Things are always happening all around us—dark clouds building in a clear blue sky, leaves changing from bright green to gold and crimson, smoke filling the air we breathe, and our planet rotating around the sun.
What's going on? Who is affected? When will these things happen again? Why do they happen at all? Scientists ask questions like these to help them understand Earth's incredible forces and transformations. You can be a scientist, too, and find answers to all kinds of questions.
But scientists are grownups, you think, with tools like microscopes and test tubes, and they know more than you do. In fact, scientists all start out with a sense of curiosity. That's the first, and most important, tool you will need. And one you already have. Every time you ask why, every time you wonder whether something will happen the same way if you try doing it a different way, you're building your curiosity. You're becoming a scientist.
Science is about observing, doing, and learning. Sometimes in science experiments you make things bubble and boil, sometimes things even explode! But other times you are watching something change very slowly. Or you are watching animals outside to learn where they live and what they eat. During an experiment, a scientist writes down what she sees, smells, hears, feels, and sometimes what she tastes. Then she looks at her notes and tries to understand what she has just observed.
Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.
This book will take you through the five main areas of science—biology, chemistry, physics, the human body, and planet Earth. The experiments you can do on your own or with a friend are called Try This. The experiments that require help from a grownup are called Science Labs. These sometimes involve a knife or a stove. It's important to be safe when you're a scientist.
The experiments are set in a certain order, but you can always flip through and pick an experiment you like. These activities are meant to be relatively easy to set up, do, and take down. However, if you think of ways to extend the fun, go for it. You might just discover something completely new!