Got kids who love science? Or do you know kids who might want to learn more about science? There are two Kickstarter campaigns running right now that are perfect fit.
The four books in the Jumbo Minds’ Science ABCs series introduce kids to science at a very young age. The books cover topics in chemistry, earth science, physics and biology. While some ABC books focus on "Apples" and "Balls," the Jumbo Minds books feature "Atoms" and "Biomes," introducing kids to the concepts of science from the moment they begin learning about language.
The books are written by Annette Dunn and Corrine Knight, two sisters with a background in teaching and science education and a passion for sparking an interest in science among kids. Like most Kickstarter campaigns, these books were created when Dunn and Knight tried to find books to teach their own toddlers about science and came up empty-handed.
"There is a knowledge gap in American scientific education. We learn language from birth in order to communicate. We’re taught to count as babies and begin to understand numeracy. However, our children are not introduced to science concepts and language until the brain connection growth subsides. We feel this is a lost opportunity," the pair noted in the Kickstarter profile. In addition, each scientific term is accompanied by vibrant artwork created by artist David Cowles.
Obviously, the idea behind the Jumbo Minds ABCs books is not to teach toddlers about molecular bonds; rather the hope is that by learning their ABCs within the framework of scientific terms, little kids will become familiar with those terms and more likely to want to learn more about them as they get older.
'My Name is Stardust'
For older kids who already have an interest in science, there is 'My Name Is Stardust,' co-authored by 10-year-old Bailey Harris and her dad, Douglas. The impetus for this book came when Bailey — then 8 years old — was watching an episode of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" in which host Neil deGrasse Tyson said, "The planets, the stars, the galaxies, we ourselves and all of life — the same star stuff."
This idea — that all life is made up of stardust — absolutely blew Bailey away, and she immediately set to work on a book that would share this amazing concept with other kids. With some help from her dad, and fact-checking from a slew of professional scientists, 'My Name Is Stardust,' was born.
With just a few days to go, both the Jumbo Minds series and 'My Name Is Stardust,' are well on their way to their goals, but they can still use a little love to get fully-funded. If you're looking for a holiday gift for a science-loving kid — or if you want to inspire a love of science in the next generation — these books might be worth a closer look.