Franklin is in a tidy serif, while Mesmer is nearly choked by flourishes. Together, Rockliff and Bruno make the scientific method seem exciting, and kids interested in science and history will likely be, well, mesmerized.”

--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist

 

From Kirkus Reviews – Gr2 to Gr4

 

“Ben Franklin's several years in France during the American Revolution included an occasion on which he consulted on a scientific matter for the French king. Louis XVI commissioned a study when he became concerned about the number of complaints he was hearing from French doctors about a German Dr. Franz Mesmer who seemed to wield a powerful, mysterious method of healing. Among the scientists and doctors asked to report was the American emissary Benjamin Franklin. In Rockliff's account, Franklin observes Mesmer's colleague, Charles D'Eslon, at work, then tinkers with Mesmer's "animal magnetism" technique by blindfolding and misdirecting D'Eslon's subjects. Franklin's hypothesis that results were accounted for by the subject's imagination and not an external force is quickly proved. Text displayed in ribbons, a couple of late-18th-century typefaces and other flourishes create a sense of time and place. The endpapers are brightly hypnotic. Bruno's digitally colored pencil art lightly evokes period caricature and gently pokes fun at the ornate clothing and hair of French nobility. The tale is nicely pitched to emphasize the importance of a hypothesis, testing and verification, and several inset text boxes are used to explain these scientific tools. Rockliff points out that Franklin's blind-test technique is in use today for medical treatments, and both the placebo effect and hypnosis are studied today. Rockliff and Bruno's playful approach buoys solid science and history.” (Nonfiction. 8-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Summary: “In this empowering picture book with a STEM focus, Charlotte, a budding bunny scientist, ignores the doubters and confidently finds a cure to the mysterious malady affecting the forest.”

 

– Grades Preschool to 3 –

 

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

“Ada Twist's head is full of questions. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie--stars of their own New York Times bestselling picture books Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer--Ada has always been endlessly curious. Even when her fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments don't go as planned, Ada learns the value of thinking her way through problems and continuing to stay curious.”

 

– Grades KG to 2 –

 

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

“Employing scientific methods learned in Mr. Sparks's class, fifth-grader Leon competes in a potato chip tasting contest and takes revenge against Lumpkin the bully. In this sequel to "Leon and the Spitting Image," fifth-grader Leon Zeisel becomes a finalist in the Snaxpomania Chip-off, competing for a prize of $200--a sum Leon and his friends need to facilitate a scientific experiment on bully Henry Lumpkin. Illustrations.”

 

– Grades 4 to 6 – 

 

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

“Acadia Greene is at it again. In the summer she used science to figure out who was raiding her blueberry bushes. Now she's leading a campaign to clean up a local pond; figuring out why leaves change color; learning about time zones and germs; and discovering why we might all be drinking dinosaur pee. "Conduct an experiment," her parents tell her whenever she has a new mystery to solve. "Use the scientific method." So Acadia does science. And so can you.”

 

– Grades 4 to 7 – 

 

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

may

Mars 2020 Launch

“An edge-of-your-seat adventure story about the relentless team who gave us our first in-depth look at the Martian landscape. Filled with awesome pictures from NASA and the author's personal collection, this is a stellar addition to the Scientists in the Field series about the planet, Mars.”

 

- Grade 7 to 9 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

FEATURED BOOK

EDITORIAL REVIEW

From School Library Journal – Gr5 to Gr8

 

“Dubbed Spirit and Opportunity in a naming contest won by a nine-year-old, the two golf-cart-sized rovers sent to Mars in 2003 were designed to last for three months. Battered but game, they're still inching along all these years later. Here Siy not only pays affectionate tribute to their longevity-titling her final chapter "Shake off the dust, recharge at the rest area, and continue indefinitely"-but also describes and explains in exact detail their most stirring discovery: strong evidence that water once "drenched, dribbled, dripped, doused, trickled, gushed, and poured" on the Martian surface. An array of large illustrations includes a labeled diagram that identifies all of the rovers' scientific gear, plus color photos, photo composites, and (carefully identified) artists' conceptions of Martian vistas, craters, rocks, and even microscopic features. Closing with plenty of useful end matter and a full-page planetary portrait, this title will sweep readers up in an exploratory mission that has come closer than any other so far to finding sure signs of extraterrestrial life.- John Peters, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.” --John Peters, New York Public Library, NY – Copyright © 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. All rights reserved.

“In his debut picture book, Motum brings the story of NASA's beloved Mars rover Curiosity to life in vivid color. Full of eye-catching retro illustrations, this book is sure to fascinate budding space explorers and set inquisitive minds soaring. Full color.”

 

 

– Grades 3 –7 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

may

BOOKS ABOUt National Inventors

“Beware of Mrs. Pluggins, the scary computer teacher. She has an electric personality, and might just shock you with it! YIKES!”

 

–Grade K to 1–

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

“The magic school bus always teaches you lessons while making it exciting and quite zany. In this particular story, they are teaching you how to use computers, how computers work, and also why they are good to know about. The students in Ms. Frizzle's class go on another fieldtrip, this time into a computer. The class wants to find an easy way to do all of their jobs before school starts, so they use the help of a super computer and Carlos' brother, Mikey-a very computer savvy person. When they start to program the computer to do their jobs for them, they are in for a surprise. Ms. Frizzle decides the best way for them to learn about the computer I s to actually go inside of the computer. They are then taken on a wild ride in the mind of a super computer. This book teaches about computers, and a good way to learn the hands on way. The book, for younger kids, might be boring because of its length and storyline, but I think it's a good book for children who want to learn about computers.”

 

Grades 1 to 3

 

—Rachael Vilmar, Eastern Shore Regional Library, Salisbury, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

Brevard County Library link to locate this book: 

“A House With No Mouse uses rhyme and whimsical, yet vivid, cartoon-style illustrations to explore how common it is to live in a house with no (computer) mouse. Most importantly, this rhyming picture book informs readers of all ages that there are places in any community to use computers, including clubs, schools, and libraries.”

 

– Grades Pk to 2 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

April

BOOKS ABOUt OTTERS

“Ka-splash! Head to the river, where a frolicsome bunch of otters play all year round in a nonfiction story sprinkled with facts — and loaded with fun.  It’s spring, and a litter of baby river otters emerges from a den . . . to play! Follow the otters through the seasons as they chase one another, slide down a mud bank, jump in a pile of leaves, and learn to swim. Even while catching fish for their dinner or grooming themselves in the snow, otters love to play — and Jonathan London’s lively text and Meilo So’s fluid watercolors invite you to share in the joy.”

 

–Grade K to 4–

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

Sea Otters are a member of the weasel family and their fur contains over a million pieces of hair in just one square inch. They are the smallest marine mammal in North America, but they play a huge role in the marine ecosystem. Otters eat many of the animals that consume giant kelp, which helps to ensure that the kelp forests maintain healthy levels. These healthy kelp forests then help to provide both food and shelter for other animals in the marine ecosystem. We chose Utterly Otterly Day – written by Mary Casanova, and illustrated by Ard Hoyt as our new S.T.E.M. book because it presents educational information about otters to children in a way that they can relate to. This book tells the story of Little Otter and his journey throughout his day as he encounters predators and realizes that he needs his family after all. Good for Grades PK-3.

 

EDITORIAL REVIEW

 

A Review from School Library Journal

 

Grades PK to 3

 

“Little Otter speeds through his day at breakneck pace, from the moment he wakes up and rouses his sleepy family to his spine-tingling sunset escape from a hungry cougar. In between, he eludes a falling tree, an eagle, a snapping turtle, and an angry fisherman. After each escape, he tells himself that "he's a big otter now," and swims away with typical preschooler bravado. His close call with the cougar leaves him shaken, however, and he retreats to the safety and comfort of the den. As he accepts some parental snuggles, he admits that "He needs his family—/no matter how big he grows." Alliteration and onomatopoeic phrases ("whippidy, slippiddy," "swishily swashily") combine to give a sense of the hustle and bustle of Little Otter's day. Sketchy watercolor drawings with multiple perspectives lend a feeling of constant movement, while the recurring image of a yellow butterfly ties the story together. As Little Otter falls asleep, he dreams of being carried away by a swarm of them, demonstrating that he is bold even in his sleep…”

 

—Rachael Vilmar, Eastern Shore Regional Library, Salisbury, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

Brevard County Library link to locate this book: 

“When an otter falls in love with a fish, can he dare to follow his heart? A delicious ode to nonconformity from a stellar picture-book pair. The day Otter found love, he wasn’t looking for it. He was looking for dinner. But then he gazed into the round, sweet, glistening eyes of Myrtle the fish, and he knew. "Impossible," he said. "I am in love with my food source." As for Myrtle, her first desire was: Please don’t eat me. But soon her heart awakened to a future she could never have imagined. The inseparable duo played hide-and-seek and told each other stories, but everyone said that was not the way of the otter. Could their love (and Myrtle) possibly survive? Aided by Chris Raschka’s illustrations in a fresh faux-naïf style, James Howe tells a warm, witty tale about finding kindred spirits in the oddest of places-and having the good sense to keep them.”

 

– Grades 1 to 4 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

NOVEMBER

SUBJECT: BOOKS ABOUt AIRPLANES

“An exhilarating introduction to the moves and history of airplanes. ‘White Clouds Blue Sky above Eagles fly…’ Cougars, Panthers, Camels, and Mosquitos. What do these animals have in common? Their names identify the historic airplanes that take flight at the spectacular airshow event. In simple, poetic words and skillfully reread illustrations, Anastasia Suen and Cecco Mariniello introduce the world of flight to children. Youngsters can follow their favorite airplanes as they take off and soar, swoop, creep, and leap about the pages of this book. So climb on board and come for a ride, but don’t forget to bring a jacket. It gets chilly in the skies!” 

–Grade K to 2-

Brevard County Library link.
Click here to locate this book.

“Vivid colors dominate the paintings contrasted on opposite pages. . . For budding plane enthusiasts, the names of the actual planes are provided.”

– Grades PK to 1 –

Brevard County Library link.
Click here to locate this book.

“A collection of biographies of ten American adventurers including Robert Peary, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, and Christa McAuliffe.”

– Grades 6 to 9 –

Brevard County Library link.
Click here to locate this book.

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER

SUBJECT:

MONEY, SPENDING, AND SAVING

“Richly textured and brightly colored illustrations fashioned from torn and cut papers attract attention to this simple story. Young Benny has five new pennies and is given five different ideas on how to spend them. His mother advises him to look for something beautiful; his sister suggests something nice to wear. Benny's brother tells him to buy something good to eat, which is   similar to the input given by his dog and cat. Clever Benny is able to fulfill all five requests and, in the process, gives a basic introduction to money and spending. The text's appealing repetition of phrases with slight variation in rhymes, together with the three-dimensional-like illustrations, makes this a perfect choice for story time read alouds.”

–Ages 4 to 6-

Brevard County Library link.
Click here to locate this book.

“A great combination of a lesson learned while having fun. The 21st Street Sluggers decide to hold a car wash to raise money for new T-shirts for the play-offs. CJ becomes the self-appointed bookkeeper, collecting $3.50 from each customer and making change while the rest of the team does the actual washing. Change is made in numerous ways and profits are tallied both in totals and by types of coins. In the end, the money is raised and the kids are wet. Colorful illustrations both enhance the story line and elucidate the math lesson with clear tabulations for the money counting and change. Follow-up activities and a reading list are included.”

–Grades 2 to 3- 

Brevard County Library link.
Click here to locate this book.

When both children and adults alike hear the word “math,” they often do not have positive feelings. However, math is an essential part of everyday life, whether you are purchasing a toy that you really want or paying bills. Reading stories about math are a great way to gain a child’s attention and keep them focused on learning something they may not particularly love. Harriet Ziefert’s book, You Can’t Buy a Dinosaur with a Dime is the perfect fit for connecting an interesting story with learning math skills, which is why it is our S.T.E.M. book of the month for October. Ziefert covers essential topics such as spending, saving, and earning which make this book great for Grades 1-3.    

Brevard County Library link.
Click here to locate this book.

“In this bright and bouncy concept book, the Pigs turn their house upside down looking for spare change so that they can go out to dinner. Readers are invited to count along as the porkers dig out cash from the socks drawer, pennies from under the bed, quarters from the closet, and a five-dollar bill from the washing machine. Answers are hidden in the illustrations. The Pigs' reward is a trip to the Enchanted Enchilada. The whole menu is reproduced, complete with prices, so readers can figure out what the family can afford to eat and how much money they will have left over. A final page recaps all the amounts and shows the multiplication and addition necessary to find the answers. The vibrant illustrations are done in yellow, turquoise, pink, orange, and green. Those hues, along with the cacti in the yard and the Mexican restaurant, give the book a Southwestern flair. The Pigs are wildly dressed, from the daughter's fishnet stockings to the father's floppy black-and-white bow tie. After they have heard the story once, children will enjoy going back and studying the pictures. An entertaining tool for reinforcing math skills that should be especially useful in whole-language curriculum.

–Grades 1 to 3-

Brevard County Library link.
Click here to locate this book.

OTHER stem books

AUGUST stem books

SUBJECT: MAN WALKING ON MOON

July 20, 2019, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the first man walking on the Moon! How amazing to be here today, living on the “Space Coast” of Florida and experiencing this historical event. We can only imagine what it was like for those who “lived” it in real-time. All kinds of celebrations commemorating the event have taken place or are planned, especially at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. In fact, that first moonwalk by a person, our very own astronaut, Neil Armstrong, is such a huge historical occurrence for the entire world, that there are even exhibits and shows to see in other countries! For example, NASA partnered with the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Australia to host an exhibit specifically chronicling manned space flight there, while honoring Andrew Thomas, a recently retired NASA Astronaut who was born in Australia. There are many, many books, mostly non-fiction and biographical, written about the missions leading up to the moonwalk and beyond. We chose our highlighted book for the month to be, Margaret and the Moon – written by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Lucy Knisley. This children’s book is about Margaret Hamilton, who was great in math and after her studies, she is recognized as the person who handwrote programming code that would allow the spacecraft computer used for the Apollo missions, and ultimately the one that landed a man on the moon, to solve any problems it might encounter. Facts are presented with colorful, fun illustrations added in, making it a great read-aloud for younger children and independent reading or reading with support for children up to 3rd grade.

Neil Armstrong

Meet the Famous Astronaut

This is a biography of Neil Armstrong that is written specifically for children.

– Upper Grades–

Brevard County Public Library link for this book:

Summary: “In 1961, President Kennedy issued a challenge: before the end of the decade, the United States would land a person on the moon and return him safely to Earth—a bold proclamation at the time given that only one US astronaut had ever been to space, for just 15 minutes. To answer President Kennedy’s call, NASA embarked on the Apollo missions: a complicated, dangerous, and expensive adventure involving 400,000 people. Before the missions were over, NASA astronauts had made eleven Apollo flights, six of which landed on the moon, and eight astronauts had lost their lives.The Apollo Missions for Kids tells the story of this pivotal era in space exploration from the perspective of those who lived it—the astronauts and their families, the controllers and engineers, and the technicians and politicians who made the impossible possible. The book includes a timeline, resources for further study, and places to visit to see Apollo mission artifacts, along with 21 hands-on activities to better understand the missions and the science behind them.” – Grades 4-6 –

Brevard County Public Library link for this book: 

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