January 17, 2014

Congratulations to everyone who entered the My Awesome Science Word contest. There were many good entries—-it was fun to read about what word each of you selected, and why you thought it was interesting. 

As promised, there are two randomly selected winners - one individual student and one K-2 class. Each one of the winners will receive an autographed copy of my SCIENCE DICTIONARY. Check with Mrs. Abad to pick up your prizes next week. 

Here are the winners and what they wrote.

 Mrs. Shambo’s 1st grade class submitted this entry:

Our awesome science word is heart.

Our definition:  The heart pumps blood. The heart is the size of a fist.  

Why it is awesome:  The heart is awesome because it’s part of your body.  It pumps your blood and keeps you alive. 

Using it in a sentence:  The heart is a part of your body that keeps you alive. 

Here’s the winning entry from Paige M. in Mrs. Bobear’s 5th grade class:

My awesome science word is paleontology.

The definition of my word is a scientific study of fossils from dinosaurs when they were alive and the people that study them are called paleontologists.

I think this word is awesome because you can see the where their eyes were and also if you find all of the fossils, you can see the size of that dinosaur.

I want to do paleontology when I am older.

Congratulations to everyone who entered. I loved reading all your writing!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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January 15, 2014

I enjoyed my visit today at the Caroline Street Elementary School in Saratoga Springs. The kids were great - engaged and inquisitive. 

I came back to my room tonight to find this note:


Dear Seymour Simon,

you visited my school today Caroline Street School and you were amazing i had mo idea i would meet a CELEBRITY author                          

thank you,

             Amira S


Thank YOU, Amira. You made my day.

Dear Seymour Simon, I can’t wait for you to be visiting my school well known as Greenfield elementary school. You are awesome I can’t believe u wrote about 300 books!!! I wonder does your hand get tired?? Well can’t wait to see you next week counting down the days!!

       Your fan, kaitlyn


I am looking forward to coming to Greenfield Elementary later today, Kaitlyn. I hope that you have entered the contest!

 

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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January 15, 2014

I received this lovely note this morning.


Dear Seymour Simon,

You are coming to my school ! I love your books.Last year for the science fair me and my friend did the planets and solar system.It was very interesting! Everybody loved our project and we learned a lot.
 
                                                                               From, Isabel B

 
Thanks for writing, Isabel. Get ready to have some fun, because I am going to take you and your fellow students on a journey to the end of the universe and back!
 
See you soon,
Seymour
 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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January 14, 2014

What happens when you go outside and blow soap bubbles during a polar vortex? Photographer Angela Kelly and her son tried it when it was 15ºF, and found that the bubbles instantly turned to ice - it looks like the world of Frozen! This was an easy pick to be our Cool Photo of the Week. 

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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January 10, 2014

Seymour Simon is preparing to visit Greenfield Elementary School in Saratoga Springs, NY next week. Their librarian, Mrs. Abad, wrote to say how much her students would love to have a contest, and asked if we might have one for her school. Seymour loves it when librarians and media specialists use his blog in school, so students at Greenfield Elementary - this AWESOME SCIENCE WORD contest is for you!

Two lucky winners are going to receive personally autographed copies of Seymour Simon’s newly updated SCIENCE DICTIONARY, with more than 2,000 entries!

Did you ever spend time browsing through an encyclopedia or dictionary? You might not have been looking for a specific word but just leafing through, finding cool topics and reading about them. For this contest Seymour Simon invites you to browse through his online Science Dictionary and find a word or image that you really like. Here is the link where you can find his Science Dictionary online: http://www.seymoursimon.com/index.php/science_dictionary/

Here is what you need to know to enter Seymour’s Awesome Science Word Contest:

Take a look around in the online Science Dictionary and find a word that you think is an Awesome Science Word. Once you have decided on your word, you have to do three things:

1. Tell us what your word is and explain the definition in your own words.

 2. Tell us why you think your word is awesome.

3. Use your Awesome Science Word in a sentence to prove that you really understand what it means.

Here is an example. Let’s say that I look at the Online Dictionary and pick "fingerprint" as my Awesome Science Word. I would write:

Definition in my own words: A fingerprint is a pattern of swirls and lines in the skin at the tip of a human finger.

Why it is awesome: I think it is awesome that every single human being has their own fingerprint.

Using it in a sentence: Every person’s fingerprints are unique and that means that like snowflakes, no two are alike.

Here is how to enter once you have selected your Awesome Science Word:

A. Click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of the blog to enter the contest by sharing your word along with your definition, why you think it is awesome, and your sentence using your word.

B. When you write your information, be sure to also tell us your name (first name only), your grade, and your teacher’s name. That way we can find you if you are the winner!

C. Be sure to post your entry by midnight on Thursday, January 16. The contest ends then. 

RULES:

  • Two winners will be chosen randomly from all the correct entries. 
  • Older students may enter individually, and we will pick one winner. 
  • Students in grades K-2 may enter as a class and work with their teacher or with Mrs. Abad to enter the contest; there will be one classroom winner. 
  • Both winners will receive copies of the printed version of the SCIENCE DICTIONARY, autographed by Seymour Simon.
  • Students who do not attend Greenfield Elementary may also enter this contest. If we have at least 20 entries from other schools, we will randomly choose a third prizewinner from the non-Greenfield entries. 

So, get to work and send us your entries today. Good luck!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

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January 8, 2014

What does it mean to "think like an eagle"? Author Kathryn Lasky’s book is a vivid portrayal of the life of a nature photographer and the many strategies (including patience!) that he uses to capture photos of wild animals’ lives.

To become a wildlife photographer, Jack Swedberg spent many years studying animal behavior so he could figure out how to be at the right place at the right time without disturbing the animals. For today’s Writing Wednesday project, read the section of the book below in which Swedberg is preparing to photograph a bald eagle.

After you have read it, think about the language author Kathryn Lasky uses to bring the scene to life, and write about the words that she chooses. How does a sentence like "The big talons extend and appear like splayed stars as the wings scoop the air in front of them" both accurately describe and help the reader to feel the power of the eagle as it comes in to feed? What other powerful language does she use and what is she describing?

Once you are finished writing, you can click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog post to share you writing with others. Have fun thinking like an eagle! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Note for Educators: Kathryn Lasky’s book is part of the streaming digital collection from StarWalk Kids Media. Click here if you would like to learn more about subscribing to this high quality, affordable collection of Common Core mentor texts.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(51) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals, birds, Conservation, Photography   •  Permalink (link to this article)   •  Share:

January 7, 2014

We’ve all seen many photographs from the record-shattering cold that has gripped the United States and Canada this week, but I particularly like this one. It shows Lake Michigan frozen solid, with the Chicago skyline in the background. 

 



Posted by: Seymour Simon

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December 31, 2013

One of my happiest days of 2013 was the day a young red fox came to visit at my house. I shared the photographs with my readers, and you all answered back with some wonderful writing! I hope you enjoy the top story of 2013 as much as I did. 

I want to wish a very Happy New Year to all my readers. See you in 2014! 

 


Readers of the Seymour Science blog looked at my photographs and read what I wrote about the red fox who visited my house. What I particularly like is that you looked closely, observed, and wrote about fresh details in the photographs. You found your own words for describing what was happening in the scene, using imaginative words that engaged all of our senses. And some of you created wonderful new scenes and even let us in on what the fox was thinking. Nice job!

 

 

We had many entries from students in Mrs. Bosch’s fifth grade class at Cannondale House, with good use of dialogue* (imagining what the fox is thinking or saying) to describe the scene. 

Ben wrote:

The sleek, sly, soft orange fox stared into the cold autumn breeze waiting, hoping for a midday snack to come. The leaves howled and the grass shivered. The rocky surface beneath him stung like ice with a layer of frost. The sun glimmered as if in need of a coat.

Chris: What I imagine is that that the fox was just sitting in this refreshing autumn breeze and thinking about how nice this sunny day is. It was just chilling on those rocks thinking, "my friends really have to try this, they sure are missing out." What I saw was a cool red fox laying down on the little pebbles, with its big fluffy tail flapping in the wind. Its giant ears were probably picking up every little sound around him/her. The face was so pointy, it could probably be used as a butcher’s knife.

Pearson: The orange and red fox sits lazily on the rocky ground as the wind blows gently on its silky fur. He looks up to see birds fluttering their wings looking for a worm. The fox gently lays back down. He is sunbathing. "Ahhhhhhh," he thinks, "this is nice." After some time he gets back up and trots to another nice spot with some food.

Mrs. Froehlich’s Kent House fifth graders used some great adjectives and compound descriptors to describe the fox. Look for compound descriptors like "Autumn-colored fur".... ""sun-colored".... "newly-formed dew." 

Mikey: As I gaze out my window, I see a lonely fox licking his autumn-colored fur. He stretches his hind legs and slowly lowers himself to the ground. He stifles a yawn, and shuts his eyes as he starts to bask in the warm autumn sun. He lies there, and I continue to watch him. After a while, he opens eyes and stretches again. Then, he trots off back into the shadowed depths of his kingdom.

Kayla: I can see the sun-colored fox laying on rocks that have been heated up by the bright sun. The fox is sun bathing, but also pretending to be asleep for a possible mid afternoon snack. It is a bright and beautiful autumn day in late October and the fox is startled by the rustling of some leaves, but it is nothing. So, the fox settles down in...

read more

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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December 30, 2013

 

My #2 blog post of 2013 is all about a new mystery series that I published this year, EINSTEIN ANDERSON: SCIENCE GEEK.

 

 


  Einstein Anderson and his friend Paloma Fuentes are two sixth graders who love science and using what they know to try to stump each other. They also work together to solve mysteries.

I invented the Einstein character years ago when I was teaching middle school science. I used to try to stump my class with science puzzlers, and whoever could figure out the answer got to be "Einstein for the Day."

  Eventually, I wrote about Einstein Anderson in a series of science mysteries that were published quite a few years ago. It made me so happy in 2013 to completely update the series, adding new characters and real projects and experiments to go along with the mysteries. As I look back on my year, I am so pleased to have introduced this character to a new group of kids!

And that’s why this blog post is one of my very favorites of the year. I asked students to read part of an Einstein Anderson story and then tell me about Einstein and Paloma. What are their main characteristics? Are they like you….or different than you? Readers really responded with more than 50 pieces of writing. The description below, written by Michael from Wilton, Connecticut was one that I really loved.

Einstein is a really nice boy who has light brown hair and wears glasses.  He really likes computers and bird watching. He does not have a lot of friends.  Einstein is a deep thinker and really smart. He has one close friend, a girl, who likes a lot of the same things that he likes. Her name is Paloma.

Paloma has long dark hair which she keeps in a pony tail.  Both Einstein and Paloma both like wearing blue jeans. They both like bird watching and computers. Paloma does not have any other friends. Einstein and Paloma both like sports but would rather spend quiet time bird watching.

Einstein and I share a lot in common. We are both athletic, but quiet at the same time. We like to use computers and have a close friend that shares a lot of the same interests. I don’t like bird watching but I do have special interests just like Einstein. We both worry about our friend and think about a lot of things that many people may not understand. That special friend in our lives makes us feel really good and makes us feel special.

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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December 29, 2013

 

I chose the #3 story of 2013 because it was one of my favorite science news stories of the year, about a newly discovered planet far from our solar system that is different than any other we have ever seen.

 


 

Eighty light-years from Earth, astronomers have discovered a planet that is six times bigger than Jupiter, floating all alone without a sun to keep it warm. Scientists have seen free-floaters like this before, but we have never been sure whether they were planets or stars that had died. This time, we have enough information to be sure it is a planet similar to the "gas giants" in our solar system - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. These planets are very low in density and consist mostly of hydrogen and helium gases. If you tried to land a spacecraft on Jupiter, for example, it would keep sinking down through the gas, until it would be crushed by Jupiter’s gravity.

The new planet is named PSO J318.5-22, and it is near a group of young stars called the Beta Pictoris moving group, which formed about 12 million years ago. One of the stars in that group is circled by its own gas-giant planet that’s about eight times bigger than Jupiter.

"We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that that looks like this," team leader Michael Liu said. "It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars, but it is drifting out there all alone. I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist, and now we know they do."

I don’t think that PSO J318.5-22 is a very good name for a planet, do you? My readers agreed, and some of you wrote in with ideas like "Purple Giant," "Starless 12000000," and "Planet Mega Purple."

 

Image: An artist’s rendering of PSO J318.5-22 by V. Ch. Quetz / MPIA

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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