NASA Science Books and Reading for K-12

Created by NASA Wavelength Last updated 2/4/2015

  • The Mystery of the Missing Hummingbirds

    in this illustrated story, students learn about seasonal migration of hummingbirds as they are exposed to the scientific process. Students Anita, Simon and Dennis and the rest of Ms. Patel's class research when the hummingbirds have gone and when they might return. This science-based storybook is the one of four under the title Elementary GLOBE; each book also has companion learning activities that complement the science covered in each story.
  • Do You Know That Clouds Have Names?

    Elementary. Part of the Elementary GLOBE series of science books for children. In this story, students learn that clouds have different names based on their appearance and position in the atmospheric column. Contrails, or condensation trails, are also discussed.
  • All About Earth: Our World on Stage

    Elementary. Part of the Elementary GLOBE series of science books for children. Students learn how plants, animals, water, air, and soil are all connected in the Earth system. In this storybook, Simon, Anita, Emily and the rest of Ms. Patel's class gain an understanding of Earth system science while preparing their end of the school year play.
  • Think Scientifically: The Day Joshua Jumped Too Much

    Upper elementary-middle school. This story is about a young boy, Joshua, who finds out that the Sun provides the Earth with energy in the form of light and heat, which is necessary for all forms of life, for maintaining Earth's environment, and for allowing humans to produce their own forms of energy.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4E/P1, 4E/M2, 5E/E2
  • The Air We Breathe

    This picture book is designed to introduce children to the Earth's atmosphere and its importance to life on Earth. It also introduces how the addition of new gases (e.g., ozone) contributes to changing the quality of air we breathe. With an understanding of how our atmosphere works, we can begin to understand how our activities may be contributing to some of those changes in air quality
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E4
  • Aster's Hoity Toity Belt

    Elementary. This is an annotated children's story about the Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt. Learners will dissect the story for real and fictional objects and places in the solar system, and for those scientific concepts or processes that may be true. Support materials include the story with space for kids to illustrate, an audio recording of the story by the author and an extension activity.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4A/M4
  • El Mundo de Copocuqu: La Reina Gravedad y el Rey Masa

    Middle school. This is a children's science story about gravity (title translated: The World of Copocuqu: Queen Gravity and King Mass). Learners will read about the force of gravity and how it relates to the mass of a body. The story takes place in an asteroid in which all its inhabitants talk in the form of questions or the world of Copoqucu. The story ends with a magic secret (or learning capsule), which reflects in synopsis the science message that the child would take with him or her.
  • CINDI in Space

    Middle school. This is a comic book about the science of Earth's upper atmosphere, specifically the ionosphere. Learners will better understand the ionosphere, the science behind atoms and ions found here, and how radio signals from satellites are distorted by space weather caused by to the Sun.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4D/H1, 4G/H3
  • Astrobiology: The Story of NASA's Search for Life in the Universe

    High School. This is a graphic novel history about NASA's search for life in the universe. It tells the story of some of the most important people and events that have shaped the NASA Exobiology and Astrobiology science.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 1C/M1, 1C/H3b, 5B/H3
  • Cosmic Times

    Middle-high school. Students examine the process of science through the stories of the people and the discoveries that caused our understanding to evolve from a static universe to a universe whose expansion is accelerating. The series illustrates the nature of science by tracing the process of discovery from the confirmation of Einstein's theory of gravity, to Hubble's evidence for the expanding universe, to the detection of the microwave background, and finally to the discovery of dark energy. The series includes six posters, each resembling the front page of a newspaper from a particular time in this history with articles describing the discoveries. Each poster is accompanied by an online teacher guide and 4-5 downloadable, inquiry-based lessons. Downloadable newsletter versions of the poster are available for individual student use, with three editions for different reading levels (Early Edition for 7-8 grade readers, Home Edition for 9-10 grade readers, and Late Edition for 11-12 grade readers).
    AAAS Benchmarks: 12D/H6, 12A/H4
  • Multiwavelength Astronomy: Gamma Ray Science

    High School. Dieter Hartmann, a high-energy physicist, presents a story-based lesson on the science of Gamma-Ray astronomy. The lesson focuses on gamma-ray bursts; examining their sources, types, and links to the origin and evolution of the Universe. The story-based format of the lesson also provides insights into the nature of science. Students answer questions based on the reading guide.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/H1, 4A/H3