Fair Resource Page
City of Palo
Alto Library collection and reference librarians :
Online catalog : http://libweb.city.palo-alto.ca.us/
JLS Library and Librarians :
Online Catalog : http://www.jls.palo-alto.ca.us/jlslibrary/catalogs.html
Linden Tree Bookstore : A children's
bookstore staffed by ex-teachers. Good science sections. 170
State Street, Los Altos
Kepler's Bookstore : One of last independent
bookstores : 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo
Park, CA 94025
(650) 324-4321 http://www.keplers.com/
- Where do I find information about regional science fairs ?
- A listing of regional fairs :
- Some National fairs listings :
- Some other activities, fairs, and
competitions of interest :
- Visit a science themed museum. All of these offer
classes, camps, activities, gift stores and rotating exhibits :
Videos, Films for the Family
- Watch these Videos, Television programs, and Movies with
the whole family. Many of these are broadcast weekly and cover
different topics every week :
- PBS Nova Series : http://www.pbs.org/nova (old episodes
can be found at Los Altos
library, Palo Alto Library and can also be ordered online. Check
out the great web site with a per episode guide)
- Real Science : Careers in Science,
produced by kids and local PBS station KTEH : http://www.realscience.org
- Rough Science : Gather some
clever scientists on a remote island, give them a bunch of challenges and
watch the fun. Science challenge : http://www.pbs.org/roughscience
- Scientific American Frontiers : Covers
the annual robotics bakeoff at MIT. http://www.pbs.org/saf
- Bullfrog Films : A catalog of
science/ecology films : http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/index.html
- October Sky : Based on the book
"Rocket Boys" by Homer Hickam Jr. Rated PG http://www.homerhickam.com/osky.htm
- Apollo 13 : Based on the real
life events of the Apollo missions. Rated PG
- The Dish : A Delicious
little comedy about Australia's
role in the lunar mission. Rated PG-13 (for strong language)
- The Day the Universe Changed & Connections :
Television series based on books by James Burke. A wonderful ramble
through the messy nature of science, progress, invention and
serendipity. Terrific education and entertainment for kids and
adults. If you have a notion of scientific advances as being
pristine, laboratory bound and developed for the purest intentions, you
have some surprises in store.
- American Experience on PBS : American
Experience has done some terrific programs on scientists and inventors
such as Edison, the mathematician John Nash
- Ken Burn's American Stories : Empire of the
Air tells the story of radio. A nice telling of how science and
commerce come together to change the way we live.
- Triumph of the Nerds : A PBS series on
the history of the computer - Lively and entertaining with vignettes
starring some people you might bump into while you're downtown.
- Decoding Nazi Secrets : A PBS Nova
special on how the Allies cracked the secret codes of the Nazis.
- One of the best things families can do is to read
together. As children grow older, they still enjoy the spoken word
and being read to. Here are some books that are best read by parents
to children (with appropriate edits).
- Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman by
Richard P. Feynman
: A great romp through the life of a scientist. The
mischief and joy of playing at science spill over on most pages.
Watch for a few passages here and there that are PG-13.
- Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam
A hard but terrific tale of a boy persevering against the odds to play
with science. Homer went on to work at NASA and now a writer.
Some joyful moments mixed with some hard truths about growing up in a
different place and time. The book was made into a movie called
- Uncle Tungsten : Memories of a
Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks : Entertaining but with many digressions
into the history of chemical pioneers. Might inspire some
interesting experiments at home. Other books by Sacks include
"The man who mistook his wife for a hat".
- Around the World in 20 Days by
and Brian Jones
: A great adventure story of the first team to fly around
the world in a hot air balloon. Written as an alternating narrative
between the pilots, its
a grand story of how ambition, science, luck and politics come together
in this quest to go around the world. Even though you know the
hard to resist tearing through it. You'll never see a weather
report the same way again!
- A Natural History of the Senses by
: A classic that many kids will enjoy with their parents.
- Longitude by Dava Sobel : The book could
have been better but its still a very accessible story of the challenge
to solve the problem of determining longitude on the seas to aid sailors
and the determination of one man untutored in science to find the
- In Code by Sarah Flannery : A marvelous
book by the winner of the Intel Science Fair and her journey through
mathematics and cryptography. Many wonderful problems to twist your
- The Code Book by Simon Singh : If
you're interested in cryptography, codes and codebreaking, this is a
must read that takes you from simple ciphers and codes to Public Key
Cryptography - the reason why you can shop online with Amazon without
being too paranoid about that charge card number.
- Many intriguing pieces of software are available that have
a hefty bit of science behind them or that need some scientific skills to
play well. Here are a few :
- Mathematica : If you think your calculator is
cool, wait till you check this out : http://www.mathematica.com
- Land of the Zoombinis : Middle schoolers
may outgrow some of the themes, but the challenges are still interesting.
- The Incredible Machine : The most fun
you'll have designing Rube Goldberg contraptions.
- How things work : The Classic guide
to understanding how things are put together.
- From your water quality to your car's smog test, science
has an impact on the policies adopted by our government and on how we live
and interact with the environment around us. Here are some
interesting links to science and the public interest :
- Here are some places to go stock up on science gifts for birthdays,
science supplies for your projects.