Recently, we’ve been immersed in finalizing the text, illustrations, and layout of a new collection of science books for late elementary, roughly grades 4-6. We’re passionate about each one and about the set as a whole. And they’ve inspired some thinking within the development team.
The internet is beyond cool, technology fantastic, and a computer in your pocket is sci-fi come real. Interestingly, however, this science collection isn’t about any of that. In fact, it feels more like Scouts or 4-H. Why?
Certainly, many modern tools and apps support creative thinking, but does everything these days have to be about taking pictures and looking at screens? No matter how cool and empowering, it’s not quite like crafting your own tools, making yogurt, drawing what you see under a microscope—or raising your own cow. (No, we do not have a course on raising your own cow—at least not yet.)
This is not a plea for yesteryear. It’s a line of thought about getting young people to connect to the real world, getting them to be curious, to wonder, to explore, to question and to CREATE.
And it’s a comment on the value of real books, with real paper, that took real time and real care in their conception and creation. Books that you want to keep. Books that you want to engage with—more than once, more than twice.
We noticed, newly, how much we care about this type of engagement, and how that affects the desire and ability to observe and imagine. And isn’t that what science is all about?