GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Master Books: Intro to Meteorology and Astronomy Parent Lesson Planner


Recently we switched science curricula for our oldest daughter who is working ahead of where she would be in school and when I received the updated Astronomy book from Master Books I knew our old Parent Lesson Planner (PLP) wouldn’t work so they kindly sent me the new PLP to go along with the new Astronomy book.  I must say that having the PLP’s make my life so much easier in planning my daughter’s work for the week and even the year!  Honestly, I don’t really have to do much except check her work and assign her a grade.

The PLP I was sent covers both books, The Weather Book and The New Astronomy Book.  Covering both books is a one year course and it’s geared for 7th to 9th grade students and they will receive a 1/2 credit for doing the work.  I like having this all laid out for me so when I go to make her a transcript I know eactly what I should give her credit wise for the work she’s been doing.  So far she’s almost at the end of the first semester or second quarter which covers The Weather Book, after Christmas she’ll be entering into the second semester which covers The New Astronomy Book.  The whole course runs a total of 36 weeks doing science 3 days a week.

The PLP includes the weekly lesson schedule – simply put the student just opens the book and the schedule tells them what they need to complete that day.  For example, Week 1 Day 48 tells the student to read the section “Lightning – words to know, questions 1-8 and activities on Weather Chapter 4: Worksheet 2 pages 41-41 LP”.  The student easily knows which book to be using with the notation of LP (Lesson Planner) or WB (Weather Book) and can easily find what they need to do as they track their progress in the due date, the check section and the grade.  I personally don’t assign a due date as my daughter is working ahead because she’s enjoying this science so much, so I let her fill in the due date as the finished date and when I check her work I fill in the grade.

Also included in the PLP are the worksheets and I happily report that if you have more than one child who is using or may be using this curricula Master Books does grant the family permission to make copies of the worksheets for your own house.  This could save you money in purchasing extra workbooks should you have a decent printer, however we don’t so I let my daughter write in her workbook.  The quizzes, tests and answer keys are also included in the PLP – while it says parent in the name, the only thing I really do with it is check her work when she’s done for the week.  Each lesson takes about 30 to 45 minutes, so in as little as an hour and a half a week the student will complete three lessons of science.  There are also suggested labs when applicable as well as activities that expound on what they’ve learned and usually involve relating the science lesson back to the Bible, which is another plus in my book.

If you’re looking for a great science curricula that is Bible based and your determined student can use this as an independent course of study leaving you free to work with your other children, as I do.  I highly recommend this course of study and there are other books that go up through high school with their corresponding Parent Lesson Planners.  You can view samples at the Master Books website as well as looking at the additional resources such as the optional labs.  There are two versions the download e-book for $8.99 and the paperback version for $10.49, so it’s easy to chose which works best for your family.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Stargazers Guide to the Night Sky by Dr. Jason Lisle


About the Book:

Explore the night sky, identify stars, constellations, and even planets. Stargaze with a telescope, binoculars, or even your naked eye.  Allow Dr. Jason Lisle, a research scientist with a masters and PhD in astrophysics, to guide you in examining the beauty of God’s Creation.

Lisle designed Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky for everyone from young students to amateur astronomers. In it you will:

  • Learn the best ways and optimal times to observe planets and stars
  • Discover how to choose the best telescope for you
  • Find 150 stunning, full-color star-charts and other easy to use illustrations for success

“How do phases of the moon work?  When will the next solar eclipse take place?  What is that bright star setting in the west?  How do I find Saturn?  What sorts of objects can be seen with binoculars?”  These questions and many more are easily answered with the helpful tips and basic understanding of astronomy presented in this book.

Create or expand the hobby of stargazing; an outdoor, educational hobby to enjoy with friends or family. Regardless of your circumstances and the economy, you will always be able to marvel at the beauty of our night sky.

You can buy the book at New Leaf Publishing.

Find out about Dr. Jason Lisle at New Leaf Publishing author’s page or at The Institute for Creation Research.

 

My Opinion:

 

As always Master Books has another great resource for those who want to know or teach their children the beauty of God’s night sky using creation from the Bible and with beautiful imagery and text.  You don’t have to be an astronomer or even know all the constellations to enjoy the beauty and majesty that is the heavens of the night sky – looking up into it and seeing all the stars and the moon and even the occasional planet makes one imagination come alive.  If you’re studying astronomy, getting ready to or just have an interest in it then The Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky is just the resource you’ll want to have on hand, great for the beginner or the advanced ‘stargazer’.  There are twelve chapters everything from motion in the sky for basic and advanced people, celestial events to astrophotography, and more including an introduction, and afterword and an index will make this well worth the investment.

 

The pictures are beautiful and stunning through the whole book, I can only imagine what it would look like if I had a physical copy over the electronic format of the book.  I really enjoyed the first chapter which is the “motions in the sky – basic” because it gave me a way to use a quick method for measurements while star gazing – you know those charts that use degrees to tell you how to find a star, constellation or planet?  Using certain fingers and hand measurements will give you and idea of the degree measurements, which will not make it much easier to find those celestial events that we usually miss out on because we can’t find the correct degree.

 

The amount of information in this book could easily launch you or your child into an in depth study of astronomy.  Written from a creation viewpoint and distinctly Christian there won’t be things you’ll have to omit or research more information because it’s all there for you – I wish I had had this book when we studied astronomy a few years back, but now that I do I will add it back in when we study the stars again.

 

**I was given an e-copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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American History: Observations & Assessments from Early Settlement to Today (and teachers’ guide) by James P. Stobaugh


 

I’m a history buff, I love reading and watching about history.  Give me a history book, whether it’s a book or textbook, and I’ll sit for hours (or as long as my children allow) and read.  I had the chance to review the American History text and teacher’s manual by James P. Stobaugh which is written for the 10th grade student and I must say I can’t wait until I have a 10th grader!  Not really, I’m not rushing my children to grow but this is such a wonderful history curriculum – I enjoyed just reading through it on my own and I learned stuff that I hadn’t been taught in public school – never ceases to amaze me how much revisionism I was exposed to.

 

This is divided into 34 chapters which amounts to 34 weeks of study for the student, within each each chapter are 5 lessons – I don’t know if highschoolers have to do school five days a week but if you only school for four I’m sure this can be altered to fit your family’s schedule.  Each lesson should take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete with the included reading and the critical thinking questions, some open ended, some not.  At the end of each week the student will take an exam over what was learned that week.  Even though I don’t have children in this grade, I appreciate that this course work is to be completed independently with the parent checking and grading the work turned in.  All responsibility falls on to the student to complete the work given in the time frame allowed.

 

You’ll find a lot of information in the text of the student book such as:

  • narrative background
  • critical thinking questions
  • concepts/generalizations
  • history maker
  • historiographies or historical debates
  • world view formation
  • history and world view overview

 

The only other items the student will need on a daily basis is a notepad for the writing assignments and a pencil or pen.  Your student (or yourself) will go through the “Natives of the New World” through the “Civil War” and the “War on Terrorism” – they will get an well rounded education of the history of the United States of America before she was the United States and beyond – based on a Biblical, non-revisionist text.  James P. Stobaugh and his wife have home educated their four children since 1985.

 

The teacher’s manual will making grading your student’s work much easier and faster with the choice to grade weekly or daily.  The student questions are wonderfully organized at the back for ease of use in testing as well as reviewing.  I really like the teacher’s manual gives a brief overview of the chapter in the first thoughts area and then an outline of the learning objectives complete with what questions/assignments go with each.  This makes it very teacher friendly and helps in the teaching if the teacher doesn’t have time to read through each lesson first.

 

I cannot say enough about this wonderful high school history curriculum for students who want a Biblically sound version without God removed from history.  I want to also say this text is not boring like some school texts, it’s very engaging and the illustrations are beautiful and sometimes strikingly painful, depending on the area of history being studied.  You can purchase the student and teachers books at Master Books.

 

**Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this curricula from Master Books in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

 

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Awesome Science: Episode I: Explore the Grand Canyon with Noah Justice


Tired of the evolution view that some nature videos and magazines tout as fact?

Tired of “over million and million of years” the earth was formed?

Tired of having to explain to your children, again, “don’t listen to that part”?

Me too.

Enter the new DVD series from Master Books with Noah Justice who takes children and their parents on a 30 minute excursion into the Grand Canyon to show them how it can be proved the Grand Canyon was formed in a matter of just days and not millions of years.  Noah Justice explains how the 40 layers of the Grand Canyon were laid in the Biblical, worldwide flood of Noah’s day and not a long, long time ago.  Noah Justice is a 14 year old who is going to be your tour guide for the 30 minutes that you learn about the Grand Canyon from a Creationist, Biblical viewpoint.  He handles himself very well and gives in depth explanations that both adults and children will appreciate.  The DVD is $14.99 and can be purchased at the Master Books website and other locations – this is a great DVD to have on hand.

There is also an accompanying study guide that is available for $3.99 and will turn the DVD into a great unit study on the Grand Canyon.  The 34 page study guide takes you through the DVD in increments such as:

  • About the Grand Canyon
  • Evidence: Colorado River Plausibility Questions
  • Dunes
  • Receding Floodwaters
  • Example of Mars
  • and more

 

There are fill in the blanks, ordering, discussion questions and extended activities to have your child answer.  While copies can’t be made, the study guides are affordable or you can simply have your child record their answers orally or write them in a notebook – to save money for the family with more than one child.

 

**Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of the DVD and study guide from Master Books in exchange for my hones opinion, no other compensation was given.

 

 

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“A is for Adam” by Ken and Mally Ham


My Opinion:

Well as with most books and resources from Master Books this one is the same – it’s excellent and a must have for your home library.  This is an alphabet book, but unlike other alphabet books, it uses God’s Word from Creation to the time when Believers are brought into their Heavenly homes.  Each letter has a simply rhyme to go along with the Biblical accounts of history such as “D is for Dinosaur, dodo and deer; Like all of the animals, no man did they fear. But even though all was in true harmony, Adam then realized, ‘There’s no one like me!’ ”  Along with beautifully illustrated full page and full color pictures this will keep even the littlest person’s attention.

The book stands when folded out to make for easy reading or viewing, when sitting on a table the text is included on the opposite page so the child can view the illustrated page while the parent reads from the back.  I like to read through the whole rhyme first and then take a letter or two a day and go through a ‘lesson’ using the following points on the parents pages (my term for the page with the lessons):

  • The Starting Point
  • Bible Bits
  • Let’s Talk
  • Always Remember
  • Visual Vocabulary
  • Stuff to Do
  • Quick Review

It’s quite easy to make this into a memorable study on God’s Word and the alphabet but taking time each day to go over each points and depending on the age of the child you could even spend a few days on each letter if desired.

At the end there is even more information that the parent can use to either help themselves if they are new to Christianity and the Bible or are teaching a slightly older child who needs more meat than milk to learn from.  The back of the book says children will learn the answers to such questions as: how can we know we didn’t evolve from monkeys?, what did sin do to the world?, why are there different languages?, why did Jesus have to die?, and many, many more that are so important to the Christian faith and walk.  I know I keep saying parents and since I only use this within my home and our home school that’s what I’m used to, however, it can be easily used by private school teachers, Sunday school teachers as well as being used in a home school setting.  If you have a child who needs to keep their hands occupied to stay focused there are also free downloadable coloring sheets to go along with the book.

*If you’d like more information about purchasing please visit the Master Books/New Leaf Publishing site.

**I was provided a copy of this book, free of charge from the Publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was provided.

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Giveaway (now closed)!!!! New Leaf Publishing: ACT and College Preparation Course for the Christian Student


Do you have a high school that is preparing to take the ACT?  If you’re a Christian family and want to prepare your Christian child for the exam then check out the ACT and College Preparation Course for the Christian Student by James P. Stobaugh.  I have not personally seen this book, but I hope to get it soon, however I have heard great things about it and since I also believe in New Leaf Publishing/Master Books endeavor to bring godly, creation based books into our homes I wanted to pass on to you the chance to win an electronic copy of this book.  New Leaf Publishing now offers electronic versions of their books as well as print versions, which works great for those who are running out of shelf space or live where shipping is expensive or just out of the question.

Here is a little about the book from the New Leaf Publishing Group’s website:

Your ACT score is key in determining college scholarships and admissions. Prepare to excel with The ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student, written by James P. Stobaugh, an experienced ACT/SAT grader, graduate of Harvard and Rutgers, as well as Princeton & Gordon Conwell seminaries. With these 50 devotion-based lessons, Stobaugh expects “Christian students should score 4 – 5 points higher on the exam.”

Whether used over the course of a year or in 50 days, high school teens will:

  • Master stress reduction techniques and test-taking skills
  • Complete exercises designed to hone their English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science skills
  • Improve reading skills, vocabulary development, and comprehension
  • Strengthen essay skills for the optional writing portion of the exam
  • Develop and strengthen their faith in God and the authority of His Word

So if you’d like to win your own copy of the e-version of the ACT and College Prep Course book leave me a comment by February 17, 2012 at noon EST telling me that you have liked New Leaf Publishing Group.  That is is just like them and tell me you did, please leave your Facebook name so I can confirm and I will draw one winner that will receive an electronic version of the book.  Adults ages 18 and up, one entry per household, void where prohibited.

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FIRST tour: "Deadly Disclosures" by Julie Cave


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

Julie Cave

and the book:

Deadly Disclosures

New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (February 15, 2010)

***Special thanks to Stacey Drake of New Leaf Press for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Julie first heard a creation science speaker at her church when she was just 15, igniting her interest in creation science and sparking an enthusiasm for defending the Bible’s account of creation. She has obtained a degree in health science, and is currently completing a degree in law. Julie is married with one daughter and lives on the east coast of Australia.

Visit the author’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (February 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515840
ISBN-13: 978-0890515846

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Thomas Whitfield climbed out of the Lincoln Towncar and stood in the snappy, early morning fall air, breathing deeply. The temperature had fallen a few more degrees overnight, signaling that winter was truly on its way.

Thomas glanced up and down the wide street. There was nobody around at this early hour, and he took a moment to drink in the sights of his beloved city. The graceful willows, their branches arching over the street, were turning gold and red and, in the gentle yellow morning light, threw off highlights like burnished copper. This street was like many others in the center of DC — wide and tree-lined, with magnificent government buildings standing one after the other. That was another thing that Thomas found so delicious about this city — so much of it hinted at the enormous wealth and prosperity of the country, and yet only a few streets behind these world-famous landmarks, the seedier side of American poverty flourished. It was a city of contradictions, Thomas thought.

His gaze fell finally to the building right in front of him — the main complex of the Smithsonian Institution. Enormous stone pillars flanked the entryway into a marble lobby, and behind that were laid out the evidence of mankind’s brilliance. Everything about the institution was testament to the scientific and anthropological advances of man over the pages of history — the inventions, the discoveries, the deductions, the sheer radiance of a human being’s intelligence at its finest.

Thomas Whitfield had always been immensely proud of this place, and everything it showcased. He had boasted about it, defended it, nourished it, and protected it, the way a proud father would his prodigious child.

He was the secretary of the Smithsonian, after all, and he felt a strange kind of paternal relationship with the buildings and their contents.

He stood for a moment longer, a slender whippet of a man dressed immaculately, with highly polished shoes gleaming, thinning dark hair cut short, and a gray cashmere scarf to ward off the cold. Then he purposefully strode down the path and into the main building, scarf fluttering behind him.

To the malevolent eyes watching him through high-powered binoculars down the street in a non-descript Chevy, he presented a painfully easy target.

Thomas settled in his large office with the door shut, turned on the computer, and shut his eyes briefly as he contemplated what he would do next. The course of events he had planned for this day would change everything, and the impact would be felt right up to the president himself. Courage, Thomas, he told himself silently. What you are about to do is the right thing to do.

He began to type, slowly and decisively, feeling within himself a great sense of conviction and purpose. He was so lost in concentration that he was startled by the door suddenly swinging open.

“What are . . . ?” he exclaimed, almost jumping off his seat. Then he recognized his visitor and he glanced at his watch.

“What are you doing here?” Thomas asked. “It’s a little early for you, isn’t it?”

“I wanted to be sure I caught you,” his visitor replied, moving closer to the desk. “Without any interruptions.”

“I see. What can I do for you then?” Thomas asked, trying to hide his irritation. He hadn’t wanted to be interrupted during this most important task.

“What are you working on?” the unannounced guest asked, ignoring him and moving around the side of the desk and trying to look at Thomas’s computer screen.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” Thomas answered with a falsely airy tone. “It’s just a family project. Nothing to do with work. Is there something I can help you with?”

Thomas was suddenly aware that his visitor was standing close by him. He felt uncomfortable, and tried to roll his chair away to maintain some space.

“You see,” his visitor said in a quiet voice, “there are people out there who don’t agree with you. They think the project you are working on could be very dangerous. In fact, I believe they have already tried to warn you about continuing with this project.”

Thomas now felt distinctly uncomfortable and a little afraid. He decided to assert his authority. “Listen here,” he said, in a voice that betrayed his anxiety. “What I am working on is none of your business. The subject is certainly not up for discussion with somebody like you. I suggest you leave my office immediately.”

The visitor managed to fuse sorrow and menace into his words as he said, “I’m afraid I can’t do that. You will have to come with me.”

Thomas retorted, “I’m not going anywhere with you. In fact, I. . . .” He broke off abruptly as he saw the small handgun in the visitor’s hand, pointing directly at him. There was no sorrow or pity on his face — only menace.

“Do I need to force you to come with me?” the visitor wondered, his tone like flint.

Thomas leapt to his feet, his eyes darting about wildly. He needed to get out of here, to try to get away from this situation that had so rapidly gotten out of hand. A hand shot out and grabbed Thomas by the collar with surprising strength. Thomas was shocked as he strained to get away from the man, who was intently staring at the computer screen.

“You traitor!” Thomas spat. “I should’ve known you were nothing more than a trained monkey!”

The visitor chuckled heartily. “That’s ironic, Thomas.”

The visitor, much younger and stronger than Thomas, began to drag him out of the room. Thomas was determined not to go down without a fight, and drove his heel backward into the visitor’s shin. There was a yelp of pain, but the unrelenting grip did not lessen around Thomas’s arm. Instead, a thick arm curled around Thomas’s throat and squeezed, applying pressure to the carotid artery. It took only a few seconds for Thomas to fall limply into the arms of his abductor as the blood supply to his brain was cut off.

That was the last anyone saw of the secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.

• • • •

Dinah Harris woke with a scream dying in her throat, the sheets twisted hopelessly around her legs. Her nightgown was damp with panicked sweat, her heart galloping like a runaway horse. She stared, blinking, at the pale dawn light streaming through the window, while the shadowy vestiges of her nightmare slithered from her memory.

As she lay in bed, joining the waking world from sleep, the familiar blanket of depression settled over her, dark and heavy as the Atlantic winter. The dread she felt at facing another day was almost palpable in the small bedroom. Dinah glanced across at her alarm clock, where the flashing numbers showed 6 a.m.

She threw aside the sheets and stumbled into the tiny bathroom, where she purposefully avoided looking at herself in the mirror. She was only in her mid-thirties and had once been relatively attractive. Certainly not beautiful, but with what her first boyfriend had once told her — a pleasant face and athletic body. Now her eyes were always underscored by dark bags, her skin pale and paper-thin, and the weight fell off her in slow degrees without ceasing. She dressed in her trademark dark pants suit, pulled her black hair from her face in a severe ponytail, and washed her face.

She made strong coffee and sat in the kitchen as she drank the bitter liquid. The dining alcove was still stacked with moving cartons, filled with books and music that she couldn’t face opening. The gray light of morning lent no color to the apartment, which suited Dinah just fine. Her world didn’t contain color anymore.

Though traffic often seemed at a standstill in the mornings, Dinah always arrived early to the J. Edgar Hoover building. She turned directly to the teaching wing, avoiding the eye contact and morning greetings of many she knew in the building. She knew what they whispered about during after-work drinks and at the water cooler. Her fall from grace would go down as one of the most spectacular in FBI history.

So she kept up the ice-cool veneer until she arrived at her desk, checking her e-mails and teaching schedule for the week.

She didn’t look up as an imposing shadow fell across her desk.

“Special Agent Harris, how are you?” boomed the voice of her former colleague, David Ferguson. He was a big man, six-four and two hundred pounds, with a loud, booming voice and a penchant for pork rinds. He stood above her, his hand resting easily on the holstered gun at his hip; the twin of a gun Dinah no longer wore but kept underneath her pillow.

“Ferguson,” she replied. “Fine, how are you?”

“Feel like a coffee?” he asked.

“Don’t you have a killer to catch?” Dinah asked, dryly.

He waved his hand dismissively. “Oh, they can wait. Come on.”

He took her to a tiny Italian café a block away from the FBI headquarters. While they ordered, Dinah wondered at his ulterior motive for bringing her here. It certainly isn’t for my sparkling wit and charm, she thought. Rumor had it that the freshman criminology classes were afraid of her.

“So I’m just wondering if I could get your opinion on something,” Ferguson began, tentatively testing the water.

She scowled at him. “You know I don’t get involved in cases.”

He held up his hands in mock surrender. “Okay, calm down, Harris. I just want your opinion. I know you’ve given up your real talents to teach some snotty freshmen.”

His comment stung her, but she narrowed her eyes at him and pretended she hadn’t even noticed. “So get on with it already.”

“I don’t remember you always being this prickly,” complained Ferguson, draining his macchiato. “Anyway. What would you say if I told you the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution had gone missing?”

“Missing?” Dinah raised her eyebrows and slurped her latte. “In what context?”

“As in, turned up for work at six this morning and disappeared off the face of the earth shortly thereafter.”

“How do you know he turned up for work at six?” Dinah asked.

“Security cameras have him arriving in the lobby and heading for his office. After that, who knows?”

“So he’s an adult, maybe he took a trip to get away from work stress or his wife has been giving him grief or his kid is in trouble.” Dinah frowned. “Why are we even involved at this early stage?”

Ferguson paused. “It’s due mostly to his rather prestigious position. It wouldn’t do for the secretary of the Smithsonian to simply disappear. Congress is rather anxious.”

Dinah knew of political influence that ran high in this city but didn’t press the issue. “Is there evidence of homicide?”

“Not really, although I haven’t been to his office yet.” Ferguson made it sound like a confession, and he looked at her sheepishly.

Dinah stared at him. “What do you really want, Ferguson?”

He gathered up his courage. “I need you to work this case with me, Harris.”

Dinah opened her mouth to respond indignantly, but Ferguson held up his hand and continued with a rush. “You know I’m not good with sensitive cases. I. . . .”

“Or complex ones,” interjected Dinah, bad-temperedly.

“I’m operating on a hunch that this is a bad case, that it involves people in the White House.” Ferguson must have needed her very badly to allow her comment to go unheeded.

“Well, I’m sorry, but I have a heavy teaching workload,” she said. “So I’ll have to limit my involvement to opinions only.”

Ferguson didn’t say anything but looked even guiltier.

“What have you done?” Dinah demanded.

“I may have cleared your schedule so you could work with me.” Ferguson examined his fingernails with great concentration.

Dinah waited for a beat. “I see. You’ve spoken to my superiors?”

He nodded. “They’ve agreed to lend you to me for as long as the case takes.”

Dinah stood abruptly. “Thanks for the coffee.” She walked angrily from the café.

Ferguson stared at her as she walked off, then slapped down some crumpled notes and heaved his bulk out of the chair. “Where are you going?” Ferguson asked, struggling to keep up with her.

She wheeled around and glared directly at him. “Who do you think you are? Do you think I’m lesser than you so you can sneak around behind my back?”

“Dinah, we really need you back in the field. You were — are — brilliant.” Ferguson spoke softly, hoping to calm her down.

“My field days are behind me, with very good reason,” snapped Dinah. I can’t see a dead body anymore. I can’t feel desire to catch the person who did it. I just want to lie down beside the body and feel the same endless peace of sleep.

“Please, I’m begging you. I need you back,” Ferguson said. Then it hit her. Dinah realized that this situation was very serious. Ferguson was the last person on the planet to beg anybody.

“I don’t really have a choice, do I?” she said dully. She knew that this case could break her.

Ferguson didn’t reply, and his answer was in his silence.

• • • •

The Smithsonian Institution was bustling with tourists and school kids as if nothing had gone wrong. Dinah and David strode into the main lobby, trying unsuccessfully to look casual. When they flashed their badges discreetly, they were allowed into the inner sanctum, where Thomas Whitfield’s personal assistant was fielding phone calls.

The secretary was young and pretty, with thick, dark hair waving gracefully to her shoulders, startlingly blue eyes, and a creamy olive complexion. Her only downfall was the thick eye makeup, applied to make her eyes stand out but which had the effect of making her look like a scared raccoon. “I’m afraid Mr. Whitfield simply cannot be interrupted at present,” she snapped into the phone. “I’ll have him call you back if you’d leave a message.”

She glanced up and saw the two agents standing at her desk. She gave them a wave to acknowledge their presence, repeated the details of the caller, scribbled furiously, and then hung up.

“Good morning,” she said, jumping to her feet. “If you caught the end of that conversation, you’ll know that Mr. Whitfield is in an extremely important meeting and. . . .”

“Save it,” interrupted Dinah, showing the secretary her badge. The young woman blushed. “We’re here to investigate the disappearance of Mr. Whitfield. What is your name?”

The secretary sat down hard, looking relieved. “I’m Lara Southall. I’m so worried about Mr. Whitfield.”

Ferguson flashed his partner a frown and took charge. “I’m Special Agent David Ferguson and this is Special Agent Dinah Harris. You’ll have to excuse her; she’s been out of the field for some time and has forgotten how to relate to people.”

Dinah opened her mouth to reply with outrage, but Ferguson continued, “Can you tell us about this morning?”

Lara Southall regarded Dinah with a mixture of amusement and fear, which Dinah filed away for future reference. “I got to work at eight o’clock as usual,” she replied. “Mr. Whitfield always arrives before me. I usually turn on my computer, get settled, and then get us both a coffee. When I opened his office door to give him the coffee, the room was empty.” As the girl spoke, she tapped perfectly manicured fingernails together absently. Dinah hated manicured fingernails: they reminded her of her distinctly unattractive, chewed-to-the-quick fingertips.

“Mr. Whitfield was due to give a presentation at eleven o’clock,” Lara continued. “So I didn’t really start worrying until about ten-thirty. He hates to be late, and he had to come back to get his presentation and make it uptown in less than half an hour. At eleven, I started to make some calls.”

“Has he ever been absent from the office before?” Ferguson asked.

“Sure, he often has meetings or goes out into the museum to talk to visitors. The thing is, I always know what he’s doing. That’s part of my job. He never goes anywhere during the day without letting me know.”

“So you started making calls at eleven. Who did you call?” Dinah asked impatiently.

Lara ticked off her fingers as she remembered. “I called his cell phone, and I called the other museums. I thought maybe he’d just forgotten to tell me he had a meeting. Nobody had seen him and his cell just rang out. So I called his home. His wife told me he’d left for work at about five-thirty and she hadn’t seen him since. Then I called some of the senior executives. I thought they might’ve had an emergency. But nobody had seen him.”

“Did the people you called — his wife, the executives — seem concerned about his whereabouts?” Ferguson asked.

“Yes, they did. It’s so unusual for Mr. Whitfield to act this way that everyone I spoke to was concerned. I think his wife is actually here somewhere at the moment.”

“So then you called the police?” Dinah said.

“No, one of the directors came over to look at the security tapes. She specifically told me not to call anyone until she’d viewed the footage. I thought that Mr. Whitfield might’ve had an accident on the way to work. Mrs. Whitfield was calling the hospitals when Ms. Biscelli — the director — came back from security.”

“What did the tapes show?” Dinah asked.

“They showed him arriving at six-thirty or so. That’s all I know.”

“Did any of the tapes show him leaving?”

“Not as far as I know.”

“Right. So what then?”

“I called the police.”

Ferguson nodded. “What did they tell you?”

“Basically they won’t do anything until he’s been missing 24 hours.” Lara stopped clicking her nails together and started twisting her hair with one finger. “So I told Ms. Biscelli, and she wasn’t happy with that. I think she must’ve pulled some strings, because here you are.”

Dinah and Ferguson both raised their eyebrows at her in confusion.

“The FBI,” explained Lara. “You guys wouldn’t normally get involved, would you?” She may have been a very pretty secretary, but Lara Southall was an intelligent girl. She’d asked the very question Dinah had been mulling over all morning.

“We’re going to look in his office,” Ferguson said, ignoring the question. He handed her his card. “Please call me if you think of anything else that might be helpful.”

She nodded and picked up the ringing phone. “No,” she said, sounding very weary. “Mr. Whitfield is in a meeting at the moment and can’t be disturbed.”

• • • •

Ferguson opened the door to the office while Dinah waited to get the log-on details for Thomas Whitfield’s computer. Dinah stood in the doorway, looking into the impressive room, and felt the thrill of the chase wash over her like a wave. It had been a long time since she had felt anything.

The office was furnished with heavy cedar furniture that consisted of a large desk, a leather-bound chair, a couch, and two armchairs grouped around a glass-topped coffee table and one entire wall of built-in bookcases. The floor was covered with thick burgundy carpet, and the drapes at the picture window were also burgundy. The walls contained portraits of several great scientists and inventors — Dinah recognized Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers — as well as photos of the secretary with the president, the queen of England, and other dignitaries. The room itself was clean and uncluttered, likely symbolic of the man himself, Dinah thought.

Ferguson was moving around the room, muttering to himself, as was his habit. Dinah had forgotten how intensely annoying she found this habit. She preferred silence so that she could concentrate.

Having received the log-on details from Lara, Dinah strode to the desk and pulled on her latex gloves. The top of the desk was shiny and would be a great medium to obtain fingerprints. She was careful not to allow herself to touch the desktop while she turned on the laptop.

“By the way, Harris,” Ferguson said from the wall of bookcases, “I forgot to mention that if something has happened to Mr. Whitfield, the media scrutiny is likely to be intense.”

Dinah scowled at the screen of the laptop. She hated the media, and it was a long-term grudge she held from the last case she’d been involved in. “You can handle it,” she said. “I want nothing to do with those vultures.”

Ferguson glanced over at her. “Of course I’ll handle it. But I can’t guarantee that they’ll leave you alone.”

Dinah tapped her foot against the leg of the desk impatiently as the laptop struggled to come to life. “Sticks and stones, Ferguson,” she said tightly. “Words can never hurt me.”

She could see that Ferguson didn’t buy the lie, but he’d decided to let it go. He at least knew not to push too far.

“This whole office is giving me a weird vibe,” he said after a moment. “It’s too . . . organized.”

Dinah logged onto the laptop. “I’m listening.”

“Look at the desk,” Ferguson mused. “No files or paperwork. Not even a pen or a Post-It note. No diary.”

“Maybe he’s just really neat,” Dinah said, opening Outlook on the laptop.

Ferguson went back to his muttering as he continued drifting around the room. Dinah frowned as she clicked through the folders in Outlook. Then she opened the other programs on the computer and looked through the folders there.

“That’s odd,” she commented at last. Ferguson looked up and came over to her.

She clicked through the inbox, sent items, and calendar of the e-mail program. There were no entries in any of them. “They’re completely clean,” she said. “The calendar is the strangest. You’d think the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution would have at least a couple of meetings a week.”

“Maybe he uses a paper diary,” suggested Ferguson.

“Certainly a possibility,” agreed Dinah. “But couple the empty calendar with the fact that he’s neither received nor sent an e-mail from this computer and something isn’t right.”

Ferguson opened the desk drawers and started looking through them.

“Also,” added Dinah, “there is not one single saved document in any other program — no letters, articles, presentations, anything. The entire computer is as if it’s never been used.”

Ferguson sat back on his heels. “You think someone has wiped his computer?”

“Well, the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question is: did Thomas Whitfield wipe his own computer before disappearing or did someone else wipe his computer before abducting him?” Dinah began to shut down the programs. “After all, there is no evidence to suggest that he has been abducted. There’s no sign of a struggle in here or blood stains, is there?”

Ferguson shook his head. “No, there isn’t. But there is something off about this office. Nobody, least of all a man in his position, can get through a working day without sending an e-mail or doing paperwork of some kind.” He gestured at the desk drawers. “There’s absolutely nothing in them.”

“I agree,” Dinah said. She closed the laptop and picked it up. “I’m going to have the lab look at the hard drive. What else?”

“I’ll call in crime scene to lift some fingerprints and check for blood.” Ferguson paused, thinking. “I’d like to talk to Ms. Biscelli, and I’d like to talk to his wife.”

Dinah nodded. “If Mr. Whitfield has been abducted, what do you suppose is the motive?”

Ferguson considered. “I don’t know. Money? Fame? Half the time I think these loonies go around killing people just so they can get their name in the news.”

Dinah stared at him. “Do you think Thomas Whitfield is dead?”

He shrugged. “Right now, Harris, I know nine-tenths of absolutely nothing. Let’s talk to Ms. Biscelli. Maybe she’ll know what happened and we can solve this case before dinner time and I’ll get a decent night’s sleep.”

Flippancy, Dinah remembered, was just Ferguson’s way of dealing with the intensity of this job and the horror they’d witnessed over the years.

My Opinion:

WOW! I could not put this book down, I read through it in almost 1 day – I did have to put it down but believe I didn’t want to! Full of Biblical (and scientific) statistics for a Biblical account of Creation (AKA Young Earth Creationism), this book makes a fascinating read for Christians who alreday believe in YEC or for those who are skeptical. While the factual information is put into a fictional book the information is nonetheless true and well researched I might add. Julie Cave has a wonderful book in Deadly Disclosures and I find myself looking forward to the fall of 2010 so that I can read the next book.

With well developed characters and plot this book makes for a fascinating read. Intrigue and suspicion abound but so does faith in God and a leaning on Him – the read will find this especially true with Dinah Harris as she struggles with her inner demons before allowing God to take control of her life. I have found Master Books (who has published Julie’s book) only puts out the finest in Christian literature and this book is no different – it will definitely be a book you’ll want to put on your list for this year!

Yes, there are murders – unfortunately we live in a fallen world and those who live in darkness and evil will set out to destroy those who promote the Truth and Light of the Lord and this at times, will include murder. If you want to stay away from things like this then don’t read this book but if knowing that in the end, Truth wins, then pick up this book and get reading (you may want to wait closer to fall so you don’t have to wait as long!) – I don’t think you’ll regret it.

**See my full disclosure policy at the top of my blog page.

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FIRST: "Matter: Its Properties and Its Changes" by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card authors are:

Tom DeRosa
and
Carolyn Reeves

and the book set of
Matter: Its Properties & Its Changes

The Main Book

The Student Journal

and The Teacher’s Guide

New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORs:

Tom DeRosa left seminary and the church thinking he was throwing away his faith, but in reality he found a new religion: evolution. In 1978, Tom accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. Soon after he studied biblical creation at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and came to the conclusion that a lack of knowledge of the biblical account of creation is greatly responsible for keeping many people from Christ. His commitment to breaking down those barriers is what led Tom to form Creation Studies Institute in 1988.

Carolyn Reeves, Ph.D. and her husband make their home in Oxford, Mississippi where they are active members of North Oxford Baptist Church. Carolyn retired after a 30-year career as a science teacher, finished a doctoral degree in science education, and began a new venture as a writer and an educational consultant.

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

http://books.google.com/books?id=N7Eycdagbe4C&lpg=PP1&dq=Matter%3A%20Its%20Properties%20%26%20Its%20Changes%20by%20Tom%20DeRosa%20and%20Carolyn%20Reeves&pg=PP1&output=embed

The Main Book Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Perfect Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515603
ISBN-13: 978-0890515600

The Student Journal Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 089051559X
ISBN-13: 978-0890515594
Product Dimensions: 10.6 x

The Teacher’s Guide Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books; Tch edition (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515611
ISBN-13: 978-0890515617

Matter

Its Properties & Its Changes

By Tom DeRosa & Carolyn Reeves

Investigation #1: The Physical Side of Chemicals

Think about this. A detective collected samples of food from the table where a victim was eating when he collapsed. The detective sent them to a crime lab. A few days later, the lab called to say they had positively identified a poison in the victim’s food that was not in anyone else’s food. Have you ever wondered how someone in the crime lab could figure out what chemicals are present in food or in someone’s blood or in something else?

The Investigative Problems:

How can the physical properties of a chemical substance be used to help identify the substance?

Gather These Things:

Magnet
Iron nail
Sugar cube
Copper penny
Container of water
A piece of paraffin
Small amount of vegetable oil

Procedure & Observations

Your teacher will show you ten items. Your job is to identify one of the items on the basis of its physical properties. You should eliminate any item that doesn’t match the descriptions. These are the physical properties of the item: It is round. It is flat. You would not want to eat it. It would be hard to break. It is shiny. What is the item that has all of these properties?

Your teacher will give you some more substances to investigate, but each of these will be a pure chemical substance. They will be either an element or a compound.

Bring a magnet near each substance and observe if the magnet has an effect on it. Place each substance in a container of water and observe if it floats or sinks. Note if it is soluble (will dissolve) or insoluble (will not dissolve) in the water. Note also the color and whether it is shiny or dull. Put this information in a data table.

(sample of date table)

The Science Stuff

Physical properties are often characteristics you can see, hear, taste, smell, or feel, but may include any physical characteristics of a substance. You used some simple physical characteristics to identify one of the ten items you were first shown.

Some of the items you were shown were pure substances (like the glass), and some were a mixture of many substances (like the apple). A pure chemical substance could be either an element or a compound. (We’ll learn more about elements and compounds later.) A fragment of a pure substance would have the same properties as the whole substance. All of the basic particles in a pure substance are the same. For example, a piece of pure iron only contains particles of iron and a container of pure water only contains particles of water.

Properties such as size and shape were helpful in identifying the first items, but they are seldom considered in identifying pure chemical substances. The properties of the five pure substances listed in the chart will be present regardless of the size, shape, or amount of the substance. Scientists look for characteristics that will remain the same no matter where the chemical is found. Almost any substance can be made into a round shape, so this would not be helpful in knowing what chemical is present.

We examined physical properties of several pure substances, including the effects of a magnet, whether the substance would float or sink in water, whether the substance was soluble or insoluble in water, its color, and its shininess. There are many other properties we could have considered, such as odor, taste, density, hardness, brittleness, elasticity, melting and boiling temperatures, solubility in other liquids, conductivity of heat and electricity, and viscosity.

Making Connections

There is a huge need for methods, instruments, and trained people to identify chemical substances that are present in things. Identifying unknown chemicals is part of the study of analytical chemistry. This includes what chemical are present, their characteristics, and how much is present. There are many crime labs that hire people to help solve crimes by identifying things such as drugs, alcohol, poisons, or traces of gunpowder. Medical labs test blood and urine for the presence of many kinds of substances. Other labs help identify pollutants in the air, water, and environment. Industries must consistently monitor their products for impurities. These are only a few of the places where chemicals are analyzed.

One of the most important things any society can do is to maintain a clean source of water. During the Industrial Revolution, many factories were built next to a river so they could dump their wastes into the river. Congress eventually passed a number of laws to try and keep our water sources free of pollution. Even today, environmentalists look for better ways to prevent pesticides and other harmful chemicals from being washed into rivers and lakes after a rain.

Dig Deeper

Labs generally use both traditional methods and a variety of instruments to identify chemical substances. An instrument known as a spectroscope is often used to help analyze the chemicals in something. Do some reading about spectroscopes to find out how they work and what uses thy have.

Crime labs hire forensic scientists. What do forensic scientists do? Is there more than one kind of forensic scientist? If so, what are the different areas in which they work?

What are some of the U.S. laws that try to prevent water pollution? Do all countries have similar laws? Try to find the name of one charity whose mission is to provide clean water to people who don’t have clean water to drink.

What Did You Learn?

What are physical properties of chemical substances?
When scientists want to know what chemical substances are in an item, they seldom consider the size, shape, and amount of the item. Why is that?
Give ten examples of physical properties used by scientists to describe a chemical substance.
What is a pure chemical substance?
What are some of the things students learn about in analytical chemistry?
What are some of the main things that are don in medical labs?
How might an environmental agency use a lap that analyzes chemical substances?
Are the physical properties of pure iron the same anywhere pure iron is found?

My Opinion:

This is just like the other set I posted on earlier, how great is it that there is a whole set of this great curriculum. This set too comes with the main book, student journal and the teacher’s guide. The main text for this is also colorfully illustrated and has 20 investigations from oil and water don’t mix to the race to evaporate. Scattered throughout and where relevant are also other readings that will lend more knowledge to the student’s learning experience. Again while some of the items needed may be found around the house some may need to purchased or ordered.

The student journal and teacher’s guide again compliment the main text and each other. The student journal for this set is also consumable but the price is lower ($4.99) than what you’d expect to pay for something of this quality. Both are in black and white, which I think is great since there is so much color in the main book. Again the teacher’s guide has miniature versions of the main book with objectives and hints to teaching as well as answers to some of the questions.

Compared to other curriculums this one is inexpensively priced but well worth it’s weight in gold. The learning and knowledge the student gains is extensive as well as hands on. Hands-on science provides a richer learning experience and also provides a higher retention rate than just being lectured at or being told to read this and this page. I highly recommend this set of science curriculum to my fellow homeschooling parents who want a God centered curriculum without all the cost as well as controlling how they pace the lessons.

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FIRST: "Forces and Motion From High-speed Jets to Wind-up Toys" by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card authors are:

Tom DeRosa
and
Carolyn Reeves

and the book set of
Forces & Motion: From High-speed Jets to Wind-up Toys

The Main Book

The Student Journal

and The Teacher’s Guide

New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (January 16, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORs:

Tom DeRosa left seminary and the church thinking he was throwing away his faith, but in reality he found a new religion: evolution. In 1978, Tom accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. Soon after he studied biblical creation at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and came to the conclusion that a lack of knowledge of the biblical account of creation is greatly responsible for keeping many people from Christ. His commitment to breaking down those barriers is what led Tom to form Creation Studies Institute in 1988.

Carolyn Reeves, Ph.D. and her husband make their home in Oxford, Mississippi where they are active members of North Oxford Baptist Church. Carolyn retired after a 30-year career as a science teacher, finished a doctoral degree in science education, and began a new venture as a writer and an educational consultant.

Product Details for the main book:

List Price: $ 12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (January 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515395
ISBN-13: 978-0890515396

Product Details for the student journal:

List Price: $ 4.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group; Student edition (January 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515409
ISBN-13: 978-0890515402

Product Details for the teacher’s guide:

List Price: $ 4.99
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group; Tch edition (January 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515417
ISBN-13: 978-0890515419

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Forces & Motion

From High-speed Jets to Wind-up Toys

By Tom DeRosa & Carolyn Reeves

Investigation #1: Wind-up Walking Toys, Speed, Time, and Distance

Think about this. Many people still consider “Bullet” Bob Hayes to be the world’s fastest runner. In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, he was part of a 4 X 100 relay race. He was already running when he took the baton. He completed his 100 meters of the relay in 8.6 seconds. He also ran the 100-meter dash in 10.05 seconds. In this race, he started from a still position. Four years later at the Mexico City Olympics, James Hines ran an official time in the 100-meter dash that was less than 10.0 seconds for the first time ever. His record stood for several more years, but Bullet Bob’s relay race time will be a hard record to break.

These very fast runners were moving an average of about ten meters every second. Use a meter stick to mark off ten meters and make a prediction of how many meters you think you could run each second. Would you like to be able to figure out how many meters you can run in one second?

We can calculate the speed of a moving object by testing wind-up toys. How far a wind-up toy moves can be measured with a ruler. How long it takes the toy to move a certain distance can be measured with a watch. These two numbers can be used to calculate its speed.

The Investigative Problems:

How can we determine the speed and motion of a wind-up talking toy?
How can this be shown on a graph?

Gather These Things:

Walking toy
Chart
Pencil
Clock with second hand
Toothpicks
Metric ruler (with each cm divided into tenths)

Procedure & Observations

For these measurements, you will need a metric ruler where each centimeter is divided into tenths. Look carefully at the markings on the ruler. Notice there is a long line by each number. There are shorter lines following each number. The short lines are written as decimal numbers. Measure the line to the right by putting the zero mark of the ruler at the beginning of the line. The correct answer is found by writing the last whole number, a decimal, and the number of short marks following the number. The abbreviation “cm” is written after these numbers. Did you get 15.3 cm for your answer? Work with a partner. Each of you should draw two or three more lines. Measure each other’s lines. Check each other’s answers.
Lay the ruler out in front of you. Wind up the walking toy next to the ruler and measure how far it walks in ten seconds. Record. Calculate its average speed by dividing the total distance it walked in centimeters by ten seconds. Write your number answer followed by cm/s. This is read “centimeters per second.”
Measure how long it takes for the wind-up toy to walk one meter. Record. If it doesn’t make it that far, record how far it walked and the time it walked. Calculate its average speed by dividing the distance it walked by the time. The speed will be in m/s (meters per second) if it walks as far as a meter. If you measure the distance in cm, your answer will be in cm/s.
Go back to the starting point. Wind up the toy again. This time lay down a toothpick next to the ruler every time the instructor calls out a five-second interval. Record for 30 seconds. Measure the distances between toothpicks and record in the chart below.
Graph the results of distance versus time. Your teacher will show you how to put this information in the graph. Does your graph make a straight line or a curved line? Try to think of a reason for this.
Did your walking toy start out fast and then get slower until it stopped, or did it keep walking at the same speed all the way?
Race your walking toy with someone else’s. Which one was the fastest?

The Science Stuff

The motion of an object can be described by changes in its position, by its direction, and by its speed. Speed can be calculated by measuring the distance an object moves and the time it takes to move that distance. Divide the distance by the time to get the speed.

The distance traveled equals the object’s speed multiplied by the time traveled. The same units of time must be used. For example, if a toy travels 50 cm/minute and it travels fro a total of two minutes, it has traveled a total of 100 cm. The calculations would be 50 cm/min X 2 min = 100 cm. Minutes would cancel out, leaving cm as part of your answer.

Different aspects of motion can be shown on a graph. If the speed of the walking toy stayed the same, the graph line will be straight, but if your walking toy slowed down, the graph line will be a curve. Remember, the source of energy for walking toys is a wind-up spring. A tight spring may provide more energy than a loose spring.

Scientific measurements are taking in metric units. The correct abbreviation for centimeter is cm; for meter, it is m. the correct abbreviation for centimeters per second is

Cm/s; for meters per second, m/s.

1 centimeter (cm) = 1/100 meter
1 meter (m) = 100 centimeters
1 kilometer (km) = 1000 meters

Dig Deeper

See if you can use the Internet or some reference books to find the runners who have run at official speeds of ten meters per second or greater. (There won’t be many.)

Do additional research to find some more world records for swimming, skating, bicycling, or other sports.

Use the Internet or some reference books to find the top speeds of several animals. Did you find any that you could outrun? What is the difference in how humans run and how certain animals run.

(If you choose one of these projects, use a creative way to display your findings.)

Making Connections

Sometimes a highway patrol officer will stop a car for speeding, and the driver will insist that the car was traveling within the speed limit. Is it possible that the car’s speedometer is not accurate? Mile markers along the highway and a watch can tell if your car’s speedometer is accurate. To do that, have the driver hold the car’s speed at 60 miles/hour. Start timing with a watch that has a second hand as the car reaches a mile marker. Stop timing as the car reaches the next mile marker. The speedometer is accurate if the car travels one mile in 60 seconds. One mile/minute is the same as 60 miles/hour. You can also calculate the speed of your car by dividing the distance of one mile by the time it takes the car to travel from one mile marker to another.

Suppose you are traveling in a car wit the cruise control set at 65 miles per hour and your driver drives for two hours without stopping. Multiply the speed by two hours to see how many miles you have traveled in two hours, as: 65 mi/hr X 2 hr = 130 miles.

What Did You Learn?

What two things do you need to know in order to calculate speed?
What is the formula for calculating speed?
How would a line graph of the speed of a runner look when the runner goes slower and slower? Or faster and faster? Or maintains the same speed?
What are three ways in which motion can be described?
If you are riding in a car that is traveling at 60 miles per hour and you travel for three hours, how far have you traveled?
Suppose an object is traveling at a supersonic speed of 800 m/s. Write this speed using all words and no symbols.
Calculate the speed of an animal that ran 50 meters in 10 seconds. Write the number answer with the correct unit symbols.
What is the source of energy for the walking toys you used for this activity?

My Opinion:

As you can see from above this series has three books in it which consists of the teacher’s guide, student journal and the main book. The main book consists of 88 pages chock full of information and colorful illustrations bringing attention to the main details of what is being discussed in that lesson. There are 20 investigations (or experiments)from investigating friction to ramps. There will be items you have gather and not all them will be things you’ll have around the house – so some things will have to be purchased.

The student journal is a black and white book that has 43 pages plus an extra 4 which are for additional notes. The journal corresponds to the main book and the investigations in it with space for the student to write his or her findings. A student that writes larger may need more room or it would be good practice to begin writing smaller. With spaces for part A and part B questions, digging deeper, what did you learn and also stumper’s corner (these are all detailed in the main book) it makes a great place for the students to record their work. The journal is consumable which means if you have multiple student you’ll need extra copies but they can each look at the main book and share.

The teacher’s guide is also black and white and includes 47 pages, each with a smaller view of the main book’s text. It lists the objectives of the investigation, notes about what the student needs to do as well as the answers to the what did you learn questions. While it may not be a necessity for the teacher/parent who has a background in science or an interest in it the book will definitely come in handy for those who need a bit more explanation in teaching about Forces and Motion.

Overall, this is a great, low cost curriculum for a family who wants a God centered Biblically based science lessons. It’s great because the teacher can set the pace to however long they want a lesson a week or take 2 weeks for a lesson – you get to determine how you’ll work this curriculum into your lesson plans.

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FIRST: "Dinosaur For Kids" by Ken Ham


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

Ken Ham

and the book:

Dinosaurs for Kids

Master Books (October 15, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Press for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ken Ham is the founder and executive director of Answers in Genesis in the USA and one of the most sought-after Christian speakers in North America. He is the author or co-author of many books and is heard daily on the radio program, “Answers…with Ken Ham,” on more than 300 stations worldwide. Ken is also featured in various videos including the series, “Answers in Genesis with Dr. Gary Parker,” and the 12-part series of 28-minute videos, “Answers…with Ken Ham.” Ken’s teaching is clear, true to the Bible, engaging, and challenging. Many have found salvation and others have been encouraged and equipped to reach others with the gospel through Ken’s ministry.

Visit the author’s website.

Product Details:

Price: $14.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Master Books (October 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515557
ISBN-13: 978-0890515556

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Dinosaurs for Kids

by

Ken Ham, illustrated by Bill Looney

Dinosaurs can provide a great way to learn about history. You may already be familiar with some of these dinosaurs. These drawings show you what we think they may have looked like. Now, we don’t know for sure, of course, as we usually only find their bones as fossils (and most times, only a few of their bones). Artists use what bones have been found, knowledge about living animals, and some imagination to come up with drawings like these. See if you can pronounce these dinosaur names:

Dilophosaurus (die-LOF-o-SWAR-us), meaning “two-crested lizard.”
Styracosaurus (sty-RAK-o-SAWR-us), meaning “spiked lizard.”
Triceratops (tri-SER-a-tops), meaning “three-horned face.”
Megalosaurus (MEG-a-lo-SAWR-us), meaning “big lizard.”
Iguanodon (i-GWAHN-o-don), meaning “iguana tooth.”
Ceratosaurus (ser-ah-toe-SAWR-us), meaning “horned lizard.”
Deinonychus (die-NON-i-kus), meaning “terrible claws.”
Velociraptor (vee-LOHS-i-RAP-tor), meaning “swift robber.”
Ultrasaurus (UHL-tra-SAWR-us), was so nicknamed because of its enormous size.
Seismosaurus (SEIS-mo-SAWR-us), meaning “earthquake lizard.”

Did you know there are hundreds of dinosaur names? However, there were not hundreds of types of dinosaurs. There were a number of similar ones that should be grouped into categories known by what the Bible describes as “kinds.” Does that sound a little confusing? Well, this book will help to explain this and a lot of other things about dinosaurs you may not know.

(Pictures with names):

Dilophosaurus
Styracosaurus
Triceratops
Iguanodon
Ceratosaurus
Velociraptor
Ultrasaurus
Seismosaurus

Before we begin, I don’t want you to miss out on knowing what my very favorite dinosaur is! In fact, I think he deserves this whole page to himself! It is the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex (ti-RAN-oh-SAWR-us-rex), meaning “tyrant lizard king.” I’ll let you in on a secret – I love T-rex because I like his teeth! I use teeth to teach kids and parents some very interesting things about dinosaurs – things that you may not have heard or really understood before. But it is very important to understand the truth about dinosaurs!

FOUR FAST FACTS

T-rex fossils are found in Canada and the western United States.
The first documented T-rex fossil was discovered in 1902 by Barnum Brown.
Scientists think T-rex skeletons were made up of close to 200 bones.
T-rex had around 60 teeth, which ranged in size based on their placement in the jaw of the skull.

With a strong tail extended for balance, an adult T-rex could be a little over 40 feet in length, 12-13 feet tall at the hips, and weigh between 5 and 7 tons. T-rex’s jagged teeth could be up to 9 inches long, and like sharks, the T-rex was able to replace teeth when one was lost.

What’s in a name? Remember that the T-rex name means “tyrant lizard king.” But secular scientists are still wondering whether T-rexes were active hunters or clever scavengers, or a combination of both. However, creation scientists are able to explain the evidence in a different way using the biblical account of history, as we will soon learn.

FOUR FAST FACTS

The word “fossil” is from the Latin word meaning “dug up.” Scientists often make assumptions about dinosaurs based on a few fossilized bones, bone fragments, or other fossil remains, impressions, etc.
Only a few thousand dinosaur skeletons have been discovered.
The vast majority of fossils discovered are marine invertebrates (creatures that don’t have backbones like clams).

I’m sure you have lots of questions about dinosaurs. I believe I can answer many of those questions for you because dinosaurs are not a mystery at all. I know someone who was there when dinosaurs came into existence, and was also there when they seemed to disappear from the earth. In fact, this “someone” has written a book for us that gives a detailed account of the history of the universe. He tells us when the earth began, as well as when all the living creatures and the first humans appeared.

Now, you may be asking “Who is this someone you say was there to see the dinosaurs?” He is the Creator of all things. He knows everything because He is all powerful and has always been around. And this Creator had a book written for us to give us the details of how time began, and how the universe and all life came into existence. This book also tells us who we are, where we came from, and why we exist. It also gives us information on what is going to happen in the future! There is no other book like this on earth. It is unique, and it is called…the Bible.

When you understand the Bible, you will understand more about dinosaurs. The Bible helps us to answer questions about dinosaurs and about the world around us today.

Bigger. Among the most widely known type of dinosaurs, the sauropods (“lizard foot”) are some of the largest creatures to ever walk the earth. Many of these dinosaurs are known by only a few pieces of bone fragments, and debate continues on just which dinosaur was the largest ever. As discoveries continue, more will be known about these massive giants. Sauroposeidon (“earthquake god lizard”) was considered the largest dinosaur ever to live, until the discovery of Argentinosaurus (“silver lizard”). Though only a few bones of each creature have been found, many scientists estimate that Argentinosaurus was larger, though Sauroposeidon may have been taller.

Smaller. Compsognathus (“elegant jaw”) is among the smallest dinosaurs discovered. A little bigger than a chicken, this dinosaur weighed around 6 pounds. Some scientists have found smaller creatures, like Microraptors, which they try to use to prove dinosaurs were the evolutionary ancestor of birds – real science and the Bible disprove this idea. Archaeopteryx (“ancient wing”) is another example of a creature once thought to prove this link, but that idea has now been proven false.

Did you know that the Bible is really a collection of books written by people specially inspired by God, the Creator, to write down exactly what God wanted us to know? The Bible tells us more about who God is and why we can always trust Him to tell us the truth:

The God of the Bible is the true God: “But the LORD [is] the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King…” (Jeremiah 10:10).
The God of the Bible is infinite – He is all knowing, all powerful: “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5).
The God of the Bible lives forever – He lives in eternity – He had no beginning and has no end: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever…” (1 Timothy 1:17).
The God of the Bible is the only true God – other gods people claim to have are false gods: “Therefore You are great, O LORD GOD. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides…” (2 Samuel 7:22).
The God of the Bible is all wise and all knowing: “…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3).
Wow! What an awesome God.

The Only One.

Only God is a witness to the entire history of the world, including the history of dinosaurs. During the creation week, God created dinosaurs and flying reptiles. Pterosaur (“winged lizard”) like this one, could have wing spans of 30 feet. Stegosaurus (“roof lizard”) is easy to recognize with two rows of large plates running along its arched back, and its multi-spiked tail. Corythosaurus (“helmet lizard”) is a great example of dinosaurs with bony crests on their heads. Scientists think these crests were used in making sounds.

Does any human being (including any scientist) know everything? Has any human being always existed? The answer to both questions is, of course, NO. However, who is the only one who knows everything? Who is the only one who has always been there? The answer to both of these questions is, “the Creator God of the Bible.”

True History!

I call the Bible “The History Book of the Universe.” This is because it is a book that tells us how time and the universe began. And in the very first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, we are given a detailed account of not only how God created everything to begin with, but also major events of history that happened after creation.

You might be saying, “Wait a minute, haven’t scientists already found out lots of things about dinosaurs – that they lived millions of years before people and that they lived during the dinosaur age 200 million to 65 million years ago, and then they became extinct?”

Well, not all scientists say that! And though the majority of people today might believe that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, the majority are wrong on this. And more and more people are now finding out the truth because they listen to and understand God’s Word!

My Opinion:

Another brilliant book by Ken Ham! With three children who are fascinated with dinosaurs, it’s often hard to find books written from a Creationist standpoint and Biblical worldview, which leaves our family floundering when learing about dinosaurs. In “Dinosaur for Kids” the book is written from the thousand year outlook instead of millions and billions – a great resource for those who want to teach their children the truth.

Even the youngest dinosaur enthusiast will love to look at this colorfully and fully detailed book, with help in pronouncing and the meaning of each dinosaur’s name to understanding the “four F’s of dinosaur history” there is something for every age level. I say this because I have an almost 8 year old, 5 year and a 3 year, boy and girls, who enjoy looking at this book. The almost 8 year old helps the other two learn and I am able to answer their questions because of the straight forward facts that Ken Ham includes in this book.

Wether you are a homeschooling parent, pastor, grandparent or someone who wants to make sure that children learn the truth and bust the myth of millions of years – this book is for you! The hardcover will make it a long lasting treasure that any child would enjoy to have on their bookshelves. I highly suggest “Dinosaur for Kids” by Ken Ham is a definite must have for anyone who enjoys dinosaurs, Creationism, Biblical worldviews or just learning more about how God created our world.

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