Did you see the annular eclipse of the sun last month? This morning I mentioned (on my science blog) the upcoming Venus Transit of the Sun. If your children have become interested in space because of these recent opportunities to observe some real life events, then they might like to take a look at Destined for Space: Our Story of Exploration (Smithsonian) by Don Nardo.
Don Nardo is foremost a historian and he brings a historical perspective to the human exploration of space. Starting with the observations of the earliest humans, he gives a fast-paced overview of what we have learned and accomplished in our quest to figure out, “What’s out there?”
I was particularly taken with the timeline in the backmatter. Beginning with a Syrian author who wrote about a trip to the moon all the way back in c. 160, through the New Horizons spacecraft that is supposed to visit Pluto in 2015, the timeline is illustrated with fascinating commemorative stamps from throughout the world. A fun hands-on activity might be to adapt the information and come up with a timeline of your own, using a strip of butcher or plain wrapping paper. Be sure to hang it on the wall and leave plenty of room for new discoveries. Or design a commemorative stamp of your own.
Destined for Space is sure to be a great jumping off point to bigger things.
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Capstone Press (January 1, 2012)
The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Come visit the new STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.