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What's the Big Idea?: Amazing Science Questions for the Curious Kid

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Vicki Cobb

Thirty-five important science questions and answers that help kids learn about motion, energy, matter, and life, fully illustrated in vibrant color.

Why does a rolling ball stop rolling? Why doesn’t the sun burn out? Why can’t you unscramble an egg? Why can’t we live forever? These are all questions that a curious kid might ask. In What’s the BIG Idea?, renowned juvenile science educator Vicki Cobb answers these and thirty-one other fascinating questions to help kids learn more about the world through the wonders of science.

A big idea is one that has no simple or easy answer, and there are four big ideas in this book: motion, energy, matter, and life. The motion of nonliving objects—rolling balls, falling stones, the moon and stars—seems so ordinary and familiar that most people take it for granted. Matter, on the other hand, comes in so many different forms—solids, liquids, gases, metals, nonmetals, living material—it is hard to imagine anything that all matter has in common. Energy is an idea that is in the news just about every day, yet most people couldn’t tell you what the big idea of energy is. And life seems mind-boggling and infinitely complicated. How do we bend our brains around it?

Scientists learn by asking questions. And What’s the Big Idea? is designed to make young readers stop and think about each of the thirty-five questions before reading what scientists have learned that answers each question. They’ll be able to do simple things to see for themselves and build their own scientific knowledge in the process. By the time they’ve finished this book, they’ll have a pretty good idea of what science is all about.

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