by Dan Green
Science+Nature is an exciting new monthly magazine designed to unlock the fascinating world of STEM subjects for all curious kids. We kicked off in September and we’re currently working on the Christmas issue.
Conceiving the idea for the new magazine couldn’t have been easier. Readers of The Week Junior consistently report that the science & technology and animals & environment pages are their favourites, so it was an obvious move to launch a new publication that gave readers even more of what they enjoy.
The magazine aims to ignite children’s natural curiosity and passion for discovery, and reveal the hidden ways that science is in everything. Every issue is jam-packed with wonder, taking readers on a voyage of discovery. In-depth features inspire children to get involved with global issues, such as plastic pollution and the fight against malaria. Eight pages of activities encourage them to work scientifically, experimenting, creating and exploring in the kitchen, garden, the natural world and in the night sky. A “For or Against?” feature also stimulates debate and reasoned argument around current scientific issues.
The vocabulary, layout and pacing of the pages offer opportunities for a range of ages and reading abilities to engage with an array of fascinating topics. It’s so important to keep beating the drum for quality non-fiction. Despite a boom in the quantity (and quality) of new products, non-fiction often feels overlooked. We all know how important it is for children’s learning and development, and that, in later life, the vast majority of reading will be factual.
Concern over low numbers of women in STEM careers was thrown into the spotlight last month by the sexist comments made by a CERN particle physicist, followed – in the best form of rebuke – by Donna Strickland being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. It should go without saying that science is for everyone. Just like its older sibling, The Week Junior, Science+Nature is genuinely inclusive. In its pages readers get to meet many real-life scientists – both men and women.
Children are naturally curious: giving children tools to understand the world and ask questions about it supports confidence, and helps construct a mindset that underpins resilience. Anyway, isn’t everything more fun when we’re finding out new stuff? I learn something new every issue (did you know that when it hits –50ºC at the Halley IV research station in Antarctica, scientists go for a run around the station… in the nude!)
Science+Nature seeks to make science simple to understand, but we don’t run shy of complex topics – in the first few issues, we’ve covered subjects as diverse as the psychology of happiness, the way robots and AI will shape our lives, climate change, evolution, forensic science and DNA… as well as the science of Christmas, and herrings that communicate by farting!
I’m immensely proud of Science+Nature. We have loads of fun putting the mag together and I think it shines through. Our multi-talented team put in an enormous amount of work and it really shows.
Science+Nature is available from select WH Smiths, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Tesco, Tesco Eire and good independents. You can also subscribe at sciencenature.theweekjunior.co.uk. Cover price of £3.49, 60 pages, including a pull-out starmap and an A2 double-sided poster.
This is a guest post by Dan Green and the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.