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Category: science
  • These Mighty Girls are national finalists in the premier science competition for middle schoolers!

    The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the premier science competition in the U.S. for middle school kids and, like every year, the Mighty Girls in the competition continue to astound! The event challenges kids in 5th through 8th grades to use their scientific know-how to come up with an invention or solution that addresses an everyday problem. Whether it's an issue that affects themselves, their family, their community, or the whole world, they get to turn their ingenuity and drive towards making a difference — and every year, it's amazing what these young scientists think up!

    This year, three of the national finalists are Mighty Girl scientists! These Young Scientist finalists will be spending their summers working with mentors to develop their visions into a more polished prototype, and we can't wait to see the results at the finals in October, where they'll be vying for a $25,000 prize and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist" for 2018.

    In this blog post, we introduce you to these clever and creative Mighty Girls and their incredible projects. From using infrared light to detect microplastics in ocean water to designing a water-saving toilet flushing system to using alginate gel to relieve dental pain, these Mighty Girls' inventive solutions to everyday problems will inspire science lovers of every age! Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for children and teens about girls who love science and real-life female scientists who changed the world!

    We don't always think about it, but every child is a scientist! From the moment she pushes a spoon off her high chair to see what happens or starts asking, "why?" to everything, she's started on a long and exciting lifetime of discovery. As time goes on, though, kids can be discouraged from this natural interest and come to believe that science is too complicated for kids -- so it's especially important to nurture that spirit of curiosity from a young age!

    One great way to encourage a child's interest in science is by showing them role models of kids — particularly girls — in STEM fields. In fictional stories, they can see faces that match their own: kids who are turning their ingenious minds to investigating questions and solving problems using the scientific method. And, through non-fiction, they can learn about curious children just like them who grew up to make amazing scientific discoveries.

    To that end, in this blog post, we've shared many of our favorite books about girls and women who love science, engineering, and math! In the first part of the post, you can discover many fictional stories about curious, inventive Mighty Girls, while in the second part, you'll find many inspiring books about real-life female scientists. From beautifully illustrated picture books to fascinating teen biographies, these titles show the importance of scientific curiosity and celebrate the scientific progress that we owe to women in science both past and present. They're the perfect choice to inspire the budding scientist on your gift list!

    And, for science toys and kits to further support her interests, we've shared many recommendations in two blog posts, Wrapped Up In Science: Top 60 Science Toys for Mighty Girls and Building Her Dreams: 75 Building and Engineering Toys for Mighty Girls.   Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of science toys for curious Mighty Girls of all ages!

    Kids are full of curiosity about how the world works, so why not give them a gift that helps them explore it? With a high-quality science kit or toy, kids can incorporate the wonder of the everyday world into their play. In fact, it's amazing how much they can learn that way!

    In this blog post, you'll find our favorite science toys and kits for curious kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. In Part 1 of the post, you'll find a variety of chemistry and physics-themed toys, while in Part 2, you'll discover earth, sky, and space-themed toys. Whether you know a would-be star-gazer, a budding biologist, or an eager young geologist, there are options here that will fascinate them. And who knows? Play alongside them and you might just learn something new too.

    While this post showcases our favorite science toys and kits, you can find our top picks of building and engineering toys in our blog post Building Her Dreams: Top 75 Building Toys for Mighty Girls and our favorite programming and robotics toys in our blog post Top 25 Books & Programming Toys to Inspire Mighty Girl Coders.

    You can also discover many books about science-loving girls and women in our blog post, 60 Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty GirlsContinue reading Continue reading

  • Meet 16 Trailblazing Female Scientists Who Dared to Discover!

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    For centuries, women have made important contributions to the sciences, but in many cases, it took far too long for their discoveries to be recognized — if they were acknowledged at all. And too often, books and academic courses that explore the history of science neglect the remarkable, groundbreaking women who changed the world. In fact, it's a rare person, child or adult, who can name more than two or three female scientists from history — and, even in those instances, the same few names are usually mentioned time and again.

    Now is time to change that! In this blog post, we're sharing the stories of 16 historic female scientists who have who have blazed new trails in their disciplines. From determining the size of the universe to unlocking the secrets of the genetic code, these women have forever changed the way we see our world. And if you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, after each profile we've shared several reading recommendations for different age groups, as well as other resources that celebrate these women of discovery.

    For even more biographies of inspiring scientists, visit our entire selection of Scientist Biographies. You can also find hundreds of books for children and teens on trailblazing women in all fields in our Role Models Biography collection.

    For more resources to encourage your own Mighty Girl's interest in science, check out the recommendations in our blog posts: Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls and Top 50 Science Toys for Mighty Girls.

    Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of STEM-themed games for all ages!

    "Science is not a boy's game, it's not a girl's game. It's everyone's game." — Nichelle Nichols

    When a baby drops a block over and over, she's doing what humans do naturally: turning science into a game! Playful experimentation is the first step to a lifetime of STEM learning. As kids get older, however, they can lose that creative spirit and start seeing learning about science and math as a chore, rather than a fun and exciting way to discover the wonders of the universe.

    In recent years, game designers have realized that science and math games can be much more engaging than just getting kids to recite trivia and memorize facts and figures. Newer STEM-themed games use clever rule design and colorful components to encourage critical thinking and make learning science and math engaging and fun! Whether someone is a science nut or a reluctant learner, these games are an excellent way to teach new material, solidify understanding, and make learning science and math playful again.

    With that in mind, we've put together a collection of our favorite STEM-themed games for kids of all ages. These games explore everything from math concepts to chemical reactions to geology. With so many to choose from, we're confident there's a game here for everyone!

    For more of our favorite toys and games to encourage an interest in STEM fields, visit our Science & Math Toy Collection. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of newly released books starring girls and women who love science, engineering, and math!

    With the demand for stories about female scientists at an all-time high, there have been growing numbers of exceptional books published about girls and women who love science, engineering, and math! It can be challenging for parents and educators, however, to stay up on all of the new releases so, to help make it easier, we've featured 12 of these titles in a new blog post. From books about role models like scientist Temple Grandin, computer scientist Grace Hopper, doctor Patricia Bath, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and marine biologist Eugenie Clark to fictional stories about science-loving girls curious about the world around them, there's sure to be a new book to appeal to every budding young scientist!

    For more books for all ages about girls and women who love science, check out our blog post 50 Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls or browse our entire Science / Technology Collection. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Six of the ten national finalists in the premier science competition for middle schoolers are Mighty Girls! In this post, we introduce the girls and their incredible projects.

    The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the premier science competition in the U.S. for middle school kids and, like every year, the Mighty Girls in the competition continue to astound! The event challenges kids in 5th through 8th grades to use their scientific know-how to come up with an invention or solution that addresses an everyday problem. Whether it's an issue that affects themselves, their family, their community, or the whole world, they get to turn their ingenuity and drive towards making a difference — and every year, it's amazing what these young scientists think up!

    This year, in a show of how girls and women are on the leading edge of science, six out of the ten national finalists are Mighty Girl scientists! These Young Scientist finalists will be spending their summers working with mentors to develop their visions into a more polished prototype, and we can't wait to see the results at the finals in October, where they'll be vying for a $25,000 prize and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist" for 2017.

    In this blog post, we introduce you to these six clever and creative Mighty Girls and their incredible projects. From harnessing an unexpected source of clean energy to cleaning up oil spills with everyday materials to changing the way we design medical equipment for kids, these Mighty Girls' inventive solutions to everyday problems will inspire science lovers of every age! Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of science kits for summer fun, learning, & discovery!

    With summer here, there's no better time for kids to delve deeper into topics that interest them — including a love of science! An intriguing science kit is an excellent choice for a summer activity: kids will love being able to learn hands-on and at their own pace. To help you find one that's just right for a Mighty Girl in your life, we've featured two dozen of our favorites in this blog post, with options for preschoolers through middle schoolers. And, with science kits on everything from geology to forensics to chemistry, there's sure to be one to excite every budding young scientist! Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of science toys and kits to encourage outdoor discovery and exploration.

    One of the best ways to spark a child's love for science is by allowing her to learn about it in the real world through outdoor play and discovery. Whether she's examining a favorite new insect, gazing at the stars, or cultivating a garden, nature is full of wonders to excite curious kids. And, with a few fun science toys, kits, and tools, kids can do a lot of learning and exploring on their own — and have a ball doing it!

    In this blog post, we've showcased two dozen of our favorite toys and kits to help kids get started on their outdoor explorations. From a set of field tools for kids to a rotating star map of the sky, these toys will let kids explore wherever their curiosity takes them. And, whether you have a budding naturalist, entomologist, astronomer, or geologist, there's something here for everyone!

    For Mighty Girl books about girls who love to explore the great outdoors, check out our blog post, 25 Mighty Girl Books About Outdoor Discovery, or browse our entire Animals & Nature book collection. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for children and teens about real-life female scientists who changed the world!

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    "Young girls need to see role models in whatever career they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can't be what you can't see." — Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space

    When someone mentions scientists, chances are good that the face that pops into mind is male: perhaps a picture of Albert Einstein or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or maybe a more generic man in a lab coat. However, even when women were largely shut out of science, there were still groundbreaking women making discoveries, conducting experiments, and publishing research! And while school curricula and popular culture are slowly expanding to include women beyond a few notable favorites such as Marie Curie and Jane Goodall, many people — young and old alike — still often find themselves struggling to name even a handful of female scientists.

    Fortunately, with the increasing availability of great biographies for children and teens, we can show our girls that women in science make contributions every day! And, of course, these titles are just as important to share with boys because all kids need to know that science is for girls! With that in mind, we've showcased our favorite biographies of female scientists for children and teens. From primatology to physics, the expanses of space to the vast floor of the ocean, these women made their mark and changed the way we see the world... just like the budding Mighty Girl scientists of today will one day! Continue reading Continue reading

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