Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children November/December 2018

Each themed issue of ASK invites newly independent readers to explore the world of science and ideas with topics that really appeal to kids: What makes wind? Where do colors come from? Were pirates real? Filled with lively, well-written articles, vivid graphics, activities, cartoons, and plenty of humor, ASK is science kids demand to read! Grades 3-5

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9 Números

en este número

2 min.
nosy news

Big-Headed Worms Invade France Would you notice a giant worm with a head like a hammerhead shark cr awling in your gar den? Scientists hav e just discovered that these flatworms invaded France—20 years ago. Recently, a French gardener sent a scientist phot os of a weird worm in his soil. The scientist recognized it as a “hammerhead worm.” These flatworms usually live in Asia, not France. The scientists went online and on TV to ask people ar ound the country to send pictur es if they found worms with big heads. They got 111 reports of hammerhead worms. The oldest w as a video from 1999. The scientists wer e surprised that the slimy invaders hav e been in France for so long. Now they worry that the worms may…

4 min.
a window to the past

It’s a beautiful day to visit China’s Yellow River Valley. The year is 2100 B.C.E. The villagers are out harvesting their millet. Their animals are outside, too—dogs, pigs, and goats. Miniature World Aaron Delehanty likes to say that he builds time machines. What he really builds are dioramas, miniature scenes for museums. He’s part of a team who brought this ancient Chinese village back to life, at tiny scale, for you to see. Kate Ulschmidt is a model-builder on the team. When Kate was a kid, she would stare at the tiny scenes in museums and wonder who made them. At home, she built dioramas with Playmobil figures, clay, and sticks and rocks from her backyard. Kate’s mom used to say that making dioramas would be a great job for her. But Kate never…

1 min.
dioramas tips from the pros

1. Use math—and your eyes. Experts use math to make sure the main pieces of their dioramas—like houses and people—are the right size. After that, they just eyeball it. Kate says it’s OK to estimate. 2. Blend the background. Pay attention to the edges, where the model meets the painted background. If this “seam” blends nicely, the scene will look more realistic. 3. Step back. Frustrated with getting your tiny things to look just right? Step away and look again. 4. Add a surprise. Some diorama makers like to hide “Easter eggs,” or surprise jokes, in their work. To find one, viewers have to look hard. Next time you’re at a museum, see if you can find one. And then add something secret to your next diorama!…

1 min.
how small is it?

Miniatures come in different sizes. The “scale” tells you how much they shrink things. In a 1:12 (1 to 12) scale, each inch of the miniature is equal to 12 inches (1 foot) in real life. A 4-foot-tall person would be 4 inches tall. A table is 3 inches instead of 3 feet. In 1:24 scale, every inch is 24 inches, or 2 feet. So a 4-foot person would be just 2 inches tall. Sometimes these scales are called “1/1” and “1/2” instead of 1:12 and 1:24. The smallest scales are used for model railroads. In the tiny Z scale, each inch shows 18 feet! That lets train cars be small. But at this scale, a 6-foot-tall person is just one-third of an inch tall. When you’re putting together a dollhouse or…

2 min.
tiny trees

Bonsai is a Japanese word that means “potted tree.” But a bonsai is far more than a plant in a pot. Inspired by nature, bonsai artists create beautiful living sculptures from trees or shrubs. Bonsai are not special small species of trees. They are regular full-sized trees, but grown in pots and trimmed to keep them small. While all bonsai are smaller than full-grown trees, they range greatly in size. Some you can hold in your hand, while others are so big they need a forklift to move. The Chinese first trained trees in pots more than 1,300 years ago. They called their miniature trees penjing. They would often create elaborate landscapes or animal shapes with trees. A good bonsai tells a story. Different styles are meant to look like trees growing in…

1 min.
ant’s art gallery

Dalton Ghetti uses pencils to make art—but not in the usual way. He carves them into tiny sculptures using a sewing needle. Charles Gunner drew these views of Windsor Castle on rice grains. If you have a very small fish, Anatoly Konenko has made the world’s smallest aquarium. Colleen Moore was a film star in the 1930s. She built a huge fairytale dollhouse with the help of over 700 artists and jewelers. Each room has a fairy-tale theme. This is the “Voyages of Sinbad” room. British sculptor Willard Wigan carves his tiny sculptures from sugar, toothpicks, and grains of rice. Mesut Kul is a Turkish artist who likes to make tiny paintings. This picture of a castle is etched onto a single grain of sand. Artist Vik Muniz drew the castle, and scientist Marcelo Coelho used…