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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Science for Kids and Kids at Heart

How else to begin this post but with an explanation of where I have been for five months? Well, July was very exciting, I witnessed the launch of the last space shuttle (which I posted about over at Scientific American), I ran the girls bioengineering camp (GAMES) which focused on bioengineering for diabetes diagnosis, monitoring and management. I also taught a Biotechnology Summer Insititute, and saw the launch of my new blog at Scientific American. Workwise at the university, I also taught my Human Genome and Bioinformatics course for the Masters of Science Teaching Program.

Since then, I've been turning my focus to learning new material for my next course, Evolution and Human Health, leaving me little time for book reviews and other filming for the present time.

Before I go further, note that at the top of the page, I've changed my latest book review to one about The $1000 Genome and Here is a Human Being 

Seeing we are coming up upon the holidays and you may be looking for some scientific gifts for the youngsters in your life, I'd like to present some suggestions for you!  

Even though my reviews have slowed down, I did grab a quick session to talk about two new children's science and nature books, both by authors who illustrated them themselves!

First is James Nardi's charming and relaxing book, In Mouse's Backyard, which tells all about the environment one can find just by stepping outside and looking closely. Written in verse and illustrated by Jim's own hand, it features electron micrographs and descriptions. Adults and children can learn from this book! It is just the kind of book I would have loved as a young girl!

Ankylosaur Attack! is Daniel Loxton's second book written and illustrated by him and tells the story of a young tyrannosaur out on his own.

I also read a page from each book!  

 A while back, I recommended the amusing book, Pat Schrodinger's Kitty, a book of Quantum Physics for babies, by Tiffany Ard. Today, I highly recommend her very nerdy COLORING BOOK for Very Young Scientists I can't wait to get my hands on one myself!

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Naturally, my favorite is the white blood cell (neutrophil) which really wouldn't need much color since they are named for the fact they don't pick up much stain when prepared for viewing under the microscope.

You can learn more about these cells, including how they are used to determine the gender of a victim at a crime scene and why so many can be found in pus in my video about them from my series "Blood Cell Bakery":

I recently interviewed Ken Murphy for Scientific American about his video called the History of the Sky. I will add a link to that interview as soon as it is live there. As an artist using technology in service of art, he is big into Maker Faire and has created a few kits where kids can use technology to create bugs and their own light kit. Click on the kits to be taken to the Amazon page where you can grab one of these.

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I also recently test drove and shared with my youtube viewers and upcoming app for the iPhone that helps you share science with you kids with items you can find around your house called KidScience! It was due out this fall. I don't have the latest on the release date, but will let you know as soon as I do! Take a look:

 

 I hope you will share the gift of science with a special young person in your life!

I promise to be less of a stranger!

Joanne 

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