“Race ya.” The sun was barely peeking over the horizon at Yellowstone National Park when Melody shouted this unexpected challenge to her twin brother Mallory. “No fair. You got a head start!” A head start was exactly what Melody had in mind. She wanted to make sure Mallory didn’t reach Old Faithful before she did. (He didn’t)
If 7-year-old Melody Maloney had been standing anywhere else or at any other time, this would have been an ordinary adventure story. But nature has a way of behaving that doesn’t always follow the rules.
What happens when the Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone decides to misbehave? Melody and her twin brother Mallory find out, but no one believes them.
Our main focus of BioFables is on illuminating STEM principles through entertaining stories. However, we need to emphasize that STEM knowledge and, especially, applying STEM in the real world require a balancing Humanities perspective. Science and Humanities represent the two sides of practical human learning, left-brain (analytical) and right-brain (creative).
This is why we are building several tools to help you determine the value of each BioFables book’s STEM and Humanities content in selecting which BioFables books to give to your young readers:
- Table of all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Knowledge Gateways, Subjects and Topics
- Tables of all Humanities and Values Knowledge Gateways, Subjects and Topics
- Table of STEM and Humanities learning topics by Chapter
The first table presents a summary of all the STEM Knowledge Gateways (or branches, if you prefer), Subjects and Topics occuring in Whoosh. This will give you an overvew of the entire book’s STEM lessons that are woven into the Whoosh story.
The second table provides the same information for the Humanities lessons.
The table of STEM and Humanities places the combined learning topics into the specific chapter where it occurs. We’re in the process of updating each book’s topic reference tables. The table shows the breadth of each book’s content, identified by chapter. Subjects and topics of the middle column appear in bold, followed by abbreviated versions of their Knowledge Gateway(s) in parentheses. The table should be helpful in discussing each book as your children progress through the chapters. Follow the links for further investigation. Child-friendly sites appear in orange.
Want to make things even more interesting? Learn about taking the BioFables Challenge.
Please be aware that subjects and topics are unique to each book, so the following outlines do not reflect a complete list of subjects and topics within any category.
Thanks for your patience as we build these resources for you.
STEM Content: Entire Book 1, Whoosh
Branches and sub-branches in Book 1:
- Biology: Microbes/Bacteria; Plants
- Chemistry: Structure; Function
- Physics: Heat and Temperature
- Earth, Space Science: Geology; Geography
- Math: Measurements; Comparisons
- Technology: Physics (Optics)
Specific subjects and topics appear in the right column, next to their respective branches and sub-branches.
|BRANCHES/SUB-BRANCHES||SUBJECTS AND TOPICS
|BIOLOGY||Life and living things|
|Microbes/Bacteria||Living thermometers: Extremophile colors show hot spring temperature|
|Plants||Converting daylight to energy through photosynthesis|
|CHEMISTRY||Substances, their structure, behavior, interactions|
|Structure||What is that awful smell? Hydrogen sulfide (H2S)|
|Same water elements (H2O), different states: liquid, gas (steam) [solid (ice)]|
|Function||pH: Chemical condition of a solution, from 0 to 14 (H2O = 7, neutral)|
|PHYSICS||Properties and nature of matter and energy|
|Heat, pressure||What do guysers and pressure cookers have in common? Superheated steam!|
|EARTH, SPACE SCIENCE||Related to planet Earth and beyond|
|Geology||Earth’s physical structure, substance, history, processes|
|Geysers||What are geyser ingredients? H2O, molten rock (magma), cracks in solid rock|
|Hot springs||Don’t put your brushes into these paint pots, plan a fun fight in these mud pots, or enjoy a steam bath in a fumerole!|
|Volcanoes, calderas||Volcano: A mountain or hill with a vent that allows hot lava, rock and gases to erupt from the earth’s crust; after the eruption, a collapse causes a depression or caldera|
|Geography||Continents, countries, oceans and other waters, and their features|
|Wyoming, Chicago||Yellowstone is about 1,400 miles west/northwest of Chicago by road and about 1190 by air|
|MATH||Numbers, quantities and analysis|
|Measurements||Size, length and amount, either actual or estimated|
|Comparisons||Rules of thumb help to relate big and little things|
|TECHNOLOGY||Tools (products) and techniques using science
|Physics: Optics||You can see things with a microscope that are otherwise invisible|
NOTE: Tables of Humanities and Values content for Whoosh are being prepared and will be uploaded as soon as possible.
The following table identifies Whoosh content by chapter. Subjects and topics of the middle column appear in bold, followed by abbreviated versions of their Knowledge Gateway(s) in parentheses. Follow the links for further investigation. Child-friendly sites appear in orange.
|Geysers (Earth, Space Science)||Old Faithful Area
Geysers at Yellowstone
|Food and nutrition; Tai Chi exercises (Health); Microbes/bacteria (Biology); Wyoming and Chicago (Earth)||Microorganisms|
|Paint pots; mud pots; geysers (Earth); Sounds and spelling (Language)|
|Drawing (Arts); Geysers; Hot springs; Fumeroles; Paint pots; Volcanoes; Caldera (Earth); Hydrogen sulfide (Chemistry); Word derivations; Classic poetry (Language)||Geysers (Wikipedia)
How Volcanoes Work
Types of Yellowstone Geysers
|Water molecules; Steam (Chemistry); Comparing big and little things (Math)|
|Geysers; Mud pots (Earth); Heat; Pressure; Temperature (Physics); Classic books; Writing/singing; Poems (Language)|
|Bacteria; Extremophiles; Plant metabolism (Biology); Humor (Values); Word derivations (Language); Microscopes (Technology); Creativity (Life Skills)||Extremophiles (Wikipedia)|
|pH; Elements (Chemistry); Dreams for the future (Work)||What is pH?|