Please welcome my guest blogger today, Catherine Ross of Kids Learning Games!
There are plenty of websites that provide science news for kids. With the latest updates on research findings, cool inventions, and scientific expeditions in various fields, these websites provide scientific content that would interest kids in a manner that they can understand. Scientific news stories are always interesting, and it is understandable that the public would want to read about them.
But why all the focus on kids? How much difference does it make to a ten-year old what Curiosity is doing on Mars? There are various ways in which kids can benefit by staying up to date on the latest science news stories. Here are just a few of them.
A dad friend encouraged me to sign my daughter up for an afterschool elementary school class called Wicked Cool Science. He was a high school science teacher and had a son and daughter of his own.
“If you don’t get your daughter’s interested in science before middle school,” he warned, “They will turn their backs on science permanently.”
That’s alarming. So I looked into this connection.
Many young students, particularly girls, see math and science as difficult, and don’t take any more classes than they have to, not realizing they are cutting themselves off from lucrative opportunities in college and careers.
“The relationship between confidence and interest is close,” says Fouad. “If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest.”
From Science Daily Read more…
It’s my turn to choose the Picture Book of the Day and I picked the 2014 Seibert Winner, Parrots Over Puerto Rico. I thought we’d explore parrots today with a non-fiction picture book, a singalong parrot picture book and an easy reader with a naughty parrot.
Next, I clear up confusion that I have about parrots versus Macaws versus Cockatoos. This will help because I want you to meet some parrot friends. Finally, I am giving away all three books! I hope you enjoy this little parrot adventure! Please share your favorite parrot books!
Picture Book of the Day
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Once, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican parrots flew over Puerto Rico where they had lived for millions of years. But by 1937, only about two thousand Puerto Rican parrots, known locally as iguaca, remained in El Yunque, a tropical rainforest in the Luquillo Mountains to the east. By 1975, only thirteen parrots were left. Thanks to efforts by conservationists, a recovery program was set up. But with challenges from mother nature including thunderstorms and hurricanes, will the iguaca survive?
Parrots Over Puerto Rico is the 2014 Seibert Winner!
[picture book, ages 5 and up]
Please welcome my guest blogger, Anna Olswanger. I “met” her when I read a review of Greenhorn and her picture book stopped me in my tracks. It’s powerful story about the Holocaust that really reverberated. I literally could not stop thinking about that little boy and his tin box for days. I added it immediately to my 34 Haunting Holocaust Books for Kids list.
It doesn’t surprise me that Anna notices the little details in life around her. Her story today is about the little House Finch birds that come to her bird feeder that she notices from her window during writing breaks from her computer. She notes with concern that they are sick.
I looked it up:
House Finch Eye Disease
What does conjunctivitis look like?
Infected birds have red, swollen, watery, or crusty eyes; in extreme cases the eyes become swollen shut or crusted over, and the birds become essentially blind. If the infected birds die, it is usually not directly from the conjunctivitis, but rather from starvation, exposure, or predation as a result of not being able to see. Some infected birds do recover.
It’s strange that conjuctivitis which kids commonly get is a very infection disease but really a nuisance more than anything, but for a House Finch, it can be lethal.
Here’s her story and my prayers that her House Finch friend is ok!
The house finch sat on the feeder outside my window and coughed. She was brown, a female. I read about her red, swollen eyes on the Web and discovered she had a respiratory disease that had infected her eyes. In extreme cases, the eyes of these birds would become swollen shut and the birds would become blind. They would die from starvation or predation because they couldn’t see. Read more…
Do you think seahorses are magical too? There is something about having a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey, and skin color that can change like a chameleon. It doesn’t surprise me that Poseidon is the father of horses in Greek Mythology!
Did you know that father seahorses hatch the eggs?! Male seahorses have special pouches for the eggs and part of the courtship routine to win a female includes inflating their pouch by pumping water through it to display its emptiness in order to entice the female to deposit her eggs in it.
The eggs develop in the pouch for two to six weeks, depending on species and temperature, until they become fully formed juveniles called fry. When the male seahorse is ready to give birth, he has muscular contractions to expel the young from the pouch. I wonder if the contractions are as painful as human ones? Read more…
This fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex (T. Rex) is the mascot of Boston’s Museum of Science. He (or she) can be seen as you enter the museum, and enticed my son down two stories to the dinosaur exhibit. I mean, who can resist a life-size T. Rex?
I told my son that scientists have no idea what the skin color of the T. Rex actually was. There are no records of it so it’s their best guess. They most likely had some kind of coloring to blend in to help them hunt, but your guess is as good as mine as to pattern and color! Read more…
My son and I visited the Butterfly Garden exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston. He missed his third grade school field trip because he had Strep Throat the last week of school so I promised him a make up trip as part of his Camp Mom week. I used to take his older sisters to the Museum of Science frequently when they were younger but I realize now that we haven’t visited here in a few years. Too bad. It’s one of the best museums for kids in Boston and because it’s huge, it never feels overwhelmingly crowded the way The Boston Children’s Museum can.
This wasn’t my son’s favorite stop — he much preferred The Sea Monster 3D movie and the dinosaur exhibit — but I always find butterfly gardens to be magical.
The Butterfly Garden tickets are extra … would you buy tickets to visit a Butterfly Exhibit in addition to the museum entrance fee?
I’ve tried to identify the butterflies we saw but it wasn’t easy. Please help me out if you see an error or know which butterfly it is. I was feeling very Calpurnia Tate trying to ID them. Speaking of Calpurnia Tate, I’ll be posting on our Top 10 Butterfly Books for Kids tomorrow. As with most of my book lists, it’s picture book fiction or biography — no non fiction though I’d love your suggestions for those!
Great Yellow Mormon, Papilio lowii
The Great Mormon (Papilio memnon) is a large butterfly that belongs to the swallowtail family and is found in southern Asia. Read more…