Sunday, August 27, 2006

Kids To Space: Not Just For Kids

A few weeks ago I bought a new book called Kids To Space: A Space Traveler's Guide by Lonnie Jones Schorer "and America's school children." This weekend I finally spent some time with it, and it's really an amazing resource. First of all, teachers in the US and Canada asked students, ages 3-19, to ask questions about space. From the thousands of questions asked, several hundred were distilled into 94 catagories, and various experts were asked to provide answers. The resulting 303 page book is really fascinating, with questions ranging from "What is there to learn in space?" to the inevitable "How do you go to the bathroom in space?" Experts include astronauts, engineers, scientists, and commercial space pioneers (e.g., Burt Rutan on space transport for the future, and Robert Bigelow on space hotels!). There is also a forward by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Although it is really more of a reference book (a veritable space encyclopedia), it also has a sort of story line (suitable for younger kids) that continues between the major sections, and a large number of space related illustrations done by children of various ages (with many more on the accompanying CD-ROM).

Kids To Space is excellent book for anyone with an interest in our future in space, even if there isn't a kid in sight at the moment.

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