Alexandra Siy is a science writer for kids who thinks that science is fun, artsy, and cool. She has written many books that combine science and art through imagery that reveals both microscopic and far away worlds. She has written about insects, spiders, sneezing, and outer space. Her books have earned many honors and awards, including an Orbis Pictus Honor, NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book awards, and the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award.
Her newest title, “Voyager’s Greatest Hits,” is a STEM inspired “soundtrack” that takes readers on the epic journey into interstellar space. She is also a photographer, and incorporates her work into some of her titles. Her “instaSTEM” program is a STEM inspired photography workshop she offers to schools through interactive videoconferencing. Please visit www.instastem.com for more information.
Alexandra visits schools and libraries nationwide, speaking with students, teachers, and parents in order to share her passion for science, books, and photography. Although most of her titles are nonfiction, she also writes fiction for children and young adults—including a picture book for preschoolers and short stories for teens. A young adult novel is in the works! She has lived in New York City; New Haven, CT; Anchorage, AK; Boulder, Colorado, and Lake Placid, NY. She currently live on a 73-acre sustainable family forest in New York State’s Hudson Valley.
Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet
In 2003, two rovers were sent to the planet Mars, which was the closest to Earth that it had been in 60,000 years. In this readable and fascinating account, anyone with an interest in science and space will learn about the actual development of the rovers, their launch, the experiments they have performed, and what we have learned to date about this nearby planet. Full color pictures, artists’ drawings, and black and white imagery from the rovers bring this amazing story to life. A day on Mars is called a sol, and it is just thirty nine minutes longer than a day on Earth. Was there ever running water on Mars, and is there still water hidden on this planet? Scientists have learned so much about the rocks and what has created their various layers; all of which suggest that there were cycles of wet and dry conditions on the planet. Scientists have concluded that between 3.5 and 4 billion years ago, there was underground water at Meridiani Planum on Mars, and no one has ruled out the possibility that life once existed. Originally designed to last three months and to determine if any life existed or exists on Mars, these little engines that could are still working. That means they have been at their job for nine years. They have new software, but the mechanical parts are suffering from wear and tear–no one knows how long they will keep exploring, but each sol that they are there, new information increases our knowledge about this amazing planet. Kids who want to see what the rovers are currently doing can visit http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/home/index.html where they will find even more information. In addition, the back of the book contains references to other websites, a glossary, and selected bibliography. This is a book that will fascinate the arm chair space traveler and pique the interest of budding space scientists. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot (Children’s Literature).
One Tractor: A Counting Book
This counting book by Jacqueline Siy doubles as a fun-filled tribute to imaginative play. While contemplating his one toy tractor, a little boy notices two mouse-piloted planes and three small pirate ships. Soon the boy and his tiny new companions are hard at work building a town in the sandbox and adding six city buses and seven fire trucks to it. The book ends with a surprise, though, when the boy sends his small buddies on their way. The last double-page spread reveals the boy asleep on the grass and surrounded by the toys he dreamed of. Little ones will love lingering over the details–busy machines, scooter-riding buccaneers–in the watercolors by Jacqueline Rogers. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum (Children’s Literature).
Spidermania: Friends on the We
This science book excels at describing spiders in informative, accessible, and surprising ways. Whether a young reader is already interested in spiders or is newly exploring the topic, the book will surely excite and dispel myths. The rich and colorful photographs will draw readers in, impressing all with the variety and detail of the arachnids. With vibrant colors and intense close-ups, the photographs are a huge draws for readers. The accompanying written text provides explanations that are simple, without being condescending, and successfully addresses a range of readers (in terms of age and familiarity with the subject). The book serves as an excellent resource for young students, providing a glossary, index, list of additional resources, and brief summaries of key points; and, with clear headings and table of contents, the book is easy to navigate. Siy and Kunkel have shown science to be exciting in unexpected ways, potentially easing fears or anxieties about these arachnids. Reviewer: Kellie Deys (Children’s Literature).
Alexandra works with Pre-K through Grade 12, and customizes her programs for your needs. Assembly style presentations as well as smaller group workshops incorporate images and multi-media that draw from the nonfiction themes of her books. As STEM picks up STEAM, she helps children explore the connections between science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
- Going Interstellar:
- In 2017, the world celebrates the 40-year anniversary of the Voyager Mission. On August 25, 2012, Voyager 1, entered interstellar space; Voyager 2 is close behind. Hurtling through space at 35,000 mph, the twin Voyagers are rewriting the astronomy books. They are also carrying the Golden Record, a time capsule of images and sounds created by Carl Sagan and a team of writers and artists. Students will look back at where we’ve been, and into the future to where we’re going while getting an intimate look of the writer’s path. Perfect for grades 5-12.
- Name That Bug:
- Featuring images and text from several of her books, the program introduces students to many kinds of insects and spiders using electron micrographs and other scientific imagery. Students will learn how to identify insects and spiders while interacting with me about the research and writing process.
- Road Trip Mars:
- This interactive program inspires students to learn about Mars through images, short videos, hands-on demonstrations, and stories. Cars on Mars is also an ideal mentor text for grades 4 and up as an online program.
- Postcards from the Moon:
- While experiencing the history, science, and art of human lunar exploration students will lean to look closely at the amazing photography created by the astronauts on their trips to the Moon and discover the scientific information contained in each picture. The 50 year anniversary of this extraordinary achievement is in 2019! Optional postcard design and writing workshop available—ideal for library programs.
- Let’s Read and Shout:
- This interactive program for preK through first grade uses her book One Tractor to introduce numbers and word opposites. It’s a favorite live and online!
- I Spy Magnify:
- Featuring images and text from several of her books, the program challenges students to look closely and think like a scientist by forming analogies that relate to images made by a scanning electron microscope. Discussion of scale, magnification, form, and function encourages students to think across the curriculum as they use STEM skills to analyze the art. With smaller groups and IVC programs Alexandra also offer a science writing workshop during which students create analogies that are the foundations for poetry.
Fee: $1,500 per day plus travel expenses. Inquire about fee reductions for multiple days or more than one visit in a district over 2 or more days
To learn more about Alexandra Siy and her publications please visit www.alexandrasiy.com.