Let's take a look at a few moths in celebration of National Moth Week.

hummingbird-hawk-moth-flying(Photo via Visual Hunt)

Although moths are usually creatures of the night, it isn't unusual to see sphinx or hawk moths (Family Sphingidae) flying around flowers during the day. Some of the larger ones resemble hummingbirds in flight, hence their other common name "hummingbird moth."

moth-cerura-vinula(Photo via Visual Hunt)

How do you tell if the insect you are seeing is a butterfly or moth? The hairy body and feathery antennae are good clues.



See our list of children's books about moths and butterflies at Science Books for Kids.

Do you have any new suggestions for our list? Have you seen any interesting moths for moth week?



Scientist Rob Dunn's lab at North Carolina State has two new citizen science projects which might be fun learning experiences for you and/or your family if you choose to participate.

shower-head(Photo via Visualhunt)

Project 1. Showerhead Microbiology

Have you ever wondered what microbes might be growing in your showerhead? If so, you will be interested in the Showerhead Microbiome Project.  If you sign up, the members of the project will send you a short interview and a kit to take samples. You will need to send those back to the lab for analysis. They warn it may take some time for the kit to arrive and also for it to be analyzed.

bread-home-made(Photo via Visualhunt)

Project 2. Sourdough Bread

Members of the lab are also interested in the microbes in sourdough cultures. They are looking for people to send in active cultures and also for people to use cultures to bake bread. People without sourdough starter or with no cooking experience are still encouraged to participate. See the website for detail.

We would love to hear from you if you participate. Let us know what happens.


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For STEM Friday we are featuring a new children's picture book, About Marine Mammals: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill and illustrated by John Sill.

The Sills are a talented couple who have been collaborating on books in the award-winning About... series and the About Habitats series. If you have seen their work before, you know what to expect. John Sill's gorgeous watercolor illustrations catch the readers' eyes. Then they turn to Cathryn Sill's clear, uncomplicated language. In remarkably few words she explains the scene and draws readers into it.

The "Afterward" in the back matter contains more detailed information about each of the previous scenes with a paragraph about each next to thumbnails of the illustrations. For example, did you know polar bears can be considered to be marine mammals? They swim between blocks of floating ice looking for other marine mammals such as seals.

Planning a trip to the beach? About Marine Mammals would be a perfect book to get children inspired about ocean creatures before the trip, learn more about what they see during the trip, and reinforce memories and learning after the trip. Not traveling? It would also be a wonderful way to take a trip to distant, cool places in your imagination.

Related posts and activities:

  1. Earlier post about humpback whales with 3 suggested science activities.
  2. Week of ocean-themed STEAM activities
  3.  Astro, The Steller Sea Lion


See our growing list of ocean and beach science-themed children's books at our sister blog, Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 4 - 7 years
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (August 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1561459062
ISBN-13: 978-1561459063

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.