New STEM books

To help support IST’s STEM initiative, the library has recently purchased over 100 new books on STEM-related concepts. These books cover a wide range of science, technology, engineering and math-related concepts. Please stop by the library or browse our OPAC to see some of these new books. We are spotlighting a few of these new books below:


City by Numbers, by Stephen T. Johnson

Paintings of various sites around New York City—from a shadow on a building to a wrought-iron gate to the Brooklyn Bridge—depict the numbers from one to twenty-one.




Going Up! Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top (part of the “Great Ideas” series) by Monica Kulling

Simple text and illustrations explore the lives of famous inventors Nikola Tesla, Lillian Gilbreth, Elisha Otis, and Elijah McCoy in this set of biographies.



Engineered! Engineering Design at Work, by Shannon Hunt & James Gulliver Hancock

Engineers find creative solutions to problems using their math, science and technology skills. Learn the steps of the engineering design process, and then see it come to life in stories of real-world engineering ingenuity.




Cleonardo, the Little Inventor, by Mary GrandPre

With the town’s annual Grand Festival of Inventions coming up, Cleonardo is determined to invent something impressive to enter, something that will impress her inventor father Geonardo.



Try This: 50 Fun Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You, by Karen Romano Young

Provides instructions for fifty kid-friendly science experiments and an explanation of the science involved, as well as more than twenty bonus experiments, science fair tips, and STEM connections for each project.





The Young Chef: Recipes and Techniques for Kids Who Love to Cook, by Mark Ainsworth, Culinary Institute of America

Introduces cooking skills and recipes for children.





Curious Constructions, by Michael Hurst & Matt Johnstone

This book looks at 50 unique structures, including Biosphere 2, Paul Bunyan statues, and the Great Wall of China.





Green City, by Allan Drummond

The story of Greensburg, Kansas, a town that rebuilt completely “green” after a deadly tornado.




The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science, by Sean Connolly

Provides step-by-step instructions for fifty experiments that explain the principles behind thirty-four breakthroughs in science.







Trash Talk: Moving Toward a Zero-Waste World, by Michelle Mulder (part of the “Orca Footprints” series)

Books in this series cover a range of environmental and social issues, including reducing trash, conserving water, farming, and other global issues.






Critical thinking and the “filter bubble”

The recent U.S. elections in the United States have brought to light the need for all of us to be better critical thinkers and fact-check those Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WeChat posts that enter our feeds and fuel our anxieties.

Here are some steps to take when you read something shared by a friend but not supported with reliable evidence:

  • Google it. Or Bing it or Yahoo! it or Baidu it or Naver it or do whatever you do to look up information quickly;
  • Look to see if a reliable news source (a news site that pays its reporters to do real, investigative journalism) has reported on the event in question;
  • If you can verify that the information is true, share it;
  • If you realize that the information is not true or you can’t be sure it’s true, challenge it. Comment on it and send a message to your friend to let them know that they need to question their sources.

Here are two sites that make it their business to verify information that we find online: Attempts to give accurate information about rumors and urban legends on a variety of topics, including war, business, events, toxins, science, military, popular… Monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases.

In 2011, Eli Pariser gave a TED Talk on the topic of the “filter bubble” and the ways in which Google, Facebook and other sites tailor what we see depending on our past web-browsing behaviors.  Parents and (pre-)teens (preferably together) can watch his TED talk (see below) and discuss what this type of invisible editing does to our world-view. Pariser warns that we need to balance our “information diet” and not just feed on the “junk food” diet fed to us by those who have decided what’s most “relevant” to us–not necessarily what’s important.

Pariser went on to co-found the good-news sight, Upworthy, and to write the book titled, The Filter Bubble: What the internet is hiding from you.

Do you have a resource that you use (perhaps in your mother tongue) for fact-checking or promoting critical thinking? Please let our librarians know so we can share it with our community. Email us at or

Hour of Code 2015 #hourofcode

What is code? Code is short for coding, which is computer programming. Coding can be fun and creative. At IST, we introduced Ozobots during International Schools Library Week. These were very elementary robots that moved based on color and light codes. Minecraft games are even available for coding! Coding is a topic near and dear to my heart. My younger son is a coder. He works as a Java Script Programmer. At age 23, he earns more money than I do…

This week the Hour of Code is being celebrated all over the world. There are almost 190,00 related events taking place in more than 180 countries. This is a global campaign started in 2013 by the non-profit organization  The website has tutorials and offers choices for hour-long coding “events” that students and teachers can choose to do at designated times.  At the heart of the mission for is the belief that anyone can learn the basics of coding. Hour of Code is intended to take some of the mystery out of coding. Students can learn that computer science can be fun!

Check out the website if you would like to start:

Or use the Symbaloo to explore links on your own: