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Reading List: Brilliant Blunders

Starting your summer break reading list? A new release from Mario Livio highlights notable "missteps" from well-known scientists.

Today in TIME Science & Space: "Science's Brilliant Blunders: How Oops Moments Became Eurekas", discussion of Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe by Mario Livio, author of The Golden Ratio: The Story of PHI, the World's Most Astonishing Number.


The adult non-fiction title offers an inside look at a few notable (and then notorious) moments in science history from five prominent science figures: Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein.

For students, spin the conversation from blunders to accidents and failed experiments that yielded unexpected results and another realm of notable discoveries opens up and invites fun science-themed conversation for family dinner or the car ride home! Scientists are not always right, but being wrong can still result in forward motion. This is an important concept for students, especially when students do not always see their hypotheses supported by their experiments and projects. Science is often about testing, retesting, refining ideas, and looking at different angles.

See "Putty Science: Family Fun with Polymers" and "Encouraging and Inspiring Female Student Engineers" to get the conversation started.


Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies Summer Science Roundup


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For families living in drought conditions, careful monitoring of water usage is especially important. With hands-on science and engineering projects, students can investigate water-saving strategies and science and engineering related to water conservation. Above: The effect of drought can be...

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City parklets provide interesting challenges for engineers, designers, and planners. With software from Autodesk and a fun Digital STEAM Workshop challenge, students can design their own parklets and see what is involved in reimagining a few parking spots as a social space.

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As the number of medications continues to rise, pharmacists play an increasingly powerful role in helping ensure patient wellbeing, safety, and quality of life. Beyond an apple a day, feeling better may require advice from a pharmacist!

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Visual illusions and other optical puzzles are fun for families to share and explore. With hands-on science projects and activities, students can create and test their own visual illusions--including a cool infinity mirror!

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School and family science weekly spotlight: the science of marinades

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A fun SimCity science project from Science Buddies helps turn in-game city planning into a science experiment, one students can also use to enter the annual Future City competition.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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