Label: Contests

November 23, 2011

It is easy to see that there is a big Seymour Simon school visit week coming up - we have been getting so many comments from new readers on the Seymour Science blog. Students in the Niskayuna, NY schools - this contest is for you!

Two lucky winners are going to receive personally autographed copies of Seymour Simon’s new book, BUTTERFLIES. Here is what you have to do to enter:

1.    Write a comment on this blog post and tell Seymour whether each of these photographs is a butterfly or a moth.

2.    Tell him how you identified it. Give at least two reasons for each insect.

3.    Tell us your name (first name only), school and email address. Be sure to double-check the spelling of your email address, because that is how we will contact you if you are the winner.

4.    Be sure to post your entry by midnight, Friday, December 2. The contest ends then.

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 to enter the contest; there will be one classroom winner.

What if you don’t know how to tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth? You can find the answer right here on the Seymour Science blog. Look at all the entries under the label "Butterflies." We guarantee you that you will find the answer there!

So, get to work and send us your entries today. Your comments will be invisible until everyone has a chance to enter. Once the contest is over, we will post everyone’s writing.

Good luck!

READERS: Are you wondering how to add your own "comment" to this blog? Click here for exact directions on how to add a comment so you can become one of our Seymour Science writers! We also want you to be safe and not share too much information when you write on this blog, so please take a minute to read about how to stay safe on the Internet. We love to hear from you, so give "comments" a try! 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(204) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Contests, Teachers and Librarians, insects   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 1, 2011

  Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" is a nighttime view of the Midwestern United States, captured from the International Space Station. From space, astronauts can see many different kinds of lights in the night skies.

The artificial light created by humans is easily recognizable by its yellowish tone. The burst of bright white light in the upper right hand corner of the photograph is probably lightning. And the green glow rimming the edge of the planet is the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.

If you look closely, there is even more that you can see in this view. Look at Chicago. Just to the right of Chicago’s big patch of lights, there is a completely dark section. Why do the lights stop so suddenly? Because you are looking at one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.


  Can anyone tell me what the very faint, dark orange shape is at the top of the photograph, above Earth? The first person to answer correctly, by clicking "Comments" at the bottom of this blog entry, will win an autographed copy of my book SPACE TRAVELERS. Be sure to include your email address (and check it to be sure you have spelled it correctly!), so that we can contact you if you are the winner.

Good Luck!


Photo courtesy of Cloud Imaging and Particle Size Experiment data processing team at the University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(11) Comments  •   Labels: space, Contests, Cool Photo, Aurora Borealis, Space Travel   •  Permalink (link to this article)

July 1, 2011

Have you entered the drawing to win a free iPhone or iPad copy of Seymour Simon’s ANIMAL FACT ANIMAL FABLE? There are just three days left to enter

Here is everything you need to know:

Seymour Simon is giving away ten (10) free downloads of the iPhone or iPad version - with "read to me" narration - of an enduring favorite: ANIMAL FACT ANIMAL FABLE. If you are at least thirteen years old, go to Seymour’s new Facebook Author Page and "LIKE" that page. Ten randomly-chosen people who press "Like" between June 13 and July 3, 2011 will win a code for a free iPad or iPhone download of this Diane deGroat-illustrated eBook.

Don’t delay - this offer ends on Sunday!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, eBooks, Contests   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 5, 2011

        I received a letter today from a student who wants to enter our BABY ANIMALS contest and has some questions about how to use Comments. I have asked Liz Nealon, who works with me on the blog, to help you all with the answers. Happy writing!


- Seymour

Dear Seymour Simon:

I am not sure how to comment. I went to the blog, do you just scroll down and click ‘Comment’?



I am so glad to have a chance to help everybody learn how to comment, because we love to read your writing!

So, let’s get started. At the bottom of each story on the blog, there is a link called "Comment." Move your mouse down, click on that link, and you will get a page that looks like this.

Here is what to do:

1. Type your first name and last initial (no last name) in the first box.

2. No email in the second box - that’s for grownups, unless you are entering a contest. If it is a contest, type in your email so that we can write to you if you are the winner. Once the contest is over, we will no longer save your email.

3. The third box wants to know your location. Just put your state or your country, not the name of your town. We think it is fun for you to see that your fellow Seymour Science readers and writers are from all over the United States, Canada and beyond!

4. The fourth box, called URL, is for adults only. If you enter anything there, we will delete it.

5. Next, click in the big white box and type away - that is where you put your comment! Once you have written your comment, please take a minute and read it over, to be sure that you have said what you mean to. Remember that this is going to be read by a lot of people, so take a minute to check your spelling, and make sure that this is a piece of writing that you want to share with others.

Below the big white box there is just one more thing to do before you are finished.


Type the two squiggly words that you see next to where the arrow is pointing, underneath. That is how you prove that you are a real person, and not an annoying SPAM robot.

Click "Submit" and you are done!


Have you ever noticed that when you add a comment to the blog it doesn’t show up right away? That is because an adult checks every comment before it is posted, to be sure that you did not accidentally give too much information (like your whole name), and also to be sure that what you wrote is something you want the whole world to read (no bullying, making fun of other kids, or saying things that might embarrass you).

That is all there is to it. Readers like "Anonymous" might want to show this blog to their parents and get permission before they try Comments. Once you do, we hope that your parents and teachers will feel good about it, and that you will have fun being part of the kids who talk about cool science with us on the Seymour Science blog.

So go ahead, give it a try! Click on "COMMENTS" at the bottom of this post, and let me know that you’re an expert now!

Families & Educators: Please feel free to write to me any time if you have questions, concerns or suggestions about our privacy policy. Our goal is to increase Internet fluency, build research skills, and empower students with knowledge of the world around them, as well as a love of science. Many children will need your help as they try these things for the first time, and we thank you for your support.

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(6) Comments  •   Labels: Contests, Kids Write, Teachers and Librarians, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 5, 2011

        I received a letter today from a student who wants to enter our BABY ANIMALS contest, and has some questions about how to do it. "Anonymous" is asking very good questions, so I thought I would share both the question and my answer here, for all kids to see.


"Dear Seymour Simon:

I am not sure how to comment. I want to blog, do you just scroll down and click ‘Comment’? It is hard for me to do a lot on websites with blogging because my parents don’t like me giving my email out.


Anonymous (I don’t know if I should give my name away on the Internet)"

First let’s talk about Internet safety for my readers, because most of you are under 13 years old. Your parents are right in warning you to be very careful about giving out your whole name or your email address on the Internet. In order to stay safe, you should use only your first name (or first name/last initial, for example, I would be "Seymour S.").

Sometimes, if you are on a website that you know and your parents trust, you may want to give your email address for a very specific reason. For example, if you want to ask me a question by using the ASK SEYMOUR SIMON button, you need to give your email address so that I can respond to you. Or, when you want to enter a contest like this one, you need to give us an email address so that we can reach you if you are the winner. It is ok if you give us your parents’ or your teacher’s email address for this purpose. And, we only use the email address for that one specific reason, and then we delete it from our records. Your parents or teachers can read more about this in our Privacy Policy. We respect your safety, and we take it very seriously.

One more thing. You should never give your full name, your telephone number or your home address to anyone whom you meet on the Internet. If anyone is asking, you should tell your family, your teacher, or another adult whom you trust. No one, neither a grownup nor another kid, should be asking you for that kind of information on the Internet.

Thanks, "Anonymous," for asking these very important questions - it gives me a chance to remind you all about what I call the Internet Rules of the Road, so that everyone can enjoy this website and be sure to stay safe.

Next blog post, I will talk about how to comment on the Seymour Science blog. It’s not hard, you don’t have to give your full name or your email address, and we love to hear from you!

- Seymour

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Contests, Kids Write, Internet Safety   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 3, 2011


 Seymour Simon is in Howard County, Maryland schools all this week. And, whenever Seymour is out in schools, we know that everybody starts using the website like crazy! So, we’ve decided to run a one-week contest.


We’ve changed the rules of our contest a bit, but the basic idea remains the same. One lucky winner (chosen randomly from everyone who writes) will win a personally autographed copy of Seymour Simon’s book, BABY ANIMALS.




Here is what you need to do to enter:

Look at this picture, of a mother and baby hippopatomus. Tell us what a baby hippo is called, and if you give us the right answer, you could be the winner!

Click on comments at the bottom of this article to give us your answer. The contest ends at midnight, Sunday, May 8th, so write to us soon. Tell us what school you go to, and don’t forget to include an email address (it is ok to use your parent’s or teacher’s email), so that we can get in touch with you if you are our winner.

This contest is open to Seymour Science readers all over the world, but it’s a special treat for Columbia, Maryland students, so get writing!!


Good luck!


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(16) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, School Visits, Contests, Teachers and Librarians   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 15, 2011


Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" is a 6-week-old snow leopard cub, sitting for her weekly weigh-in at Tennessee’s Chattanooga Zoo. This cub is the only survivor of three cubs born to the mother leopard in January, and she is a success story in the zoo’s conservation effort. The zoo works with the Snow Leopard Trust  to breed these endangered big cats, raise funds for research, and help preserve the species. Though snow leopard cubs only have a 30 percent survival rate, this baby is healthy and gaining about a pound a week.

 This little cub does not have a name yet, and the zookeepers are looking for suggestions. If you have an idea, write a comment here and we will pass your suggestions on. You could be the lucky reader to name this beautiful snow leopard! The zoo’s deadline for naming the baby is April 25, so send your ideas in now.

The Snow Leopard is a large cat native to the high mountain ranges of South Asia and Central Asia. They were nearly hunted into extinction because their bones are considered powerful ingredients in traditional Asian medicine. Researchers estimate that between 3,500 and 7,000 snow leopards are left in the wild (and another 600 - 700 in zoos). These beautiful cats are hard to spot, since they are naturally secretive and their white coats act as camouflage in the snow.  So, researchers rely on other ways of detecting a snow leopard’s presence, including looking for scrapes (snow leopards scrape their back legs in loose soil, leaving a small hole with a pile of soil next to it), scent markings (they claim their territory by spraying rocks and bushes with a strong-smelling liquid from a scent gland near the tail) and scat (also known as feces, or "droppings").


Photo: Chattanooga Zoo 


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(6) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Contests, Cool Photo, Conservation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 23, 2011


Seymour Simon has cats on his mind, and he wants to know if you can find this little known fact: WHAT DO YOU CALL A GROUP OF CATS?

Hint: Seymour has written about this somewhere on the Seymour Science blog.

Prize: Post your comment here, and one person who has given the right answer will be selected in a random drawing to win a personally autographed copy of Seymour Simon’s book, CATS!

Enter today for your chance to win!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(11) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, Cats, Contests, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 27, 2011


This morning I decided to run a spur of the moment "Snow Day" contest, and asked who could be the first person to tell me why my publisher decided to change the original cover of my book DOGS (2004) to a different photo in 2009. 

Paige, from the great Buckeye State of Ohio, came up with the right answer. Paige wrote: "In 2009, President Obama and his family adopted a new dog which is a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo!"

That’s exactly right. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was inaugurated in January, 2009. Since he had promised his daughters Sasha and Malia that they could have a puppy when they moved into the White House, the search was on! The Obamas wanted to choose a breed that would be least likely to trigger Malia’s allergies, and they eventually settled on a fairly rare breed, the Portuguese Water dog

My publishers, HarperCollins, decided to change the cover in honor of the first African-American president of the United States and his family.

Paige was the first person to come up with the right answer, and she wins a personally autographed copy of my book! 

Click here to see a great photograph of President Obama and Bo playing together in the West Wing of the White House.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Dogs, Contests   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 27, 2011

Since a lot of kids have a snow day today, I am running a special, one-day contest.

In yesterday’s blog post, a Pennsylvania fifth-grade class did a great poll about kids’ favorite dogs. They used the cover of my book DOGS in their chart - the version that is in many of your school libraries, originally published in 2004.

In 2009, my publisher decided to do a new jacket for DOGS. If you buy it today, it looks completely different.

They had a very specific reason to do this new cover. Think about what year it was, and think about what kind of dog it is.

The first person who can tell me the reason why HarperCollins changed the photograph on the cover of my DOGS book will win a personally autographed copy of the book of your choice - the original cover, or the new cover!

Click on COMMENTS, below, to post your answer. And when you write, please include your email address. We won’t post it online in order to keep you safe, but it will allow us to get in touch with you if you are the winner.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(7) Comments  •   Labels: Dogs, Contests   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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