Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children November/December 2020

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

Pink Flamingos Are Meaner Your skin won’t turn green if you eat a lot of broccoli. But a flamingo does get its color from what it eats. Flamingos slurp up algae, tiny shrimp, and other tidbits from water. Many of these foods contain carotenoids, a natural molecule that gives veggies and shrimp an orange-red color. And when flamingos eat it, they grow pinker feathers. Researchers studied groups of flamingos eating together. They saw that dark pink flamingos were more aggressive than light pink ones. The darker birds were more likely to shove or peck, or grab other birds’ feathers with their beaks. Mean, pushy flamingos are also stronger. They can get as much food as they want. And with plenty of carotenoids, they turn more pink. A BRIDGE THAT SINGS People in San Francisco,…

5 min.
the tricky artist’s box of tricks

Hi. My name is Thor, and I’m an artist. People ask me all the time, “Thor, you just have a pencil—how can you make me think I’m looking at a mountain, or a fishpond, or a raccoon?” We artists have lots of tricks. And because I like you, I’ll share some of my favorites. How to Make Flat Things Look Solid Get a ball. Put it on the table in front of you. What do you see? Now try to draw it. Yes, it’s round. But if you draw a circle, it doesn’t look like a ball. Look at the ball again. See how it looks darker on one side and underneath? Those parts are more in shadow. Draw some shading on your flat circle, around the sides. You can use pencil, or if you’re drawing…

2 min.
a little help?

Look up. Now try to draw exactly what you see. It’s not easy, is it? Grid Lock Now, what if you set up a grid of thin threads in front of what you want to draw? Mark the same grid on your paper. As you draw, fill in one square at a time. The “grid method” has been used by artists since ancient Egypt to help get proportions right. It’s also useful for making bigger or smaller copies of pictures. How did artists make accurate drawings before cameras were invented? They had some clever tricks. Camera Obscura The next trick artists came up with was an early form of camera, called the camera obscura (which means “dark image”). It was very simple—just a small hole in a screen, with a darkened space behind. In bright…

3 min.
folding the future

How far can you go with one sheet of paper? Have you ever tried origami, the Japanese art of folding paper? Maybe you made a crane, or a frog. But what about something even bigger, like a full-sized kayak that floats? Or a telescope the size of a football field? The First Fold The name origami comes from two Japanese words: oru, to fold, and kami, paper. Nobody knows who first started folding paper into shapes, but the oldest known origami instructions (for a paper crane) are from Japan, about 200 years ago. From there, origami spread all over the world. In traditional origami, an object must be made from a single sheet of paper. No cutting or tearing is allowed—only folding. Simple shapes can be made from a few folds. Complex designs may…

1 min.
origami balloon

Making a new kind of heart stent is a challenge, but it started with a simple idea—the origami balloon! Follow these instructions to make your own. (Be sure to press down all the way along each fold to make the crease.) 1. Start with a square piece of paper 2. Fold the paper on both diagonals (mountain folds), then unfold. 3. Fold in half across the middle the other way (valley). Unfold. 4. Push the center fold in, and push the paper together to look like a tent shape, with the point at the top. 5. Fold each flap up from the bottom to meet at the top of the triangle. Do the two flaps on one side, then turn it over and do the other side. You will have a diamond shape. 6. Fold the…

4 min.
the art of faking

Han van Meegeren was a Dutch painter, but he is best known for faking art. He was a forger, an artist who copies famous works of art and sells them as the real thing. Between 1923 and 1945, van Meegeren forged many paintings that he sold for millions of dollars. He was finally arrested in 1945 for selling a painting that he claimed was by Jan Vermeer, a famous Dutch artist who lived 300 years earlier. At the time, selling national treasures was a crime punishable by death. To escape this harsh fate, van Meegeren confessed to painting the picture himself. A fake would not be a national treasure. But no one believed him! To convince them, he was forced to make one of his fake paintings while police watched. How did…