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the poetry of science

Joyful Science

Late Night Science Questions  by Greg Pincus

Late Night Science Questions

by Greg Pincus

Do sneakers make me fast?
How long does winter last?
Is goop the same as goo?
What can’t a robot do?
What makes a motor go?
Can we drink H30?
Why is the ocean deep?
Why do I have to sleep?

Poem © 2014 Greg Pincus from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong © 2014 Pomelo Books; illustration by Frank Ramspott from The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids © 2015 Pomelo Books.   

Take 5!

  1. If you have a cell phone with a “Siri” kind of function, try asking it one of the questions in this poem just for fun before reading this poem aloud. Or simply draw a giant question mark on the board before launching into the poem.
  2. Invite students to select their favorite question line and to chime in on that line only while you read the poem aloud.
  3. Challenge students to work in pairs or trios to choose one of the poem questions and quickly research possible answers. Then come together to share information.
  4. Use this poem to talk with students about how scientists ask questions as part of their scientific inquiry and investigations. This includes questions about organisms (e.g., Is goop the same as goo?), objects (e.g., What can’t a robot do?), and events (e.g., How long does winter last?).
  5. For another poem about the multitude of possibilities in science, look for “The Engineer” by Stephanie Calmenson (Online Resources). Also seek out the question-based poetry book Where Fish Go in Winter and Other Great Mysteries by Amy Goldman Koss (Resources) or How Come?: Every Kid’s Science Questions Explained by Kathy Wollard (Resources).


Pincus, G. 2014. “Late Night Science Questions” in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, eds. S. Vardell and J. Wong, 111. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.


Koss, A.G. 2002. Where fish go in winter and other great mysteries. New York: Puffin.

Wollard. K. 2014. How come? Every kid’s science questions explained. New York: Workman.

Online Resources

Greg Pincus author website:

“The Engineer” by Stephanie Calmenson:

Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Literacy Early Childhood Elementary

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