Liz Heinecke—The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Physics for Kids

Physics for Kids

Physics for Kids

Liz Heinecke
Quarry Books, Feb.8, 2022, $19.99
Series: The Kitchen Pantry Scientist
ISBN-10: 0760372438, ISBN-13: 978-0760372432
Aimed at readers aged 6-12 years

Heinecke reports:

Physics for Kids is the third book in my Kitchen Pantry Scientist series. Like Biology for Kids and Chemistry for Kids, Physics for Kids features the biographies of 25 scientists, paired with science projects related to their work.

To illustrate how one concept builds on another and how representation in science has changed, the scientists are presented in chronological order. I try to include well-known scientists, scientists who did not receive the recognition they deserve, and modern luminaries with interesting jobs and inspiring personalities.

Liz Heinecke, photo by Amber Procaccini

Liz Heinecke, photo by Amber Procaccini

It is always difficult to narrow the list to 25, but I try to focus on finding a diverse group of individuals from around the world, at least half of whom are women. It is important to highlight obstacles that people have faced while trying to do their work, so I write about struggles along with triumphs.

Creating projects related to real research is a challenge I tackle at my kitchen table. Recreating Thomas Young’s historical light interference experiments proved tricky, but I came up with a few projects that make it easy to create fringe patterns. In the Chanda Prescod-Weinstein lab, kids make pizza dough and watch it rise, illustrating the expansion of the universe. The Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil lab encourages kids to attach balls to either end of a string and throw them to see how galaxies linked by gravity might orbit one another.

When Minneapolis photographer Amber Procaccini and the kids arrive for a photo shoot, science comes to life. I run around making sure we get the right shots and setting up the next project while Amber takes hundreds of pictures. We break for snacks between projects and the kids throw a tennis ball for our dog.

It takes a team to build each book. I am lucky to work with a wonderful group of individuals. Artist Kelly Anne Dalton incorporates biographies, photographs, and other images into each portrait to create a science story. Once everything is sent in, the design team at Quarry Books (Quarto) lays out the pages, transforming the collection of photos, artwork, and words into a beautiful book.

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