Scientists in the Field: Where Science Meets Adventure
Author: Kelly Matteri
At a Science and Literacy workshop here at SCOE on Friday, I had the pleasure of exploring science and literacy alongside a motivated, energetic group of educators who brought fantastic thinking to the table. Inspired by comments and questions voiced during our morning session, I couldn’t help running off to the library on our break and returning with two armfuls of science-related books for children and teens.
I could spend a week (at least!) happily exploring all the possibilities for incorporating high-quality text into science instruction. Seeing as that may be more sharing than is practical, today I’ll highlight one particular science series that does a beautiful job of capturing the excitement, beauty, and challenge of scientific exploration.
The Scientists in the Field series lives up to its tagline, “Where Science Meets Adventure”, as it provides middle grade readers with up-close accounts of scientists actively engaged in research and exploration. With 43 titles to choose from, ranging from options like Stronger Than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures, and Parachute Rope to Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature’s Mysteries from Perilous Places to Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a match for the needs and interests of the young scientists and readers in your life.
The series’ website is rich with resources for learners and educators, including author bios and a discussion and activity guides with Common Core connections for every title. The discussion and activity guides that I previewed were of high quality, with strong content and effective instructional strategies. Links to lesson plans and related documentaries are also available for a handful of titles.
While these books are intended for students in grades five through nine, if your learners fall outside that grade range, don’t despair! With the right framing and support, the Scientists in the Field series is a lovely resource for all ages. In addition, there are many other wonderful texts that bring science alive for other age groups as well. Look for me to highlight a few of them in the upcoming months. Until then I’ll see you out in the field, fellow readers! I’ll be the one with binoculars and a compass around my neck and a book in my hand.