Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children September 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

en este número

2 min.
nosy news

A SUNNY-SIDE-UP FOSSIL This fossil from China is a brand-new species. It’s a small bird that lived about 110 million years ago. But that’s not the only reason scientists are excited about the discovery. It’s also the first fossilized bird ever found with an egg still inside its body. Now the egg looks like a squashed blob. But it tells us some interesting things about this ancient bird. The egg’s shell had multiple layers. In birds, eggs get their shell coatings as they travel along on the way to being laid. But many layers of shell likely means that the egg got stuck inside. This problem is called “egg binding.” It can happen to today’s birds too. A stuck egg may even have been what killed this bird millions of years ago. MY…

4 min.
mama made my underwear

My grandmother used to tell a story about when she was a little girl, in the 1930s. One day she was walking when she tripped and her skirt flew up, showing her underwear. Across her seat, large letters said “Southern Best Flour Company.” Imagine her embarrassment! “When I was a maiden fair, Mama made our underwear; Monograms and fancy stitches Did not adorn our Sunday britches. No lace or ruffles to enhance, Just ‘Jockey Oats’ on my pants…”~Anonymous poem, 1930s Better than Barrels But if truth be told, Grandma probably wasn’t the only one wearing a flour label. How did that come to be? Long ago, chicken feed, flour, and other dry food used to come in big wooden barrels. Barrels were heavy and leaked. Then in 1846, someone invented a new sewing machine…

5 min.
the emperor’s new robe

Legend has it that Leizu, the wife of China’s Yellow Emperor, was sipping tea under a mulberry tree one day when . . . PLOP! A white cocoon landed in her cup. As Leizu fished it out, it unraveled into a long thread. She collected more cocoons and wove them into a soft, shimmering cloth. It was strong, smooth, and easy to dye. It was silk—cloth fit for a king. Spinner’s Secrets The Chinese learned to make silk at least 5,000 years ago. But they kept the process a secret. People from other countries had to trade for silk fabric. Not until 300 CE did the secret of the silkworm finally get out. Silkworms are the larvae of Bombyx mori moths. The caterpillars eat only mulberry leaves. When they get big, they spin…

3 min.
how to weave

What You’ll Need • A piece of cardboard, a bit bigger than you want your weaving to be. A drink coaster is a good size to start with. • Some yarn or ribbon, several colors if you want to make patterns or stripes • Pipe cleaners (or paper clips, or a big plastic needle) • Ruler, Scissors, Tape What to Do 1. Using the ruler, draw a straight line across the top and bottom of the cardboard, about a half inch from the top. Put little dots every quarter-inch along the line. With a scissors, make small cuts from the edge to the line, at each quarter-inch mark. Cut only as far as the line. Do this on the top and bottom. 2. Now, take some yarn. Tape the end to the back. Thread it through one of…

6 min.
the dyer’s hand

Long ago, weavers learned to make cloth from cotton, flax, and wool. And soon dyers started experimenting with ways to color it. Most early dyes came from plants, shells, and rocks. Some of these dyes are still used today. Early dyers did a lot of experimenting. They learned to dry, crush, and cook plants to make colored powders and pastes. They mixed in other ingredients to bring out the color. Then they added the color to boiling water. The cloth went in. After hours of boiling, the cloth turned the color of the dye. To make colors last, dyers learned to use salt, pee, or ashes to help dye stick to cloth. These dye-helpers are called “mordants.” Before the cloth is dyed, it goes into a bath of hot water and mordant.…

3 min.
future fashion

Super Strong Styles NEW Self-Repairing Suit Are you sick of holes in your clothes? This new fabric repairs itself! If this cloth gets a hole, just rub the spot briskly. Heat from the rubbing will coax the fibers to link up again, sealing the hole. Hole? What hole? Kevlar to the Rescue A classic! Since it was invented in 1965, Kevlar and its cousin Nomex have been keeping firefighters and rescue workers safe. The special formula makes long, stretchy threads that don’t burn and are hard to cut. Many layers make cloth that can stop a bullet. NEW Spider Threads Spider silk makes super strong cloth, if you can get enough of it. But spiders are tricky to farm. So scientists are using goats instead. They give goats a spider gene that makes a silk protein…