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The Scientists Behind Space (Sci-Hi


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These hi/lo titles provide brief retrospective tours of the highlighted topics by featuring scientists from around the world who made important advances. They drive home the point that each new discovery or piece of information is a building block and clearly demonstrate that any small idea or combination of old ideas can forever change the future of science. Wonderful additions where budding scientists are looking for role models and inspiration. School Library Journal April 2011-- "School Library Journal"
This series of nonfiction books for young adults focuses on scientists both past and present, whose work furthered knowledge in a particular area of science. The biographical information highlights their contributions in the context of their cultural and historical background. All six volumes contain 48 pages. The layout of each page is designed to capture the interest of students in upper elementary to middle school grades. Each volume ends with one page sections that include a timeline, short quiz, glossary, index, and a reference section that includes books, websites and places to visit. Each page layout is bright and colorful without being too distracting. Quotes that add interest to the text are strategically placed. Bold print indicates words in the glossary and underlined material represents important information and definitions. There are interesting graphics that are appealing to the eye and include photos, charts and diagrams that supplement the text. More importantly, scientists are equally represented by gender, ethnic backgrounds, and countries of birth. Have you ever wondered what is out there beyond the Earth in that vast black maze composed of twinkling lights? Humans have done this for centuries of time. I owe my interest in science to the fierce rivalry between Russia and the United States to launch the first man in space and to land on the moon, but that is only briefly mentioned in this volume. From Copernicus to Galileo to Newton and Kepler we learn about the laws of motion and gravity that govern the movement of heavenly bodies. We are introduced to Neil deGrasse Tyson who has made a life of presenting astronomy to the public and Carolyn Shoemaker who discovered a comet. From the Earth to our solar system to stars and galaxies, astronomers are constantly looking to understand what is out there and how it impacts us. The theory of the Big Bang will help readers understand the formation of our universe. We are told that we are still interested in space and in possibly putting humans on Mars. We are constantly searching for other life in our universe because we believe that we are not alone. Where this volume falls short, is the lack of emphasis that has been placed on the experiments performed by our astronauts which have served to create new technology and medical advancements--a subject not even mentioned in the section called Lessons from Space.-- "Science & Children"
This small book (48 pages) is designed for a juvenile audience with a target age between upper elementary and middle school. The title purports to introduce the scientists behind space. Unfortunately space is never defined adequately and a careful reading might leave most young readers confused about what is meant by space. Since the book devotes most of its space to an emphasis on the solar system and a cursory examination of stars and galaxies, one could come to the conclusion that space is easily accessible and readily knowable. The book takes a historical perspective starting with Ptolemy and his geocentric theory to Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Kepler. What follows is a quick jump to 20th century astronomy with a limited selection of characters ranging from Hubble and Hawkins to lesser known figures such as Shoemaker and Rubin. The book is well illustrated with numerous color photographs and illustrations. Unfortunately, the text promises (p. 25) that a picture of Vera Rubin is included but it is not there. The brief discussion of the contributions of Hertzsprung and Russell and their HR diagram illustrating the relationship of a stars color to their temperature and brightness is nicely done and appropriate for the ages of the intended audience. Likewise, the discussion about young and very old stars on the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram not indicating the stars are animate, like people, is welcome and well done. The content is fundamentally accurate but sometimes brevity can lead one to believe that the author is implying something other than what is currently accepted. A case in point (p. 8) is that Copernicus proposed the apparent daily motion of the sun is due to the earth's movement through space rather than its daily rotation on its axis. Another possible misinterpretation throughout the book is that scientists always interpret factual evidence correctly and that it is not subject human bias. This can lead to the conclusion that scientific evidence and theory is absolute and not subject to reinterpretation or rejection. In summary, this book provides good information albeit in a condensed form. With the help of a knowledgeable adult to assist a child in understanding what is implied between the lines, this book can provide the opportunity for meaningful learning. The appendix of the book includes a somewhat complex timeline, a quick quiz, glossary linked to boldfaced print in the text, additional books, websites and places to visit, and an index, all of which are useful resources. --Robert H. Poel, Center for Science Education, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI Science Books & Films January 2012-- "Science Books & Films"
This well-developed series covers the scientists that have devoted much of their professional careers working on scientific endeavors that have enhanced the lives of others. The fundamental emphasis deals with scientists, their research, discoveries, and contributions. Vivid illustrations make the books current, even though most of the scientists included are deceased. The books integrate photos, drawings, and sidebars, giving readers a comprehensive overview. At the end of each book is a quiz that students will enjoy as they test their newly-learned knowledge. The books are appealing and could easily be adapted to thematic lessons. These books will definitely get students interested in learning more about exploration and investigation, leading to a possible career in science. Bibliography. Glossary. Table of Contents. Hope Marie Cook, Librarian and Head of the Curriculum Center, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut Library Media Connection November/December 2011-- "Library Media Connection"

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