Science

Get inspired by the lives of real people whose curiosity and drive led them to become scientists, inventors, makers, and creators.

Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Also available in: e-book

Throughout his life Banneker was troubled that all blacks were not free. And so, in 1791, he wrote to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who had signed the Declaration of Independence. Banneker attacked the institution of slavery and dared to call Jefferson a hypocrite for owning slaves. Jefferson responded. This is the story of Benjamin Banneker--his science, his politics, his morals, and his extraordinary correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. For more on Benjamin Banneker, look up JBIO BANNEKER.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

Patricia Bath made significant contributions to ophthalmology and laser surgery. For more on Patricia Bath, look up JBIO BATH.

Time Magazine has chosen 16-year old climate activist Greta Thunberg as the 2019 Person of the Year.

Kermit Versus Thorndyke Smackdown

 

Hey Kids,

Ever wondered whether a mosquito could take on a great white shark? Me neither. But now that you're thinking about it, how do a mosquito and a great white match up? If you're curious about this and other animal matchups, check out some of the books below. 

Bear Hugs,

Thorndyke

This title has lots of different matchups, if you just can't make a choice.

STEAM Curiosity

Image of head with science related objects floating in a thought bubble inside
Kids aged 8-12 who are interested in science, technology, engineering, art, and math are first introduced to a topic and supporting ideas behind it. After learning about the sessions' topic, participants will be given a problem and challenged to engineer a solution or create an example. 

Registration required.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by watching some of these fascinating films on the race to be the first to the moon.

The NASA New Horizons probe was launched January 19, 2006. After several years, it reached Pluto and spent the summer of 2015 studying the dwarf planet at a distance closer than any spacecraft before. The probe traveled closest to Pluto on July 14, 2015 and continued on to study more of the Kuiper Belt. Learn more about the far reaches of our solar system with these resources.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

On this day, July 8, 2011, Atlantis made its final liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. After 31 years of manned space flights into the Earth's orbit and back, the Space Shuttle program was officially retired from service. The shuttle program launched 135 missions, traveled 542,398,878 miles, and flew 21,152 orbits around the Earth, carried 355 people and 3.5 million pounds of payload. The purpose of the program was to transport crew and cargo from Earth to orbit, but its mission expanded to the International Space Station. There were 133 successful flights, but 2 very tragic failures. Both the Challenger and Columbia missions lost 7 crew members each. Want to learn more? Here's some resources to get your started!

On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation's eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Bringing Columbia Home shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible. Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.

The real-life techno-thriller from a bestselling author and aviation expert that recaptures the historic moments leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Columbia and the exciting story of her daring maiden flight. Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration. On April 12, 1981, NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the most advanced, state-of-the-art flying machine ever built, challenging the minds and imagination of America's top engineers and pilots. Columbia was the world's first real spaceship: a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, and capable of flying to space and back before preparing to fly again. On board were moonwalker John Young and test pilot Bob Crippen. Less than an hour after Young and Crippen's spectacular departure from the Cape, all was not well. Tiles designed to protect the ship from the blowtorch burn of re-entry were missing from the heat shield. If the damage to Columbia was too great, the astronauts wouldn't be able to return safely to earth. NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified. To help the ship, the NRO would attempt something never done before. Success would require skill, perfect timing, and luck. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, Into the Black is a thrilling race against time and the incredible true story of the first space shuttle mission that celebrates our passion for spaceflight.

Fifteen years ago on this day, July 1st, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft reached the orbit of Saturn. It took 7 years to get there from Earth and it stayed in orbit for 13 years. The orbiter (Cassini) and lander (Huygens), which were named after astromers Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Huygens, reported back valuable data about the planet, its icy moons and wondrous rings. Its last act of service was known as The Grand Finale. The spacecraft  made a flyby of Titan, then dived between Saturn's rings before its final plunge. Intrigued? We got a dvd for that!

Almost everything we know today about the beautiful giant ringed planet comes from Cassini, the NASA mission that launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004. Since then, the spacecraft has been beaming home miraculous images and scientific data, revealing countless wonders about the planet, its rings, and 62 moons—including some that could harbor life. As the mission approaches its final days in 2017, it attempts one last set of daring maneuvers—diving between the innermost ring and the top of Saturn’s atmosphere. Aiming to skim less than 2,000 miles above the cloud tops, no spacecraft has ever gone so close to Saturn and hopes are high for incredible observations that could solve major mysteries about the planet’s core. But such a daring maneuver comes with many risks. Join NASA engineers for the tense and triumphant moments as they find out if their gambit has paid off, and discover the wonders that Cassini has revealed over the years.

 

Sometimes you just want to go to the moon. Here are some fiction and nonfiction books about space, the moon, astronauts, and spacey people. Try one of these books; while they are targeted to new and developing readers, they may have appeal to a wider audience. Click on the title for location and availability.

Space cows by Eric Seltzer
The Moon's time to shine by Scott Emmons

July 20, 1969 marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Since then, 12 men have walked on the moon, but many others have explored the frontiers of space. Learn about some of these amazing men and women by checking out some of the Library's many resources.

Gus Grissom : the lost astronaut by 1959- Ray E. Boomhower
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