Pierre the Penguin, the real penguin featured in my 2010 non-fiction picture book (see above), is turning 29 this week! How do I know this birthday fact? I learned it while Skyping recently with a 1st grade class at the Briggs School in Lake Hopatcong, NJ. How did Rebecca Reichel, the teacher, and the kids in her class know this birthday fact? They learned it from the Penguin Blog at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA.
And so it goes in the digital world. While some of us may worry about problems this new world may cause for young children, it is also worthwhile to stop for a moment and consider how first graders can learn meaningful and developmentally appropriate scientific facts from the internet and how they can communicate those scientific facts through the internet to people like me. Maybe the internet will encourage more kids to become scientists!