Awak­en­ing your in­ner sci­en­tist

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPOSTER - CHRISTINA BAR­RON

THERE is a lot of talk th­ese days about how kids should be in­ter­ested in sci­ence. That doesn’t mean you should find ev­ery­thing in sci­ence class ex­cit­ing – you might be cu­ri­ous about outer space, while your friends may love bugs and di­nosaurs. There’s an area of sci­ence for ev­ery­one, and th­ese cool new books might in­spire you to dis­cover your in­ner sci­en­tist. Scaly Spot­ted Feath­ered Frilled by Cather­ine Thimmesh 58 pages, ages 9 to 12

When you see a draw­ing or a model of a di­nosaur, or watch one run­ning around in the movies, do you won­der how any­body knows what they look like? Af­ter all, no one has seen a liv­ing di­nosaur. This book ex­plains how pa­leo-sci­en­tists and pa­leo-artists (“pa­leo” means “an­cient”) work to­gether to recre­ate di­nosaurs. For 100 years, they have used fos­sils to help fig­ure out mus­cles, skin and even ex­pres­sions. As sci­en­tific dis­cover- ies have been made, the mod­els have changed. (Deinony­chus repli­cas once were scaly, now they have feath­ers.) Sci­en­tific tests may one day re­veal what a di­nosaur’s colour­ing was, but for now artists have to use their imag­i­na­tion to de­ter­mine how th­ese Juras­sic gi­ants looked. Be­yond the So­lar Sys­tem by Mary Kay Car­son 128 pages, ages 10 to 13

This book takes read­ers back thou­sands of years ago to when peo­ple be­gan stargazing and for­ward to to­day’s search for plan­ets in dis­tant parts of the Milky Way galaxy.

Find out about su­per­stars – for ex­am­ple, Isaac Newton – and lesser-known but im­por­tant sci­en­tists such as as­tronomer An­nie Jump Can­non. Along with his­tory lessons, read­ers get 21 ac­tiv­i­ties, such as mak­ing a black hole and cre­at­ing a model of Al­bert Einstein’s universe us­ing a T-shirt. The ac­tiv­i­ties are per­fect “bore­dom busters” for cold win­ter days. Ul­ti­mate Bu­go­pe­dia by Dar­lyne Mu­rawski and Nancy Honovich 272 pages, age 7 and older

If you’re al­ways on the look­out for bee­tles and but­ter­flies, this book is for you. Hun­dreds of colour pho­tos of com­mon and un­usual in­sects fill this hefty hard­cover.

There are fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries re­lated to the pho­tos. For ex­am­ple, did you know that a moth called a Lobocraspis gri­sei­fusa feeds on the tears of Asian cat­tle? Have you heard of the taran­tula hawk? It’s not a bird, it’s a wasp that preys on hairy spiders. There’s a ques­tio­nand-an­swer sec­tion with an en­to­mol­o­gist (that’s an in­sect sci­en­tist) and ad­vice on how to help pre­serve in­sects that are en­dan­gered. Jour­ney Into the In­vis­i­ble by Chris­tine Sch­litt 80 pages, ages 9 to 12

If you have used a mag­ni­fy­ing glass, you know that a speck of dust or a leaf looks a lot dif­fer­ent when it’s mag­ni­fied. The au­thor of this book ex­plains what mi­cro­scopes do and then shows what hap­pens to things around the house when looked at with this amaz­ing tool.

A salt crys­tal mag­ni­fied 30 times looks like a su­per­mod­ern apart­ment build­ing. The bac­te­ria that live in your mouth, when mag­ni­fied 20 000 times, look a bit like swim­ming pool noo­dles.

Fas­ci­nat­ing pho­tos are paired with sug­ges­tions about how you can learn a lot about the world around you just by look­ing a lit­tle closer. – The Wash­ing­ton Post

IN­SPIR­ING: Th­ese cool new books cover many ar­eas and sub­jects of sci­ence.

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