Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children September 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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9 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min.
nosy news

SPACE STRETCH Scott and Mark Kelly are identical twin brothers who are both astronauts. This March, Scott returned to Earth after 340 days—almost a year—in space, on the International Space Station. While Scott was in space, Mark stayed on the ground. NASA scientists are studying the twins to learn more about how living in space affects the human body. Life without gravity can weaken bones, muscles, and eyes. But Scott also got a boost from his time in space. He returned to Earth about 2 inches (5 cm) taller than his twin brother. Without the constant pull of Earth’s gravity, Scott’s spine stretched out a bit, giving him some extra height. However, Scott’s bragging rights didn’t last long. Less than two days after he landed, gravity shrank his stretched-out body back…

6 min.
ask a brain!

Q What is a brain? Why do we have them? A The brain is a squishy, wrinkly, slightly pink organ inside your head. The brain is your body’s control center. It collects signals from your senses, thinks and decides, and sends signals that tell your body what to do. Your brain also stores memories about your past. It’s what makes you, you. Each part of the brain has a special job, and they all work together as you think. The brain is the center of a network of nerves, or signal pathways, that run all through your body. In the center of the brain there are a collection of oddly shaped bits that keep your body running and make memories. Cingulate cortex Helps you understand emotions, learn, and remember Hypothalamus In charge of hunger, sleep, and…

1 min.

Hi. Hydra here. Think you’re so fancy with your big bulgy brains? I say, who needs ’em? They’re just a whole bunch of neurons stuck together. Me, I like to spread my neurons out all over my whole body. Why keep them all in one place? I agree. That way, any part of my body can react quickly. No need for signals to travel all the way to a “brain” and back—why not make decisions right in the arms? I find having a brain handy for plotting ambushes and escaping from aquariums. But I let the neurons in my arms decide about the moving and grabbing and camouflage. Many arms make light work! I don’t do much thinking anyway. Just eat or run away. I had a brain once, when I was a larva…

4 min.
the backwards bike

Destin Sandlin is a rocket engineer. He’s smart and funny and makes science videos for a website called Smarter Every Day. So he thinks he has a pretty good brain. One day, a welder at Sandlin’s job decided to play a little joke. He built a bike with a twist: when you turn the handlebars to the right, the wheel goes left. When you turn the handles left, the wheel goes right. Ha ha! Very funny. Sandlin climbed right on. Once you know the trick, you just have to tell yourself to turn left to go right, or right to go left. Easy. Right? But Sandlin soon found that it wasn’t so easy. In fact, it was impossible! Every time he tried to make the bike go straight, he wobbled and fell over.…

4 min.
hey can you read this?

To read, first pick up a book—or a copy of Ask. Even that simple move takes a whole lot of brain power. Your cerebellum, the part of your brain in charge of balance, works with the vision and movement parts of your brain to hold the page and look without falling over. With the page held still, it’s time for your eyes to get to work. As you look, your brain tells your eyes to focus. It feels like your eyes are seamlessly skimming across the page, but really you see in short bursts, taking in about 10 letters at a time. Cells in your eyes send messages along your optic nerve about the shapes and colors they see. We’ve Got Letters! When your brain recognizes a pattern as “writing,” it sends…

5 min.
a new way to see

As 13-year-old Humoody Smith makes his way through his neighborhood, he clicks his tongue: Click! Click! Click! The sound bounces off trees and other objects in front of him. By listening to the echoes, Humoody can form a map in his mind of what’ nearby—even though he’s blind. Humoody is using a method called echolocation—bouncing sound and listening to the echoes to sense objects. It’s not a superpower. But it does show how flexible the human brain can be. Even people who have lost one of their five senses can learn to sense the world in new and amazing ways. Seeing with Sound Some animals use echolocation to find their way around. Bats make very high-pitched chirps while they fly at night. By listening to the echoes, they can swoop around trees…