Spotlight On “Sage Premier Collection”

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When looking for articles for research, Sage Premier Collection is a database that can be very helpful to students. This database provides articles in the fields of health sciences, material sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities, and life and biomedical sciences.  So, while it doesn’t provide information from a broad range of disciplines, it still gives plenty of options in which to find articles.

One unique trait about Sage is that users can browse through the list of journals held within the Sage database and by discipline. Although searching for information this way may take longer, the list of journals is readily available from the home page.

Users can conduct a search just by typing in keywords in the single search bar.   They can also conduct an advanced search by clicking on “advanced search” under the search bar and using the appropriate limiters as needed. Searching this way allows users to search all Sage journals for information related to the users’ keywords.

Users can access this database by clicking on the “Databases, Ebooks, and Media”  link from the library’s home page.

Reading List: Children’s Books About STEM

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Children’s books are great resources for STEM education: they’re written at a level that a child can understand, and books about science, technology, engineering, and math for children are increasingly published. The library’s Family Room houses books on these subjects as well as fiction and middle-grade books. If you’re a student teacher or a parent, you can use this reading list to pick up educational children’s STEM books from the library.

*Book descriptions provided by the publishers, c/o the library catalog

 

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba

When 14-year-old William Kamkwamba’s Malawi village was hit by a drought in 2001, everyone’s crops began to fail. His family didn’t have enough money for food, let alone school, so William spent his days in the library. He came across a book on windmills and figured out how to build a windmill that could bring electricity to his village. Everyone thought he was crazy but William persevered and managed to create a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps. Several years later he figured out how to use the windmill for irrigation purposes.

 

Hey, Water! by Antoinette Pointis

Splash along with a spunky little girl who realizes that water is everywhere. But water doesn’t always look the same, it doesn’t always feel the same, and it shows up in lots of different shapes. And so the girl launches into a spirited game of hide-and-seek with water, discovering it in nature, in weather, and even in herself.

 

Little Leonardo’s Fascinating World of Science by Bob Cooper

Introduces kids to the vast and varied areas of science and the different types of scientists they can aspire to become. Whether it’s ancient dinosaur bones unearthed by paleontologists, anthropologists studying different cultures around the globe, or new planets discovered by astronomers, there’s bound to be something here any child will find fascinating and appealing.

 

The Girl With A Mind For Math by Julia Finley Mosca

This is a rhyming-text picture book about Raye Montague. After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted, finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.

 

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest by Lynne Cherry

The many different animals that live in a great Kapok tree in the Brazilian rainforest try to convince a man with an ax of the importance of not cutting down their home.

 

The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield

Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem: at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark. But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is, and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company. (Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield.)

 

Even An Octopus Needs A Home by Irene Kelly

Shows how animals solve the problem of locating safe places in which to live and raise families.

 

The Brooklyn Bridge: A Wonders of the World Book by Elizabeth Mann

Describes the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, from its conception by John Roebling in 1852 through, after many setbacks, its final completion under the direction of his son, Washington, in 1883.

 

Are You A Beetle? by Judy Allen

This colorful first nature book introduces preschoolers to the world of the beetle. Ideal for reading aloud or as a first reader, the witty text and detailed illustrations bring this familiar creature to life. Young children will be fascinated by this tiny living thing found right in their own backyard.

 

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon: a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

99942 Apophis

brennan space blog

In space, objects move at untold speeds through solar systems and galaxies. In our own solar system, thousands of objects soar through the void of space. Surprisingly, these objects never collide with Earth; that is, until 2029.

In 2004, scientists discovered an asteroid about the size of three football fields speeding toward Earth. Panic began to set in as the asteroid, named 99942 Apophis, had a probability of colliding with Earth. But before the conspiracy theorists began digging bunkers in their backyards, scientists found the probability of 99942 Apophis hitting Earth to be a whopping 2.7%.

Then, in 2006, new information revealed that the asteroid will have no chance of hitting Earth when it flies by in 2029. However, there may still be cause for concern. The path of the asteroid takes it closer to Earth than any other extraterrestrial object has been within the past 800 years. Apophis will come between the Moon and Earth at only 22,000 miles from Earth (whereas the moon is 238,900 miles from Earth). This will be the closest any asteroid the size of Apophis has come near Earth in recorded history.

If you happen to be on the side of the planet Apophis passes, there may be a chance that you can see the object with the naked eye. If you are unlucky enough to be on the other side of the planet, you will miss out on its arrival to Earth.

But here is where things get a little strange. Apophis will pass Earth twice in the next 18 years: first in 2029 and the next in 2036. It will not come by our corner of the solar system neighborhood until 2060, with the closest being its flyby in 2029. However, surprisingly, both trips in 2029 and 2036 will occur on April 13th. One of which, the 2029 occurrence, will be on Friday the 13th (spooky). Thankfully, the trip of Apophis by Earth in 2036 (this time a safe 35 million miles away) will be on a Sunday. There was, at one point, a chance that Apophis could hit a “keyhole” in its orbit in 2029 and come back around and hit Earth in 2036. However, most scientists believe that there is no realistic chance that this will happen, but there is still technically a chance.

So what would happen if Apophis did connect with Earth?

Apophis is 450 meters high, making it taller than the Empire State Building. The blast of an asteroid that size connecting with Earth in, say, New York City would destroy everything within a radius of around 14 miles. That would take out ⅘ of all New York. Then buildings within another 6.5-mile radius would be stripped to their foundations. That’s a big hit.

Even with scientists saying that the chances of this would be similar to the chances of winning the lottery, let us remember that people do win the lottery. Realistically, there is nothing to be afraid of, though the jury is still out on the passage of 99942 Apophis in 2060, which will hopefully be in our lifetimes. Will this asteroid ever collide with Earth? We will have to wait and see.

 

*written by Brennan Kress

Top 5 Botany Journals

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The world of botany is ever-growing and often beneficial to other forms of life on earth. Studying and testing plants can lead to new medicines, increased conservation, and better gardens. Check out the 5 journals below when you need articles about botany. All of these journals are available via the library website’s “Journals by Title or Subject” tab.

 

American Journal of Botany

From obscure flowers to soil techniques, the American Journal of Botany provides articles with abstracts, PDFs, and references. With issues dating back all the way to 1914, this database is also great for looking at the history of botany.

 

American Journal of Plant Sciences

The American Journal of Plant Sciences is an Open Access resource which is published monthly. Here you can find topics like dendrochronology, plant ecology, phytochemistry, etc.

 

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Blumea- Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants

The Naturalis Biodiversity Center publishes Blumea three times a year. Blumea has an international focus and a wide variety of plant topics. Use Blumea‘s “Access Key” to find and identify full-text articles.

 

BMC Plant Biology

According to its database description, BMC Plant Biology includes “research articles covering topics such as the cellular, organismal, tissue-level, developmental and functional aspects of plants.” Look for specific, in-depth studies and trials in this database.

 

Canadian Journal of Plant Science

With access to over 100,000 archives, the Canadian Journal of Plant Science provides a broad amount of plant research. You can also find some Spanish and French language articles via this journal if you need research in other languages.

 

 

Book Review: “Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location”

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I have around 15 different house plants in my apartment. Most of them are succulents of some kind, but 2 are specifically cacti, 1 is a hosta, 1 is a prayer plant, 1 is a snake plant, and 1 is a poinsettia that someone gave to the library last Christmas (I couldn’t bear to throw it away). All of my plants have names, and I love all of them as equally as possible.

When the Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location arrived at the library, I immediately checked it out (for obvious reasons). This book is big, brand new, and bursting with breathtaking photos of every kind of plant you can think of. While I don’t have a yard to garden in, I still love learning about plants and how to care for them. This may be the same for you- if you’re living in a dorm, then your growing space is limited. However, this book can teach you techniques for your future yard, or for that next big Campus & Community landscaping project.

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The sheer volume of this book could be intimidating at first look. Thankfully, the book begins with a helpful “About this book” section, where key terms and symbols are defined. The book is divided into two sections: Plant Locations and Plants for Special Effects. Within these sections, you can learn about the best plants for shady and sunny gardens, plants for garden problems, and even plants for color and scent. The specific plants are pictured in vibrant colors and their scientific names in bold.

This book is for anyone who enjoys flowers, succulents, trees, and plants of all kinds. You can pick it up from the library today!

 

Top 5 Engineering Databases

 

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Engineering is a fast-paced discipline with constant updates to technology, projects, and collaborations. Stay updated on the latest in the engineering world with these databases.

IEEE Xplore Digital Library: IEEE, pronounced “Eye-triple-E”, stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Access about 150 periodicals from IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. Union’s journal package is a subset of the full IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

ScienceDirect: ScienceDirect is a leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 peer-reviewed journals and more than 11,000 books. There are currently more than 9.5 million articles/chapters, a content base that is growing at a rate of almost 0.5 million additions per year.

American Institute of Physics Online Journals: A collection for Mechanical Engineering and Physics.

Scitation: Scitation is a leading online publishing platform for science and technology content, serving a broad customer base with a wide array of features and services. We host over two million articles in fields that include physics, chemistry geosciences, engineering, acoustics and more.

General Science Collection (Gale): With the General Science Collection, researchers can stay current with the latest scientific developments in particle physics, advanced mathematics, nanotechnology, geology and hundreds of other areas. Updated daily, the General Science Collection includes more than 1.6 million articles.

 

Top 5 Books About Math

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If finding the diameter of a circle is practically a walk in the park for you, then these books will be sure to put a smile on your face. There are not many well-known math-related books, simply because math has always been more of a numbers game. However, the library has some great books about brilliant math masterminds, interesting mathematical discoveries, and tips for teaching math.

 

Biography: The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth

Author: Paul Hoffman

Publisher description:

For more than six decades, Erdos lived out of two tattered suitcases, crisscrossing four continents at a frenzied pace, chasing mathematical problems and fresh talent. Erdos saw mathematics as a search for lasting beauty and ultimate truth. It was a search Erdos never abandoned, even as his life was torn asunder by some of the major political dramas of our time. In this biography, Hoffman uses Erdos’s life and work to introduce readers to a cast of remarkable geniuses, from Archimedes to Stanislaw Ulam, one of the chief minds behind the Los Alamos nuclear project.

 

Nonfiction: Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher description:

Examines the nation’s burgeoning inability to deal rationally with very large numbers, assesses the impact on government policymaking and everyday life, and shows what can be done about this.

 

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Fiction: Flatland

Author: Edwin Abbott Abbott

Publisher description:

Flatland, Edwin Abbott Abbott’s story of a two-dimensional universe, as told by one of its inhabitants who is introduced to the mysteries of three-dimensional space, has enjoyed an enduring popularity from the time of its publication in 1884. This fully annotated edition enables the modern day reader to understand and appreciate the many “dimensions” of this classic satire with commentary on language and literary style, including numerous definitions of obscure words and an appendix on Abbott’s life and work.

 

Nonfiction: How Not To Be Wrong

Author: Jordan Ellenburg

Publisher description:

In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us that math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do–the whole world is shot through with it. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?

 

Biography: A Beautiful Mind

Author: Sylvia Nasar

Publisher description:

In this biography, Sylvia Nasar re-creates the life of a mathematical genius whose brilliant career was cut short by schizophrenia and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovered and was honored with a Nobel Prize. A Beautiful Mind traces the meteoric rise of John Forbes Nash, Jr., from his lonely childhood in West Virginia to his student years at Princeton, where he encountered Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, and a host of other mathematical luminaries.

 

Book Review: “Brief Answers To The Big Questions” by Stephen Hawking

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Published after the death of the famous, accomplished scientist Stephen Hawking, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is Hawking’s final words on the state of the earth and space. Throughout his career, Hawking was noted for his theories about black holes, time, and the universe. A film about his life called The Theory of Everything was released in 2014; star Eddie Redmayne provides the foreword for Brief Answers to the Big Questions. Like many others, Redmayne was both intimidated and awed by Hawking- who, in spite of his attempts to make science available to the general layperson, was still a formidable genius set apart from others. This side of Hawking definitely comes to light in Brief Answers to the Big Questions. In fact, I think Hawking unfortunately had a lower view of humanity which affected how he perceived the past, present, and future.

There are 10 questions asked of Hawking in this book:

  1. Is there a God?
  2. How did it all begin?
  3. Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
  4. Can we predict the future?
  5. What is inside a black hole?
  6. Is time travel possible?
  7. Will we survive on earth?
  8. Should we colonise space?
  9. Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?
  10. How do we shape the future?

 

I won’t give away Hawking’s answers, but many of them can actually be found in Hawking’s other books, like A Brief History of TimeIn general, Hawking does take a more negative view of how humans will handle some of these big questions. For example, in regards to surviving on earth, Hawking muses:

We can be an ignorant, unthinking lot. When we have reached similar crises [global warming and climate destruction] in our history, there has usually been somewhere else to colonise . . .  But now there is no new world. No Utopia around the corner. We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds.

Yet Hawking believes that, if more people become interested in science and space travel, humans may be able to find a new way of sustainable living.

To leave Earth demands a concerted global approach- everyone should join in. We need to rekindle the excitement of the early days of space travel in the 1960s. The technology is almost within our grasp. It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves.

Overall, Hawking answers each question by explaining his research and that of others. He gives his opinion as a well-learned scientist without allowing for theological implications, since he believes that they are unnecessary. This can obviously be frustrating for Christians and other religious people.

Still, the special thing about Hawking’s writing is his ability to make large, abstract concepts make sense to people who are not scientists. I may not fully grasp every aspect of Hawking’s work, but I do understand Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle because of Hawking. Hawking made “the big questions” more accessible to people, and for that (along with his scientific discoveries and his inspirational life journey), he will certainly be missed.

 

*Read Brief Answers to Big Questions for an overview of Hawking’s theories and philosophy. It is available here at the library.

Featured eBook: “Math Goes To The Movies”

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Math can play an important role in many major films. From The Martian to Moneyball, the ability to use math in difficult situations can be integral (get it?) to the story. The authors of the book Math Goes To The Movies aim to watch, break down, describe, and explain every movie that even hints at mathematical concepts. The authors even dissect a single scene in 1984 that has a math equation in it. Throughout the book, the authors either explain why mathematical concepts in movies are blatantly incorrect or praise the directors for getting the equations and concept exactly correct. This eBook is a fantastic read that will help you learn more about math!

eBook link

  • by Donny Turner

 

 

 

Top 5 Biology Databases

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While biology majors spend a lot of time “in the field,” they also clock hours in the lab and on the internet for extensive research. If you’re looking for articles on anything from butterfly migration patterns to conservation efforts, these databases (all provided by the library) can help you!

ScienceDirect

ScienceDirect holds over 9.5 million articles and chapters on various subjects. This database divides up the different kinds of sciences into categories, making it easier for you to search topics within a broader subject. Popular articles from each category are listed as well- for example, the article “Aluminum in brain tissue in autism” is currently the most popular article under the “Life Sciences” umbrella.

 

BioMed Central

Boasting access to many different scientific journals, BioMed Central provides a wide range of sources. In particular, you will find scores of research on genomes here. Since BioMed Central is open access, its articles are “permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers.”

 

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Environmental Studies and Policy Collection (Gale)

This collection gets to the heart of the business and political side of biology. The library website explains more about Environmental Studies and Policy Collection:

Providing robust coverage of the field of environmental issues and policy, this collection, which includes magazines and academic journals, provides instant access to the multiple viewpoints of this volatile field of study, including perspectives from the scientific community, governmental policy makers, as well as corporate interests.

 

General Science Collection (Gale)

Current top searches for the General Science Collection include: Alternative Energy, Cancer, Genetically Modified Organisms, Global Warming, and NASA. For the most up-to-date research and trending topics in science, check out the General Science Collection.

 

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PubMed

While a more medically-focused database, PubMed can be helpful for pre-med biology students. According to its website, “PubMed comprises more than 28 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.”

 

View the Biology Research Guide for more help.