Living or Non-Living, There Is No Once-Living

As educators, we pay close attention to common misconceptions of our students and readers, and are prepared to correct them. Being human, we ourselves are equally susceptible to misconceptions and errors of logic. This particular one has popped up from more than one source, so I’m going to explain it here.Readability is very important to educators, and particularly to children’s writers. We try to use vocabulary that students won't get stuck on, preventing them from…

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Surprisingly Slippery Science

Canada is a land of ice skating.  The longest skating trail in the world (according the Guinness World Records) is a 30 km trail around Lake Windemere in BC. Both our Women's and Men's Hockey teams have the best records in the world. Canadian figure skaters are an international powerhouse. So we really should know how a skate works. But do we?Many of us have been taught that skates put pressure on the ice, which…

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A Wonderful Announcement!

Post by Helaine BeckerSo I can FINALLY share some wonderful news. After 3 years in progress, and interminable months of the contract process, I can finally announce my upcoming picture book, Counting on Katherine, the story of Katherine Johnson (of the Hidden Figures movie). Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt and Co. will be publishing it next winter, and it will be illustrated by Dow Phumiruk.  I am thrilled beyond words that this project is actually happening; it has…

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Of Truth and Lies and Getting It Right

By Claire EamerIn June 2016, a Scottish Facebook site posted a couple of photographs of the gory remains of some strange animal sprawled on a beach. The post text read: "A dog walker out on the shores of Loch Ness has just stumbled across this. Has Nessy been found? Or someone playing a fascinating prank?"That original post was shared 1,468 times, spreading it far across the Internet. A thousand or more comments piled up below…

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"Effect of Activities on Bones" — an excerpt from The Paleolithic Revolution

Stories from the Stone Age fascinate many people. Who were the long-ago humans who made cave paintings and carved ivory? I've often wondered how they turned rocks like flint or obsidian into knives and tools. The things that scientists learn from a scrap of bone, or an old carving, are amazing!This year I got to put to use all my favourite archaeology facts while writing a book for Rosen Publishing, called The Paleolithic Revolution. It's…

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Crochet Your Own Coral Reef – and Help Save the Planet

Post by Helaine BeckerAll images courtesy Institute of FiguringThe coral reefs of our planet are in danger. That's one reason a group of crafters are getting together to create artificial reefs - out of wool! Not only are they making something of extreme beauty, but their creation is bringing awareness of the reef's troubles to museum visitors. It's also helping to teach people about topology - the science of shape.Image courtesy Institute of FiguringThe Crochet…

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Deep Space Network!

By Paula JohansonThis week, my new favourite science website is once again a NASA site. Their Deep Space Network keeps track of communications from interplanetary spacecraft, on missions around the solar system and beyond. And when you click on the link for their live feed, you can see representations of the signals being received right at that very moment by NASA's three big radio telescopes.As they say:When it comes to making a long-distance call, it's…

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Sci/Why’s Book and Website Picks for 2016

By Duncan.co (CC)Just in time for the holidays! Sci/Why is carrying on the tradition of presenting our best science book and website picks for your holiday reading pleasure. Here's the latest news and notes from the authors here at Sci/Why:Claire Eamer says: "Here’s my current fascination: An online interactive map, using data from NASA, that will show you the impact of sea level rise anywhere in the world. You can pick a level from 0…

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Indestructible Creatures: The Tardigrade

Imagine that you make a balloon animal: a bear. Then you take the spray nozzle from the kitchen sink and stick it where the mouth goes. Now give it 6 or 8 legs and long thin claws. Finally, shrink it down to just one millimetre long — about the thickness of a dime. Next, imagine that there are zillions of these balloon animals, found in every biome on Earth.What will you call it? How do…

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Bernoulli Is Not Enough

By Simon ShapiroProbably all of us science geeks think we know how aeroplanes fly. It’s thanks to the Bernoulli Principle, which says that faster flowing air exerts less pressure than slower air. Aeroplane wings are designed with flat bottoms and rounded tops. Air has to flow more quickly around the longer top surface than the shorter bottom surface. That gives us higher pressure below the wing and lower pressure above the wing.This diagram is from…

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