All kids love to go to birthday parties! But they may not realize how baking the cake, blowing out the candles and having lemonade at the party all depend on changing matter. In “Chemical & Physical Changes,” the familiar experience of a birthday party is used to help students understand the differences between these changes. The chemical reactions in baking a cake, mixing ingredients to make lemonade and simply making ice cubes changing from a liquid to a solid to make ice cubes or what happens when wood burns on a campfire and other examples are all used to help kids understand what happens when matter undergoes a chemical or a physical change.
What makes the air so special for us and almost all living things? Kids learn about what makes up the air and how air impacts all life on earth in "The Air Around Us ." They will learn about how air interacts with landforms and water to produce the weather we experience and how things in the air affect our health and even the climate. "The Air Around Us" is a great introduction to or a review of science ideas typically covered in the upper elementary and middle school curriculum.
You have a sniffle. What kinds of medicines might help? The milk smells funny. What happened? That little scrape on your knee somehow healed itself. How? These are the kinds of questions asked by kids all the time, and the answers all involve cells. Using engaging examples and beautiful illustrations, "Basic Cells" leads students on a journey through the cells we rely on, but have a tough time seeing. Different types of cells make all kinds of life possible. "Basic Cells" explores life from single cells to complex organisms for upper elementary and middle school students. Students learn about different types of cells and the structures that allow them to live and function. A special focus is given to the kinds of cells that cause illness and how our bodies. fight back against illness, sometimes with the help of medicines.
It's a beautiful world out there. Lions live on the savannah with tall grasses; gorillas live in rainforests with huge broad-leaved trees, and bison live on prairies filled with grasses and birds. No living thing exists alone. All are members of complex biological communities supported by unique environments and surroundings. "Biodiversity" examines many of these communities, emphasizing the relationships between the living and nonliving world. Student experiences include explorations of plant and animal communities, the relationships between habitat and climate, and interactions between humans and nature. In a special exercise, students are asked to develop a management plan for animals in a public park.
How are flashlights, house lights and other electrical devices alike? They all involve circuits—a way for electricity to make them work. In "Batteries, Bulbs & Wires" students learn about the basic parts and workings of simple electrical circuits. They also get to troubleshoot problems when their camping flashlight fails to work and learn some important safety rules about using electrical devices. "Batteries, Bulbs & Wires" can serve as a great introduction or review of science ideas commonly addressed in the upper elementary and middle school curriculum.
How do people use the things found in nature? In "Natural Resources" kids learn about how we depend on the materials found in nature to keep us alive and comfortable. From the trees we cut to make houses to rivers that provide us with drinking water and power from generators that provide electricity, natural resources are essential to our way of living. Kids will learn all about many different natural resources, how we use them, which ones are renewable and which are not, and how we can be careful about their use so we don’t run out.
How do scientists figure out what the world was like long, long ago? One way is to study fossils – the remains of prehistoric life that are preserved in rock. In "Fossils," kids get to look at and learn about what life was like long, long ago! They will get to see how scientists, called paleontologists, lead adventurous lives traveling all over the world looking for fossils. From huge dinosaurs to tiny shells and leafs, learning about fossils of plants and animals that lived long ago help scientists understand the environments of the earth’s past and how both the earth and living things changed over time. Studying fossils also helps scientists understand how important natural resources like coal, oil, and gas are formed and how to find them.