Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children January 2019

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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Cricket Media, Inc.
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9 Números

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2 min.
nosy news

YUMMY MONEY The Maya were an ancient people who lived in what’s now Mexico and Central America. They built pyramids and wrote with pictures. The Maya didn’t use money. Instead, they traded things they made for things they needed. But one researcher thinks that for the Maya, chocolate was a kind of money. The Maya loved to drink hot chocolate, made from ground-up cacao beans. Mayan art often shows people drinking cocoa. And Mayan pictures also show people using cacao beans to pay taxes and buy things, a lot like coins. Money you can drink! Kangaroo Face-Off What’s a kangaroo’s favorite food? You can tell from its face shape. Like dogs, different kangaroo species have differently shaped faces. Some have long snouts. Others have flatter faces. To find out why, scientists studied skulls from museum…

5 min.
sensational pet picnic

Zachary shoves a picnic lunch into a basket and heads out for his favorite spot in the park. His dog, Mutt, races ahead of him. The neighbor’s cat, Kit, tags along behind. It’s a beautiful day, and their senses are hard at work taking in the spring afternoon. If you could get inside their heads, what would you find? Would they be smelling, hearing, feeling, seeing, and tasting the same things? Smelling a Rat In a nest under a pile of branches, a wood rat wakes from a nap and scratches. Each scratch releases odors—chemicals from the rat’s skin that drift through the air. Close to the rat, the air is dense with them. But the molecules spread out as they drift away. A few scent molecules hit Mutt’s nose. The smell is faint,…

1 min.
building a better nose

Humans, sadly, have a pretty poor sense of smell. In fact, most animals have much sharper noses than we do. So humans often train animals to do sniffing jobs. Trained dogs and rats can smell out everything from explosives to sickness. Pigs are also talented sniffers. They are used to hunt for truffles, a yummy mushroom that grows underground. Byt putting animals on smell duty has some problems. Animals are expensive to train. They get tired and bored. They need human handlers. Could we make an electronic nose that could do the job? Many researchers are working on it. They make sensors out of materials that change when they meet dangerous chemicals. This triggers a signal on a screen or sounds an alarm. One lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology is making…

1 min.
how do we know what animals know?

You can’t ask a dog if he can hear a whistle, and you won’t get a cat to read an eye chart. So how do we know how they sense the world? The first clues come from observing how animals act. If your dog whimpers at thunder, you can be pretty sure she hears it. Researchers also give animals tests. They might train some dogs to expect a treat if they push the button that’s a different color. Can the dogs pick a green button next to two red ones? If not, they may not be able to tell red from green. Scientists also study animals’ bodies. They can count the odor sensors in a dog’s nose. And the more sensors, the better it can smell. Finally, researchers can study an animal’s DNA. DNA…

4 min.
a bumblebee’s world

On the first warm day of spring, a bumblebee queen crawls out of her winter burrow. The sun shines. A gentle breeze ruffles her hairs. A Blue-Yellow World Hungry after her long winter sleep, the first thing on the bumblebee’s mind is food. She lifts off—buzzzzzzzzzzz. She uses her five eyes to search for flowers. Three tiny eyes see only light and dark. Two larger eyes are made up of many small panes, or lenses. Each sees a tiny bit of the world, a single pixel. The bee’s brain puts them together to make a fuzzy picture. There are flowers ahead, but they don’t look the same to the bumblebee as they do to people. Bees can see greens, blues, and yellows, but they don’t see red. So a red flower would look…

4 min.
why do birds run into windows

It’s a clear, sunny day. You’re strolling to lunch at your new school when—WHAM!—you run smack into a glass door. The glass was so clean you didn’t even realize it was there! Luckily, people don’t walk very fast, so bumping into a glass door is more embarrassing than painful. But birds fly fast. If they fly into a glass window, they can be badly injured or even killed. We don’t know exactly how many birds die each year from crashing into glass, but it’s a lot. So why do birds run into glass? Do they have trouble seeing it? And is there anything we could do to help? Scientists, inventors, and architects are all looking for answers. Window? What Window? When birds fly into glass, it’s not because they can’t see well. In fact,…