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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
  • I came across a few things recently that I thought I would share with the SB&F community. The first is a new Pew report of a survey of teachers on the impact of the internet on their teaching. "A survey of teachers who instruct American middle and secondary school students finds that digital technologies have become central to their teaching and professionalization. At the same time, the internet, mobile phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers, and they report striking differences in access to the latest digital technologies between lower and higher income students and school districts." Read more. Also wanted to let you know that Science NetLinks has debuted...      Read more...
    Published 4 Mar 2013 1:22 PM by Maria Sosa
  • February is always a busy month at AAAS headquarters. Much of our work at this time revolves around the AAAS Annual Meeting , scheduled to occur this year from the 14 th to the 18 th in Boston, MA. For SB&F that means the presentation of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes , as well as events highlighting the winners at Family Science Days , a two-day outreach event that coincides with the Annual Meeting. This month's feature bibliography is inspired by the Meeting's theme, The Beauty and Benefits of Science. Also scheduled for February 2013 at AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC, is an exhibition featuring stunning astronomical images by Michael Benson , award-winning journalist, filmmaker...      Read more...
  • By Rebecca Widiss and Jessica Stoller-Conrad "If you build it, they will come." Years ago, so the story goes, novice farmer named Ray Kinsella heard a voice urging him to build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa. Somehow Ray knew "they will come" referred to the baseball players he'd loved as a child. Crazy though it seemed, he built the field. And as his heroes played, they brought Ray's community together to share baseball's magic. Starting a blog is a similar act of faith. You must believe that if you build it, two things will come: ideas worth sharing and people to share them with. You know it's a bit crazy, but something still urges you on. And so...      Read more...
  • This is the second in a series of blog posts in which I will share my recommendations for holiday gifts for readers of all ages. This list features books that are suitable for students in grade 5 through 8. This year's SB&F Prize finalists are on the list, as are some of my personal favorites from among the books we reviewed this year. I limited my selection in each category to 10 picks. To see more choices, please visit our Amazon astore. See also, my earlier post to find picture books for younger readers. Temple Grandin : How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, by Sy Montgomery. (Although she was diagnosed with autism, and her doctor recommended hospitalization...      Read more...
    Published 17 Dec 2012 3:34 PM by Maria Sosa
  • This is the first of a series of blog posts in which I will share my recommendations for holiday gifts for readers of all ages, beginning with children's science picture books. This year's SB&F Prize finalists are on the list, as are some of my personal favorites from among the books we reviewed this year. I limited my selection in each category to 10 picks. To see more choices, please visit our Amazon astore. 1. Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino. (A young girl shares her observations about the mallards near her house in an engaging, informative full color story sure to make a splash with duck lovers.) 2. The Beetle Book , written and illustrated by Steve...      Read more...
  • On Thursday, November 15, 2012, Verizon's Thinkfinity community will be offering a live webinar called Meeting the Demands of the Common Core: Mentoring Readers of Science and Technical Texts . The presenter will be Doug Buehl author of Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines , published by the International Reading Association (IRA). The live presentation will occur at 4:00 pm ET (1:00 pm PT/2:00 pm MT/3:00 pm). Participants will discover why integrating literacy practices into the flow of regular disciplinary instruction is integral to 21st-century learners. As students strive to meet new rigorous standards, teachers of science, mathematics, and technical subjects face an urgent...      Read more...
    Published 13 Nov 2012 3:20 PM by Maria Sosa
  • With more than 20 schools in New York City unable to reopen and dozens of schools in New Jersey still closed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, today announced that it will donate one million books to schools and libraries in the hardest-hit areas of the tri-state region. To help in the recovery efforts with support for the educators, families and students who have suffered losses, Scholastic is accepting book grant requests at www.scholastic.com/bookgrants and will provide new books and resources that will help get tens of thousands of students reading and learning again, despite severely challenging circumstances...      Read more...
    Published 12 Nov 2012 11:36 AM by Maria Sosa
  • Ruckus Media Group , an independent family digital entertainment company, today announced multiple new e-book partnerships for digital distribution including bestselling titles from trusted children’s book publishers Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Charlesbridge Publishing, and All About Kids. Ruckus Media Group creates interactive applications for mobile devices designed to entertain and educate children. Launched in September 2010, Ruckus delights children with interactive storybooks from the most popular names in entertainment (ex. Hasbro, Crayola, Dino Dan, SeaWorld) as well as best-selling classics (ex. Curious George, The Polar...      Read more...
  • Firefly: Browncoats Unite . the highly-anticipated special chronicling the cult science fiction series premieres Sunday, November 11 at 10 PM (ET/PT) on the Science Channel. The All-Day Firefly event begins with a full series marathon at 7 AM (ET/PT). Firefly: Browncoats Unite , the special, will air at 10 PM (ET/PT) and will reunite Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion and the entire renegade crew of the Serenity for the first time ever to provide the complete oral history on the franchise that continues to explode in popularity - despite meeting its end a decade ago. The 60-minute special includes secrets from the set, exclusive cast interviews, and footage from this year's colossal Comic-Con panel...      Read more...
    Published 6 Nov 2012 2:49 PM by Maria Sosa
  • As a culture we like to pretend that Halloween is just for children, but we all know that isn't true; adults also like to dress up as vampires, witches, goblins, ghosts, and monsters. We also like to carve pumpkins, as you can see from the picture on the left, a winning entry in a recent AAAS staff pumpkin carving contest! What is it about Halloween that captures our imagination? The books below don't really answer that question, but we thought they would make appropriate recommendations for this time of year. America's Neighborhood Bats: Understanding and Learning to Live in Harmony with Them , by Merlin Tuttle. Bats are ubiquitous symbols of Halloween, but are they really scary...      Read more...
    Published 16 Oct 2012 12:22 PM by Maria Sosa
  • Racine, Wis. Elementary Students Read Their Way to $100,000 School Library Makeover (via PR Newswire ) RACINE, Wis., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, students, teachers and friends of Wadewitz Elementary School are celebrating the grand opening of the Wadewitz Reads Dream Big Library -- their modernized library -- which students earned by securing first place in the Racine Reads: Dream Big! program…      Read more...
    Published 11 Oct 2012 2:03 PM by Maria Sosa
  • In our September issue, we shared a resource guide inspired by Disposable Culture , an art exhibit at AAAS headquarters. We thought that our readers might also be interested in a few other science-focused art exhibits. One is Focus on Nature (FON) , a biennial exhibition of scientific, natural and cultural history. It began in 1990 in conjunction with the Northeast Natural History Conference. Artworks considered for inclusion must accurately represent the subjects, or research results and processes. The current exhibition is open through December 31, 2012 in the Photography Gallery of the New York State Museum in Albany, NY. It features 93 natural history illustrations, representing the work...      Read more...
  • We've noticed that there is a lot of good science content on YouTube. Schools, however, may be reluctant to provide students with unrestricted access to YouTube because much of the content can be distracting or downright inappropriate for students. To get around this problem, Google has been offering YouTube for Schools , a tool that gives schools the ability to access a broad set of educational videos on YouTube EDU and to select the specific videos that are accessible from within their school networks. Launched in December of 2011, YouTube for Schools provides schools access to hundreds of thousands of free educational videos from YouTube EDU , which features a broad range of educational...      Read more...
    Published 21 Sep 2012 3:20 PM by Maria Sosa
  • If you were thinking about planting a tree this Fall using the revised USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map , here's some important news for you: warming temperatures may have already made it obsolete! The Zone Map predicts which trees and perennials can survive the winter in a given region, and it hadn't been revised since 1990. As expected, temperature boundaries shown in the revised version released earlier this year have shifted northward. However, according to an analysis conducted by Dr. Nir Krakauer, the true zones have moved even farther north. Krakauer, assistant professor of civil engineering in The City College of New, developed a new method to map cold-weather zones in the United...      Read more...
    Published 14 Sep 2012 3:52 PM by Maria Sosa
  • In our August issue we published Linda Weiner's review of Loree Griffin Burns' book Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of a Scientific Discover (see below), which tells the story of four actual research projects that invite members of the public to participate in "real" science. While Citizen Science projects have been around for a long time, their resurgence in popularity could have something to do with the growth of crowdsourcing , a distributed problem-solving and production model such as that used by Wikipedia and TripAdvisor. One of the earliest Citizen Science Projects was the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's PigeonWatch in which participants counted pigeons and recorded the...      Read more...
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