Moments in Science is a new collection of books from Mims House.
Sometimes in publishing, you stumble into something that works so well that you want to do more.
We’ve done that with a collection of elementary science picture books. And now, we’re making it formal by giving this collection a name.
Moments in Science – BURN:Michael Faraday’s Candle
It started with Burn: Michael Faraday’s Candle. Michael Faraday gave his famous juvenile lecture, “The Chemical Composition of a Candle,” in December 28, 1948. It was published a few weeks later and has never been out of print.
It’s the most successful science lecture ever given.
And it was originally given to children as part of the Royal Institution’s Christmas children’s lectures, a program that is still presents annual lectures.
However, I was astounded to learn that it had never been done as a children’s book.
It was daunting.
Over 6000 words of dense, archaic language.
I cut it to about 600 words.
Add to that, Peter Willis’s amazing cartoon illustrations.
The result? BURN: Michael Faraday’s Candle, one of our most popular science books.
Moments in Science – CLANG! Ernst Chladni’s Sound Experiments
Because BURN worked so well, I looked around for another “lecture” or “moment” of science where something changed or some important presentation helped people understand science better. I also looked at the NextGen Science Standards to make sure the book would have a wide appeal.
In 1806, German scientist Ernst Chladni (Klod NEE) was granted an audience with Napoleon Bonaparte. Why?
French scientist loved Chladni’s book on acoustics.
Chladni was a science entertainer. Think Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
He didn’t work for a university.
He didn’t have wealthy patrons.
Instead, he traveled and entertained with his science experiments.
What an opportunity! To perform for Napoleon, the Emperor of France!
Two things excited me about this story.
First, we have Chladni’s own words describing the encounter. He wrote for a French music magazine, which was quoted in his biography.
Second, Chaldni’s entertainment worked.
Napoleon gave Chladni 5000 Francs to write his book, Acoustics, in French.
The story also gave me an opportunity to talk about sound, sound vibrations, wave forms, and so on to tie into the NextGen science standards.
Since its launch in February, 2018, it’s also receiving a lot of interest.
Moments in Science – POLLEN: Darwin’s 130 Year Prediction
Next March, we’ll launch a third science book and we’ll be adding all these books into a collection, Moments in Science.
Moments in Science is simple a collection of science picture books about important moments in science history that tie into the elementary curriculum.
We’re excited about our 2019 titles in the Moments of Science collection.
Here’s a sneak peek at the cover for our March 2019 release, also illustrated by Peter Willis.
How long does it take for science to find an answer to a problem?
On January 25, 1862, naturalist Charles Darwin received a box –
– of orchids.
One flower, the Madagascar star orchid, fascinated him.
Why? Because it had an 11.5” nectary, the place where flowers make nectar, the sweet liquid that insects and birds eat.
How, he wondered, did the orchid get pollinated?
After experiments, he made a prediction.
There must be a giant moth with a 11.5” proboscis, a straw-like tongue.
Darwin died without ever seeing the moth, which was catalogued by entomologists in in 1903.
But still no one had actually observed the moth pollinating the orchid.
In 1992, German entomologist, Lutz Thilo Wasserthal, Ph.D. traveled to Madagascar.
By then, the moths were rare because of loss of habitat.
He managed to capture two moths.
He collected an orchid.
He released the moths into in a cage with the orchid.
Finally! He captured the first photo of the moth pollinating the flower,
just as Darwin had predicted
130 years before.
Backmatter will feature the original photo taken by Wasserthal.
Look for this book in March, 2019.