Science Books

Did you know today is the 48th anniversary of the first moon walk on July 20, 1969?

The lunar landing inspired many children to consider careers in science and math. Let's take a look at a book that might inspire the next generation, as well.

Apollo 11 Moon Landing: An Interactive Space Exploration Adventure (You Choose: Space) by Thomas K. Adamson is an interactive book that allows children choose the parts that interest them and find out what happens under different scenarios.

 

Discover what led up to the big day when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, as well as what happened afterwards.

As the cover suggests, the book allows readers to make 48 choices that lead to 9 different endings. Although it sounds complicated, it is actually simply very well organized text that flows logically. After reading it, you will wonder why more books aren't written this way.

Learn about history and science by walking through a copy with a child today.

Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1491481374
ISBN-13: 978-1491481370

Want more? Be sure to visit our growing list of children's books about the moon and the lunar landing.

 

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.

You've probably heard that there's going to be a solar eclipse which will be visible from much of the United States on August 21, 2017.  Beginning about 9:00am Pacific time off the coast of Oregon, the Moon will begin eclipsing the Sun and it will pass across the continental U.S. Depending on what state you live in, you may see a full or partial eclipse. NASA has information about where and when to observe the eclipse.

Definition of a Solar Eclipse:

A solar eclipse occurs when moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, causing a shadow to fall on the the surface of the Earth (blocking the Sun's light).

solar eclipse(Photograph of a solar eclipse for 2008 from NASA)

Solar Eclipse Science

Why are scientists so interested in a total eclipse? First of all it is an opportunity to study the area of plasma flowing around the sun called the solar corona. Normally it is difficult to see the solar corona because it is obscured by the bright light of the sun itself. During a total eclipse, however, that light is blocked and the corona is visible, which allows people to observe and study it.

It is also an opportunity to examine the effects of limiting solar radiation on a smaller scale than occurs when the sun goes down at night.

Why doesn't everyone in the path see a total eclipse? It turns out that when light hits an object, the shadow is not uniform.

The dark center shadow, called the umbra, gets narrower further from the object blocking the light. Only areas in the path of the Moon's umbral shadow will see a total eclipse.

The lighter penumbra shadow gets wider behind an object. Areas in the path of the Moon's penumbral shadow will see a partial eclipse.

Are you going to miss the 2017 eclipse? Don't worry, the next total solar eclipse will be April 8, 2024, passing over the eastern half of the U.S.

Eclipse-Related Science Activities

This summer take advantage of some of the great science activities relating to the solar eclipse. If it passing over your area, visit events hosted by local planetariums and astronomy groups. You can also participate in citizen science projects.

  1. The Sanford Solar Center has tips for observing the sun safely and suggested activities.
  2. California Academy of Sciences has a citizen science project observing behavior of animals during the eclipse (uses the iNaturalist App).
  3. The GLOBE Program has research looking at the impact of Sun's radiation on the Earth's surface. Citizen scientists record air and surface temperatures before, during, and after the eclipse (uses the GLOBE Observer App). Includes instructions for building a wind monitoring device.
  4. NASA has a list of related Citizen Science projects
  5. Take NASA's lunar challenge
  6. Share It Science has instructions for making a pinhole viewer
  7. Read a children's book about eclipses such as :

The beginning reader level book, Eclipses (Amazing Sights of the Sky) by Martha E. H. Rustad

These books feature short sentences and carefully-controlled vocabulary.

See a preview at Google Books.

For older kids, you might want to try this middle grade title, Go See The Eclipse: And Take a Kid with You by Chap Percival


Go See the Eclipse explains what an eclipse is, and gives specific advice on where to go, what to take, and how to prepare. Also contains personal anecdotes about the thrill of viewing a total eclipse.

Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: Bee Ridge Press; 1a edition (April 24, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0986197521
ISBN-13: 978-0986197529

Interested in reading more? Check out our growing list of books about eclipses at Science Books for Kids.

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For STEM Friday and National Poetry Month we have a new children's book,  A Rocketful of Space Poems chosen by John Foster and illustrated by Korky Paul.


The collection includes poems from the likes of J. Patrick Lewis, Eric Finney, and Judith Nicholls. Many of the poems are not particularly serious, since they are about monsters, witches, magicians and aliens. They allow the reader to "fly into space, drive to the moon, meet an asteroid dog and a flurb blurp, and then play intergalactic Squibble-Ball." As you can see, the featured poems are highly imaginative but have a science-based foundation underneath. For example:

Space Riddle by John Foster

I used to be a Planet
But I'd a terribLe shock
When they annoUnced
That I was nothing buT
a large lump of rOck.

Korky Paul's illustrations are wacky and delightful. Each two-page spread has a frame around it filled with fun things to discover.

Pick up A Rocketful of Space Poems today and share a few with young readers for National Poetry Month. Let their imaginations soar!

Related activity ideas:

 

You might also want to try our related lists at Science Books for Kids:

Age Range: 7 - 10 years
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Bks (February 15, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1847804861
ISBN-13: 978-1847804860

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.