By: William C. Robertson, Ph.D.
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$24.95 - Nonmember Price
Answers to Science Questions From the Stop Faking It! Guy
2010 EXCEL Award Bronze Winner, 2010 Finalist for Distinguished Achievement Award
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
|Grade Level:||Elementary School, Middle School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: Is It Possible to Turn Coal Into Diamonds?
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
[Read the full review]
This valuable and entertaining compendium of Bill Robertson’s popular “Science 101” columns, from NSTA member journal Science and Children, proves you don’t have to be a science geek to understand basic scientific concepts. The author of the best-selling Stop Faking It! series explains everything from quarks to photosynthesis, telescopes to the expanding universe, and atomic clocks to curveballs—all with his trademark wit and irreverence.
The 33 short columns, plus a new introduction, provide an introductory science course of sorts, covering topics in life science, Earth and space science, physical science, technology, and more—perfect for K-8 teachers, homeschoolers, or parents who just want to boost their science know-how. Easily understood prose and lively illustrations by cartoonist Brian Diskin make this volume an engaging—and more important, readable—course you can pass with flying colors.
Bill Robertson has written nine Stop Faking It! books to date, drawing on his many years of experience as a college physics instructor, cognitive science researcher, curriculum developer, science reviewer, and teacher workshop leader as inspiration for his informative but humorous approach to science. The family’s two dogs, Misha and Pasha, sometimes help too.
Brian Diskin illustrates all of Bill’s books and columns … when he’s not drawing a blank.
(mouse over for full classification)
Newton’s laws of motion
Scientific habits of mind
|Intended User Role:||Curriculum Supervisor, Elementary-Level Educator, Middle-Level Educator, New Teacher, Parent, Teacher
|Educational Issues:||Classroom management, Curriculum, Inquiry learning, Interdisciplinary, Professional development, Student populations: Home schoolers, Teacher content knowledge, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies
What writing represents what scientists actually do?
When drawing graphs from collected data, why don’t you just “connect the dots”?
How is reading science books different from reading other kinds of books?
Why do we classify things in science?
Do balances and scales determine an object’s mass or its weight?
How does a scientific theory become a scientific law?
How can hands-on science teach long-lasting understanding?
What makes for a good science fair project?
How much overlap is there across science disciplines?
How does the human body turn food into useful energy?
If an insect grows to human size, will it have superhuman strength?
How does photosynthesis work?
How do animals navigate during migration?
How do animals communicate underwater?
Do plants communicate?
Earth and Space Science
What causes lightning and thunder?
Why is a light-year a unit of distance rather than a unit of time?
Why is Pluto no longer a planet?
Is it possible to turn coal into diamonds?
What causes the seasons?
How do we know the universe is expanding, and what exactly does that mean?
Why are oceans salty and lakes and rivers not?
How do we know protons, electrons, and quarks really exist?
Why does a color change indicate a chemical change?
Why does air expand when you heat it, and why does hot air rise?
What exactly is energy?
How can an ocean liner made of steel float on water?
Why are there so many different models of light?
How do atomic clocks work?
What causes the different states of matter?
What makes a curveball curve?
How does a telescope work?
How does wireless internet work?
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National Standards Correlation
This resource has 52 correlations with the National Standards.
- Physical Science
- Properties of objects and materials
- Objects have many observable properties, including the ability to react with other substances. (K-4)
- Materials can exist in different states--solid, liquid, and gas. (K-4)
- Properties and changes of properties in matter
- A substance has characteristic properties, such as density, a boiling point, and solubility. (5-8)
- A mixture of substances often can be separated into the original substances using one or more of the characteristic properties. (5-8)
- Substances often are placed in categories or groups if they react in similar ways; metals are an example of such a group. (5-8)
- Structure of atoms
- Matter is made of minute particles called atoms, and atoms are composed of even smaller components. (9-12)
- Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism
- Light can be reflected by a mirror, refracted by a lens, or absorbed by the object. (K-4)
- Magnets attract and repel each other and certain kinds of other materials. (K-4)
- Transfer of Energy
- Energy is transferred in many ways. (5-8)
- Heat moves in predictable ways, flowing from warmer objects to cooler ones, until both reach the same temperature. (5-8)
- Light interacts with matter by transmission (including refraction), absorption, or scattering (including reflection). To see an object, light from that object—emitted by or scattered from it—must enter the eye. (5-8) (5-8)
- To see an object, light from that object--emitted by or scattered from it--must enter the eye.
- Motion and Forces
- The magnitude of the change in motion can be calculated using the relationship F = ma, which is independent of the nature of the force. (9-12)
- Gravitation is a universal force that each mass exerts on any other mass. (9-12)
- Unbalanced forces will cause changes in the speed or direction of an object's motion. (Acceleration) (5-8)
- An object that is not being subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed and in a straight line. (inertia) (5-8)
- Interactions of energy and matter
- Electromagnetic waves result when a charged object is accelerated or decelerated. (9-12)
- Electromagnetic waves include radio waves (the longest wavelength), microwaves, infrared radiation (radiant heat), visible light, ultraviolet radiation, x-rays, and gamma rays. (9-12)
- Life Science
- The characteristics of organisms
- Organisms have basic needs. For example, animals need air, water, and food; plants require air, water, nutrients, and light. (K-4)
- Each plant or animal has different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction. For example, humans have distinct body structures for walking, holding, seeing, and talking. (K-4)
- Organisms and environments
- An organism's patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism's environment, including the kinds and numbers of other organisms present, the availability of food and resources, and the physical characteristics of the environment.
- Structure and function in living systems
- Important levels of organization for structure and function include cells, organs, tissues, organ systems, whole organisms, and ecosystems (5-8)
- The human organism has systems for digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, excretion, movement, control, and coordination, and for protection from disease. These systems interact with one another. (5-8)
- Regulation and behavior
- All organisms must be able to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce, and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing external environment. (5-8)
- Behavior is one kind of response an organism can make to an internal or environmental stimulus. (5-8)
- Populations and ecosystems
- Plants and some micro-organisms are producers--they make their own food. (5-8)
- Energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis. (5-8)
- Biotic parts of an ecosystem include animals, plants, and microorganisms. (5-8)
- Diversity and adaptations of organisms
- Millions of species of animals, plants, and microorganisms are alive today. (5-8)
- Earth Science
- Properties of earth materials
- Earth materials are solid rocks and soils, water, and the gases of the atmosphere.
- Changes in earth and sky
- Weather changes from day to day and over the seasons.
- Weather can be described by measurable quantities, such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation.
- Earth in the solar system
- The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. (5-8)
- Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion. (5-8)
- Seasons result from variations in the amount of the sun's energy hitting the surface, due to the tilt of the earth's rotation on its axis and the length of the day. (5-8)
- Science as Inquiry
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Employ simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses. (K-4)
- Use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
- Communicate investigations and explanations.
- Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
- Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
- Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
- Types of investigations include describing objects, events, and organisms; classifying them; and doing a fair test (experimenting).
- Simple instruments, such as magnifiers, thermometers, and rulers, provide more information than scientists obtain using only their senses.
- Scientists develop explanations using observations (evidence) and what they already know about the world (scientific knowledge). Good explanations are based on evidence from investigations. (K-4)
- Technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and allows scientists to analyze and quantify results of investigations. (5-8)
- Science and Technology
- Understanding about science and technology
- People have always had questions about their world. Science is one way of answering questions and explaining the natural world.
- Tools help scientists make better observations, measurements, and equipment for investigations. They help scientists see, measure, and do things that they could not otherwise see, measure, and do.
- Process Standards for Professional Development
- Prepares educators to apply research to decision making. (NSDC)
- Connect and integrate all pertinent aspects of science and science education. (NSES)
- Address teachers' needs as learners and build on their current knowledge of science content, teaching, and learning. (NSES)
- Build on the teacher's current science understanding, ability, and attitudes. (NSES)
- Incorporate ongoing reflection on the process and outcomes of understanding science through inquiry. (NSES)
“Each topic is introduced as a question, such as ‘Is it possible to turn coal into diamonds?’ after which follow a hands-on demonstration and an explanation that answers the question. The hands-on activities are often novel, and Robertson corrects a lot of misconceptions. These are among the strongest points of the book. To his credit, he clearly defines a law, theory, and hypothesis, all of which science teachers routinely confuse and misrepresent, and offers constructive criticism of hands-on learning and science fair projects. This is a solid work, one from which all teachers of young students can benefit.”
SB&F, April 2010
“The author has the knack of making his subjects comprehensible. … Robertson frames each query, provides background information on the topic, and defines terms before advancing to an explanation.”
School Library Journal’s Curriculum Connections blog, February, 2, 2010
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