Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children February 2017

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 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min.
nosy news

Sharks Older than the U.S. The oldest person on record was a French woman who lived to 122. That’s impressive—but it’s nothing compared to Greenland sharks. Greenland sharks live in cold Arctic oceans and grow verrrry slowly. But some are enormous, which made scientists think the sharks must live for a long time. To learn more, they studied the eyeballs of dead Greenland sharks. They looked for an unusual type of carbon that was common on Earth during the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to bomb tests. Sharks born around that time absorbed some of these special carbon atoms into their developing eyes. A few of the sharks they examined had high levels of these carbon atoms, meaning they were born around 60 years ago. From their size, scientists figured out how much…

6 min.
inventing with less

Everyone needs clean water, cooked food, and maybe some light at night to read or work. But not everyone can afford water treatment plants and power stations. Are there simpler ways to get people what they need? Inventors around the world are taking up the challenge to make light, cook food, and clean water for just pennies a day. Here are some of their big ideas for doing more with less. Night Light How do you get light when the sun goes down? Light from Motion A dynamo is a simple tool that turns motion energy into electricity (by spinning a magnet inside a coil of wire). A small dynamo moved by the wind, or a water-wheel, or a bike can make enough electricity to power a light or a computer. A car battery can…

1 min.
meet amy smith

When Amy Smith was studying to be an engineer, her teacher asked the class to build a better hot glue gun. Other students got to work adding extra features. Amy took out all but two parts. And her simpler glue gun worked better. Now Smith teaches at MIT in Cambridge and runs a program, called D-Lab, looking for ways to improve life for people without much money. Students in Smith’s lab have helped to turn many clever ideas into real devices, including a bike-powered grain mill, corncob charcoal, a no-electricity baby incubator, and a mirrored pot that uses the sun to sterilize medical tools, to name just a few. The best ideas often come from engineers and local people working as a team. She teaches her students to talk with people, ask questions,…

5 min.

And I’m almost out the door when my brother calls “Hey Ada, we have to put away the Legos!” Rats! We were supposed to do it last night, but I accidentally flattened the Lego shoebox to use as a sled. Oops. Someday, I’m going to invent a computer-controlled Lego picking-up drone that will sort all the pieces by color and type. I’ll put in voice control so you can yell out and it will bring you any block you need when you’re building. It will be so cool! “OK, but let’s hurry!” I say. As I open the closet door the empty shoe holder swings back and forth. The shoes are, um, elsewhere. That gives me an idea... “Hey, we can put them in this!” There’s a pocket for each size brick. Good…

4 min.
eat this spoon

That’s the vision of an Indian company called Bakeys. They want to replace plastic forks and spoons with ones made out of food. This could cut down on how much plastic people use and throw away. Someday spoons might even come in your favorite flavor. Use It and Lose It How much plastic have you thrown out or recycled today? Did you use a water bottle? A drinking straw? A grocery bag? A candy wrapper? Every year, Americans toss out around 35 million tons of plastic. Most goes into landfills, where plastic doesn’t break down for a very, very, very long time. Some finds its way into the oceans, making huge patches of floating plastic trash. Out of all the plastic waste in the world, Indian chemist Narayana Peesapaty was especially worried about…

1 min.
not-so-simple inventions

Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist popular in the 1920s who liked to draw hilariously complicated gadgets meant to do simple tasks. He was poking fun at inventors a bit, and also at Americans’ great love of new inventions, however silly. These days, many schools and museums hold Rube Goldberg machine-building contests. Usually there’s a goal, such as blowing out a candle in no less than 20 steps. Points are given for how many steps the device takes (the more the better), how complicated and goofy it is, and whether it actually works. Here’s an original Rube Goldberg plan for a “Self-operating Napkin”—would you like to install one in your lunchroom? (A) As you raise your spoon to your mouth, (B) it pulls a string, (C) which jerks on the ladle, (D) throwing a cracker (E) past…