Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children February 2016

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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2 min.
nosy news

BARF-O-MATAIC When this machine projectile-vomited in the lab, scientists were thrilled. They’re hoping it will help them figure out how germs spread. They are particularly interested in a stomach bug called norovirus. Norovirus makes lots of people sick every year. But scientists weren’t sure whether norovirus can fly through the air after someone throws up. To find out, they built this machine. It has a miniature head, mouth, throat, and stomach. The scientists filled the machine’s stomach with fake vomit made of vanilla pudding. Instead of dangerous norovirus, they added a virus that’s harmless. Then they pumped up the stomach to make the machine hurl. It made a mess. It also made viruses fly through the air, showing that norovirus might be able to fly too. Sleep More, Sneeze Less Want to stay healthy this…

4 min.
animal defense academy

Run Away The first line of defense is pretty simple—run away! Of course, it helps to have a speedy body, or wings. Thomson’s gazelles are fast—they can run 40 miles (65 km) an hour. Cheetahs like to eat gazelles and are just a bit faster. But cheetahs can’t keep running for as long as gazelles can, so the gazelles often get away. It also helps to have plenty of friends around to keep an eye out for prowling carnivores. To get a head start on your escape, why not leave behind a decoy, like, say, a tail? Some lizards can drop their tails and keep on running. The tail tidbit distracts the predator long enough for the lizard main course to escape. Later, the lizard simply grows a new tail. Most birds fly away from…

4 min.
arthur's amazing armor

What makes good armor? It needs to be: Strong. Armor’s first job is to protect. So it needs to be strong enough to stop a sword or spear. Padding inside helps to cushion blows that might bruise or break bones. Light. You’ll have to wear or carry your armor around everywhere, often for long distances. So it shouldn’t be too heavy. Flexible. Strong is good, but you still need to be able to move. One Shirt, Two Shirts, Three Shirts, More Shirts Europe, 800–1800 For much of history, the only armor a common soldier could afford was a jacket of leather or quilted cloth. Actually, layers of cloth can be pretty good protection. The tight weave of the cloth could stop a knife or arrow, and the padding softened the force of blows. South Pacific islands,…

2 min.
they made me do it and i’m sorry

Every few weeks, someone gets the silent treatment. We all pretend they don’t exist. I don’t know why we do it—but we all do. No matter what, we don’t break our silence. We cut them out. Then, after a week or two, it’s over. It’s someone else’s turn. When it’s your turn, it’s awful. No one to walk with to school. No one to hang out with. No one texting you. Lots of crying. Parents totally not understanding. Mom says, “If they do that, then they’re not really your friends.” But they are, and I want them back! No one does anything to make it stop. It’s just the way things are. But then one day, everyone starts to ignore Eric. Don’t say Hi to Eric, CiCi—we’re ignoring him. But I like…

6 min.
grandfather gandhi

When we arrived at Sevagram in India, Grandfather Gandhi gathered us to him in a big hug. He smelled of peanut oil. “Arun walked the entire way from the train station,” Father said. Grandfather stood and smiled his toothless grin. “That walk is a test of character. I am impressed.” My heart swelled as big as a balloon. I had made Grandfather proud. Sevagram was filled with people. That evening I ate spoonful after spoonful of boiled pumpkin. It was mushy and bland, but what I liked less was sharing Grandfather with the 350 other people who lived there. The air was so thick and hot, we slept under the stars to keep cool. I tossed and turned, wondering what the next day would bring. The next day, everyone awoke at 4 a.m. With the…

1 min.
bot's mighty math

Look closely at a fire hydrant and you’ll see something odd. The knob that firefighters turn to let water out has five sides. Doesn’t that make it hard to open? The jaws of an ordinary wrench are made to fit around a shape with opposite sides that line up evenly. This happens if the shape (the bolt head) has an even number of sides: four, six, eight, etc. A five-sided knob can’t be opened with the kind of wrench you have in your house. But that’s a good thing. It stops people from fooling around with hydrants. Firefighters want to keep hydrants closed so that there’s enough water pressure to get the water into their hoses. When they need to turn on the water, firefighters use a special tool with a five-sided hole. A…