February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Freebies for Women’s History Month | News Bites

Free resources: The theme of this year’s Women’s History Month is “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” ABDO is offering two free resources to inspire girls in grades three to six to follow their dreams and pursue STEM careers—an infographic and a time line. The infographic—“Reach for the Stars with STEM”—provides information about the opportunities offered by a career in STEM. The graphic time line—“A Look Back at Women in Science”—highlights the lives of 22 interesting and ethnically diverse women throughout history who were pioneers in various scientific fields—from 2600 BCE when Si Ling-Chi, a Chinese empress, invented silk, to the more modern contributions of Margaret Mead (anthropologist), Rachel Carson (environmentalist), Mae Jemison (astronaut), and others. These wonderful role models are sure to grab the attention of young students. ABDO will be making these resources available on their website, blog, and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) to help promote and support the efforts of the National Women’s History Museum.

ABDO has also just published a biography series for upper elementary students—“Women in Science”—that highlights the compelling lives of six female scientists (Rachel Carson, Joanne Simpson, Antonia Novello, Chien-Shiung Wu, Hayat Sindi, and Mae Jemison) that is sure to interest young readers.

Audiobook cover of My Brother Sam is DeadTeaching guide: Hurry up and get your free copy of Brother Sam and All That: Historical Context and Literary Analysis of the Novels of James and Christopher Collier (Clearwater Pr., 1999) from AudioGO. The lessons compiled in this companion teaching guide provide teachers and librarians with information about how to use historical fiction in the classroom—just what the Common Core Standards require—and tips for teaching the novels by James and Christopher Collier. AudioGO publishes audiobook and ebook versions of more than 50 novels by James and Christopher Collier, including the classroom favorite, My Brother Sam Is Dead. The first 100 people to email Michele.cobb@audiogo.com will receive this teaching guide at no cost.

You Have to Be in It

Ipad with Make me Learn logoBe Creative: If your students are between the ages of 13 and 18, here’s their chance to enter the Instructables Make-to-Learn Youth Contest, sponsored by Autodesk, a producer of 3D design software. All they have to do is make something—from a short movie to a painting, a science fair project, a school assignment, a garden, a video game, etc. Once the project is completed, the entrant just has to answer four questions about what they learned: What did you make? How did you make it? Where did you make it? What did you learn? All entries must be received by April 15. For more information, check out the rest of the rules here. Entries will be judged by a distinguished panel, including Chad Sansing (Central Virginia Writing Project), Leah Buechley (MIT Media Lab), Karen Wilkinson, (Exploratorium/tinkering studio), Antero Garcia (Colorado State University), and others.

Winners will be announced on or about April 22. Three Grand Prize winners will receive a Dream Maker kit consisting of a $200 gift certificate to SparkFun, Amazon, or Home Depot to purchase supplies for projects; a 32GB mini iPad; and a $50 gift card to the iTunes App Store. Five First Prize winners will receive a Dream Maker kit to purchase $200 worth of supplies. Ten runners up will receive a $50 gift certificate.

In addition, librarians, teachers, scout leaders, and anyone whose job is strictly educational can get a free Pro membership to Instructables that gives them access to classroom project ideas, advanced project editing tools, and the ability to download PDFs of projects and ebooks.

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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.



  1. Hi! Thanks again, Phyllis, for this great coverage of Women in Science. We are so proud of this series and its classroom resources! Just wanted to make sure readers are able to reach our blog, as the link above doesn’t seem to be working. It can be viewed here: http://blog.abdopublishing.com/