Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

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

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2 min.
nosy news

FAKE CATERPILLARS GET BEAT UP Life is hard for a caterpillar—especially in the tropics. That’s what some scientists discovered when they set they glued caterpillars 31 spots all over the world. After a couple of weeks, the models were in rough shape. They had bites, holes, and claw marks from animals that had tried to eat them. The scientists studied these marks to find out what kinds of critters had attacked the caterpillars. They found that the closer the fake caterpillars were to the equator, the more bite marks they had. But the added danger wasn’t from birds or mammals. The extra nibbles in warmer places were from bugs, mostly ants. SPACE BUDDY The newest crew member on the International Space Station isn’t human—it’s an adorable floating robot ball. Int-Ball is a baseball-sized…

8 min.
riding rockets

What Is a Rocket? Modern spaceflight began when the Chinese invented rockets about 800 years ago. Early rockets were like big fireworks—tubes filled with gunpowder, shot into the air over battles to frighten the enemy. A rocket works by burning enormous amounts of fuel very quickly. As the fuel burns, hot gas shoots out one end, pushing the rocket tube in the opposite direction. Eventually, some engineers began to wonder: if a rocket could travel a mile or more across the ground, could you shoot one straight up and get to space? In the 1920s, American rocket scientist Robert Goddard began experimenting with liquid rocket fuels instead of gunpowder. Liquid fuels give more bang per pound, so rockets could be lighter and go faster. Goddard also figured out how to steer rockets. And he…

2 min.

Even the closest star to us, Proxima Centauri, is very far away. Scientists would love to get a closer look at this star and its planets. But the fastest spaceship ever built would take nearly 75,000 years to get there. That’s just too long! One team of scientists have come up with a plan that might get us there a little faster—send a swarm of very tiny probes. Why tiny? The smaller something is, the easier it is to make it go fast. They’re hoping a flock of postage-stamp-sized ships (StarChips) could travel fast enough to reach Proxima Centauri in just 20 years. There they could take pictures and collect data. If there is any life there, the StarChips might be able to find it—and say hello from Earth. Each StarChip will…

4 min.
astronaut school

When Anne McClain found out she was going to be an astronaut, she couldn’t wait to call home. Her mom was outside gardening, and when she heard the news, “She screamed so loud that my stepfather thought that she had injured herself,” says McClain. McClain had wanted to be an astronaut for as long as she could remember, and now it was really happening! NASA picks a new group of astronauts every few years. Anyone can apply, but only a few are chosen. In 2013, NASA selected eight—including McClain—out of 6,300 applicants. Finding new astronauts takes about a year and a half. There are many tests! First, NASA checks to see if you meet the basic requirements. These are: • A college degree in science, engineering, or math. • Three years working as a scientist,…

2 min.
meet an astronaut

Hi there! I’m Matthew, and these are my new friends. We’re all going to be astronauts! Matthew Dominick is one of NASA’s newest astronauts, the class of 2017. Why do you want to be an astronaut? I want to explore and see things that I haven’t seen before. I grew up in Colorado, and climbing the mountains, going over the next hill, finding something I hadn’t seen before—that was huge. I love science, I love engineering, I love building things, taking things apart, understanding how they work. It’s about the question—everybody wants to know why. When I was growing up, I had a picture in my bedroom of Earth rising over the moon. It covered my entire wall, and I looked at it every day. What drew you to the navy? The young mind in me…

3 min.
warp drives and wormholes

No matter how zippy space ships get, there’s a limit to how fast they can go. The universe has a speed limit—nothing can travel faster than light, 186,000 miles (300,000 km) per second. This speed limit is part of space itself and isn’t going to change. Light speed is pretty fast—but space is so fantastically huge that even light takes many years to get from one star to its nearest neighbor. Space ships take much longer. The vast distances of space are a drag for space movies. Science fiction writers have come up with many clever ideas to allow people in their stories to travel faster than light. You just need warp drives, wormholes, or transporters! Will we ever see these in real life? It’s unlikely, since they bend some…