Category Archives: Science

Science Reference Books to Have on Hand



I am a big believer in having lots of engaging reference books around. Then kids can read them for fun, to answer their questions or to actually help with homework. We have a fun collection of science books that we highly recommend for everyone to have on hand! (At 1 very short point in time I sold Usborne just to receive a discount on their reference books.)

The Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Science: This covers Chemistry, Physics and Biology in one volume but I believe that they are available individually. The colors are vibrant and the definitions are clear and specific. Great for any level, even up to high school.

The Usborne Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia: This is a super fun encyclopedia. It covers facts across the board in science from mixtures & compounds to plants to the human body to energy. It isn’t written in a long a boring form but littered with graphics and bullet point facts. It also has a quick link compliment that has websites that can take the learning further!

Usborne Mysteries and Marvels of Science: This isn’t an encyclopedia or dictionary but I still consider it a reference book. It has a bunch of mysteries and marvels that kids always wonder about. It has things like force and color and even silicon. This is also an internet linked volume so it has complimentary websites that can take their investigation further.

First Encyclopedia of Science: I really believe in young elementary reference books. It is great fun for the kids to look up interesting subjects and it gets them used to using things like encyclopedias. This is a super colorful volume  and has a great variety of of subjects. This is also an internet linked book so there are a variety of complimentary links that are age appropriate!

100 Science Experiments: This is a volume of easy science experiments that kids can easily do, almost completely alone. These aren’t high level science fair projects but projects that actually teach great concepts. There are lots of illustrations for the young scientist to actually see what they should be doing.

730 Easy Science Experiments: This book is aimed at students any where from 4th grade all the way up through high school. All the experiments are conducted with every day materials. Some are high level like testing ph levels. Some are super simple like using the gluten in bread as an eraser. The experiments are laid out well but don’t explain everything about the results so students can actually research the why’s and do reports!

Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

SOEL_Logo_FinalYou all know that I love science and innovation so I am beyond excited to share a fabulous science competition with you all! This isn’t a normal “science fair” competition but a competition that focuses purely on innovation and ideas.

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is obviously sponsored by 3M, a company that knows about innovation. It is for students that are in 5th to 8th grade. Basically students create a 1-2 minute video that are all about new innovative solution for an every day project. (You can get all the entry details here)

The prize is $25,000 and a trip to Costa Rica but that isn’t what excited me the most. The top 10 finalists receive $1000 and the get to participate in a summer mentorship with a scientist where they will try to take the students idea into reality. I wish I could enter;).

I love the angle of this competition! It isn’t limited by the student’s current science knowledge but their imagination! And that is a big part of what science is but isn’t really taught in school. The goal of many scientists is to implement an idea that they had. You can start with a spark, then learn all the specific science and technology information to implement.

In this competition the research is done to see the scope of the problems and current attempted solutions that aren’t fully successful. They can focus on the need and holes in the current markets to find what is truly missing. Then come up with an idea. The finalists will have time with scientists to refine it and look at the more technical side.

This realization (dream it then learn to make it) is the reason apps and app development has sky rocketed but I don’t think people realize that the same model can be taken into a more hard science and mechanics world. I wish this was an aspect of science that was presented to students more! I thought you had to know all the science in a field before you could start innovating. Which also explains the boring nature of my childhood science fair projects;).

I also love that it isn’t tied to a school so it makes it easy for homeschoolers to enter;). But entries have to be in by April 22, 2014 so don’t wait!  And make sure you join us for #STEMchat on Twitter April 8 from 9 – 10 PM Eastern as we talk about How to Raise America’s Top Young Scientist!

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the competition by Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. But all opinions are mine! So go do some science!)

Geeky Links 10/29

So I am starting off with not only a geeky video but also a super nerdy one! If you can’t enjoy this a little… well, I should stop there before I say something mean;).

The Guardian has a piece about the Kindle being heavier when it is fully loaded. It all makes sense but I just wouldn’t have thought about it being heavier.

Over on Hero Complex Chris Hemsworth talks about the director who will be working on Thor 2. I personally am a huge Branagh fan but I am sure that Jenkins will do a smash up job!

Ok, and this is a very geek request. Can you go vote for my Verizon 4G LTE video? I would greatly appreciate it;). I am trying to win a prize pack that is extremely geeky;).