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Editor's Blog

Welcome to the SB&F Editor's Blog. I am Maria Sosa, Editor-in-Chief of SB&F. Through this blog I hope to interact with the SB&F community and post news and information related to science books, videos, authors, opportunities and other topics of interest to our readers. I hope you find the blog useful and entertaining. Please, join the conversation by posting a comment on our Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!


Syndication
  • The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. The prizes, meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all age groups, are awarded in four categories: Children’s Science Picture Books, Middle Grades Nonfiction Science Books, Young Adult Science Book and Hands-on Science/Activity Book . We are pleased to announce the Finalists for the 2015 Prize in the Young Adult category. The books are appraised according to the following criteria:. The book has the ability to engage young adult readers in science. The book encourages the discussion and understanding...      Read more...
  • Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2014 celebration will be held September 21-27. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association . There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported. Of course, the banning...      Read more...
    Published 10 Sep 2014 4:12 PM by Maria Sosa
  • Men and women all over the world work together to achieve feats in science, technology, engineering and math. The contributions of scientists and engineers in STEM professions are the inspiration for a unique Heritage Family Day Saturday, Aug. 2, at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. “We Share STEM! Connecting Across Cultures: Heritage Family Day and Helicopter Display” will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. As a special highlight of the day, the theme of cross-cultural collaboration will be showcased through an outdoor display of seven helicopters representing a variety of organizations, including a Bell 429 Global Ranger from...      Read more...
  • Nominations open through September 5, 2014 . Submission Guidelines Introduction The SB&F Prizes aim to encourage the reading, writing and publishing of quality science books. The Prizes began in 2005 by looking back on 40 years of outstanding science books and honoring six authors for their distinguished and lasting contribution to science literature. Beginning in 2006 and beyond, the Prizes honor recently published, individual books. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Children's Science Picture Book (prize to author and illustrator) Middle Grades Science Book (prize to author) Young Adult Science Book (prize to author) Hands-On Science Book (prize to author) A judging...      Read more...
  • Despite research that indicates the importance of summer reading in preventing children from losing literacy skills, only 17 percent of parents say reading is a top summer priority, according to a new survey from Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy's. The survey, conducted by Harris Poll, also finds that children spend nearly three times as many hours weekly watching TV or playing video games as they do reading in the summer. More than 1,000 parents with children ages 5-11 completed the survey online in April. Results of the survey are made public as Macy's and RIF launch the 11 th annual Be Book Smart campaign to support children's literacy. Be Book Smart begins June 18, and invites...      Read more...
    Published 20 Jun 2014 6:56 AM by Maria Sosa
  • Shelf Unbound book review magazine announces the Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Independently Published Book, sponsored by Bowker. Any independently published book in any genre is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $40 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Shelf Unbound magazine. "Independently Published" books include self-published books and e-books (such as those published through CreateSpace, Lulu.com, iUniverse, etc.) and/or books and e-books published through small presses releasing less than five titles per year. Books entered in last year's competition are eligible for re-submission in this year's competition. There is no limit to the...      Read more...
    Published 10 Jun 2014 2:43 PM by Maria Sosa
  • It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week and we’d like to pay tribute to five of our favorite children’s science book authors who were also teachers. Even though they aren’t in the classroom anymore, they are still teaching and sharing their knowledge and skills with school children through their books. Though each has a unique voice, they share a gift for speaking directly to children and holding their attention, as all good teachers do. Vicki Cobb Vicki Cobb has been a full time writer of children’s science books for many years. But before that she was a science teacher. Her engaging hands-on science books have earned her many honors, including an AAAS/Subaru SB&F...      Read more...
  • Today is the last day of Women’s History Month and tomorrow National Poetry Month begins. I know I’m not the only one who tries to mark these occasions while at the some time wondering if doing so somehow contributes to the compartmentalizing of things that we care about. But if it somehow helps to bring attention to things we care about, then I will continue to do so as long as I have a platform. It is in that spirit that I blog today about women’s science authors. Earlier this month on Huffington Post, Sten Oswald asked the question why there are so few science women popularizers? Well, in fact there is a shortage of female science popularizers, but men do seem to be more...      Read more...
  • “We the Geeks" is a new series of Google+ Hangouts to highlight the future of science, technology, and innovation here in the United States. Topics such as commercial space exploration, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, turning science fiction to science fact, and others will be discussed with Administration officials and key private sector contributors. They invite you to join the conversation using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks . Today at 1:00 p.m. ET, "We the Geeks" is hosting a new episode on women role models. The live Google+ Hangout will feature women and girl STEM leaders sharing their stories and advice to inspire young women to discover their...      Read more...
  • High school teachers interested in authentic learning experiences in STEM should check out the Lemelson-MIT Program: InvenTeam Initiative. The Lemelson-MIT Program awards InvenTeam grants of up to $10,000 to teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors who invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Each InvenTeam chooses its own issue to address, and the students rely on inquiry and hands-on problem solving as they apply lessons from science, technology, engineering, and math to develop invention prototypes. InvenTeam projects span many fields, from assistive devices to environmental technologies and consumer goods. Science, math, and technology educators at high schools and...      Read more...
    Published 13 Jan 2014 12:09 PM by Maria Sosa
  • As the world’s population swells beyond 10 billion people later this century, what can we do to sustain the farmland, energy and water supplies needed to keep everyone fed? That’s the challenging question that Sustainable Food , a web-based toolkit, addresses with an anchor video and dozens of resources. The toolkit is a project of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. "We basically have to double the amount of food we produce over the next 50 to 60 years,” says John Floros, Ph.D, in the anchor video, called Feeding the World . “The question is, can we do that, and how should we do it?” Floros, dean of the College...      Read more...
    Published 9 Jan 2014 2:33 PM by Maria Sosa
  • SB&F and Science NetLinks are working together to create blog posts and resources that highlight the books that have selected as Finalists for the 2014 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize. The two AAAS programs have collaborated throughout the history of the prizes, thanks to generous sponsorship from Subaru. Each year Science NetLinks creates classroom-based resources that utilize the winning books. This year we have decided to shine a spotlight on all of the finalists throughout the year because we believe that all of the books on our shortlist deserve your attention. Recently, I blogged about Beyond the Solar System and Things that Float and Things that Don't . This week, NetLink's Maya...      Read more...
  • This is the second in a series of posts that takes a closer look at the 2014 Finalists for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize. Mary Kay Carson's Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More (Chicago Review Press, 2013) is sure to be a big hit with history of science buffs like me. She hooked me right away with the first few sentences of the Introduction: "The next time you look up at the 3,000 or so stars visible in the night sky, put yourself in the place of a prehistoric person. Looking up at all those little lights in the darkness, imagine what you think they are. Tiny, faraway campfires that never burn out? Flying creatures carrying torches?"...      Read more...
  • This is the first in a series of posts that takes a closer look at the 2014 Finalists for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize. Categories are very convenient, but they often have "permeable membranes" that make it hard to sort things into hard and fast groupings. Remember that when looking at the finalists for the 2014 SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. Things that Float and Things that Don't (Holiday House, 2013 ) , witten by David A. Adler and illustrated by Anne Raff, is a finalist in the Children's Science Picture Book category, but it could just as easily be a candidate for the Hands-on Science Book category. As an introduction to the concepts of density and buoyancy...      Read more...
    Published 12 Nov 2013 11:13 AM by Maria Sosa
  • I am proud to be part of the team that helped put together the exhibition Beauty and the Brain Revealed currently on display at the AAAS Gallery. The exhibition builds on a 2010 collaboration between the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at the Johns Hopkins University and the Walters Art Museum to examine how the brain perceives abstract sculpture. As part of the experience, viewers can put on a pair of 3D glasses to explore digitally morphed versions of sculpture and learn how 3D shape characteristics relate to your own aesthetic preferences! The interactive exhibition explores the aesthetic theory of “significant form,” which includes the idea that certain aesthetic experiences...      Read more...
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