Dear Educators, Family Members and Home Schoolers:

Welcome to the "Educators and Families" section of the website. We have designed this area as an extension of my books, trying to provide as many free resources as we can for you to use with your children to explore and understand the wonders all around them. Please don’t be put off by the fact that we ask you to complete our free registration before you can access these resources. This is required because children also use my website, and these materials are not for them. I promise you that we will never spam you, nor will we share, sell, or use your personal information for any purpose other than to register you for to access this area of the website.

IMPORTANT: If you sign up to become a member of the site but do not receive a confirming email activating your membership, it is likely that your school has a firewall or other software that is blocking our confirming email. In that situation, we recommend that you sign up again, from a personal, rather than a school email address.

I was a teacher for many years before becoming a full-time writer, and I’ve always been more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than in teaching facts. The facts may change, but that enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them the rest of their lives. is designed a complimentary tool to use in conjunction with my books. Children learn in all sorts of different ways. Some love to read, and are drawn in by text. Others are visual learners who are captivated by beautiful pictures and are drawn into a subject this way. Still other kids are experiential learners who get the most out of a topic when they’re doing a project, using their hands. And of course, most kids will engage with anything as long as it’s funny! You know your child (or your students) and how each one learns best. We’ve tried to give you all sorts of different "ways in" for kids on, so that you can create positive learning experiences for your children.

Children are natural-born scientists, asking questions and trying things out. Whether you are an elementary teacher, a school librarian, a home schooler, or simply an adult who loves to explore the natural world with your kids, you can reinforce their expectation of finding science all around them, in places both familiar and new, by encouraging kids to ask questions and then talking about the answers together. Scientists never take information they read or see at face value. They make observations, come to conclusions, figure out what to do next, and try different approaches. They often make mistakes and then use what they have learned to approach the problem again, in different ways. As you use this website, ask questions together and try out some of the project ideas included here, you may find that what you’ve learned leads you to begin the process of discovery all over again. This is what scientists do!

Exploring ideas and asking questions together is not only fun - it also helps children develop their early Literacy skills. Asking questions and trying things out are techniques that are important for children not only as budding scientists, but also as new readers. As they participate in this exciting adventure, children will read actively, using a scientist’s questioning mind to interpret text and images in books or on the Internet.

Here are some of the resources that you will find as you explore the Educators and Families section of

  • Use the Search Box at the top of every page to seek out topics your children are interested in. For example, if you type in "Summer Vacation Science," you’ll find fun projects to keep your kids engaged and reading when school is out. If you know a child who is worried or curious about what is happening to the marine life affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf, you can search "Oil Spills" to find my blog postings designed to help you talk about it with children. Or if your family is thinking about getting a dog as a pet, you can type in "dogs" and find advice about that very subject!

  • Teacher Guides (appropriate for families as well) designed to extend the learning in my books, and Project Ideas on a wide variety of topics.
  • Cool Links to other high quality, online science content for kids.

  • Discussion Boards where we hope you will share ideas, projects and lesson plans with each other, and offer advice and encouragement when it’s most needed.

  • Send us Photos/Video. This feature enables you to upload photographs or videos of you and your kids doing science activities. And if they want to ask a question that I can answer online using the Ask Seymour link, even better! Every class that send photos or video for us to post on the website will receive a free, autographed photograph to hang in the classroom. If you are not the parent, don’t forget to ask permission before you send photos or videos of kids.

  • Guess together about the answer for the latest "Fact or Fiction?" brainteaser or the answer to the latest "Science Jokes and Riddles" (on the homepage). Brainstorm together and talk about different possible answers before you click on the answer.

  • Talk about the Featured Word on the homepage, maybe even do a Google search to find additional images and/or video related to the word. You can also introduce your children to my online Science Dictionary to help with Science homework.

  • Browse through some of my latest books, talk about what seems interesting, and why. Most of these books should be available in your school library, or in your local public library. Each of my books has its own page on my website (just type the title into the Search box to find it), with links to online reviews, "Look Inside" pages, other books with similar content, and free, downloadable Teacher Guides.

On a personal note, I hope that children who engage with the material here will develop a sense of ownership for the world around them, as well as a realization that they share responsibility for our planet with everyone else. Stress to your children that Earth is our home planet and that our planet is beautiful and awesome. We appreciate and respect its wonders. When you respect and love something, you want to take care of it.

I value your suggestions and comments about your experience using both my books and this website with your children. Feel free to write to me any time at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).