LSM Recommends

There's a whole universe of science out there - just waiting to be discovered! At Lafayette Science Museum, we want to help you navigate through it all, so we're creating a road map. Each week, we will post some of our favorite science content, including books, podcasts, movies, YouTube channels, documentaries, etc. to help propel your journey of discovery! All of our picks will be archived here on our webpage called LSM Recommends. Enjoy!

September 18 • Do Not Open This Math Book

September 18 • Do Not Open This Math Book

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Wild brings to vivid life eight animals who are under threat of extinction. Using multiple interwoven photographs viewed through a special lens, the photicular images in this book are animated with each turn of the page. From pandas lazily munching bamboo shoots to a bumblebee hovering over a flower, this book brings the animals to life while highlighting our responsibility to preserve the most critically threatened species in the world.

WHY WE LOVE IT It's a FUN book to read with kids that helps bridge the gap between what's being taught in school and how today's parents learned math back in the day. Giggle your way through entertaining lessons on addition and subtraction involving muffins, turkey sandwiches, kittens, googly eyes, and more!

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM By applying the latest technology to our interactive and educational exhibits, LSM strives to promote interest in and inspire careers through STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math. Our exhibits cover a wide range of topics, and we are always working to develop fresh, up-to-date content and experiences. We're open six days a week, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm.

September 11 • I Am NOT A Dinosaur

September 11 • I Am NOT A Dinosaur

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Way back in time, astonishing creatures lived on our planet. But they weren't all dinosaurs! In this fun, fascinating book, you'll meet some of these amazing prehistoric creatures, from a very big fish with 7-inch teeth to a flying reptile. Based on specimens in the collections of the American Museum of Natural History, I Am NOT a Dinosaur! uses riddle-like rhymes and bright illustrations to reveal 16 creatures.

WHY WE LOVE IT We love the whimiscal rhymes and the beautiful cut-paper collage artwork which draw young readers as they learn that our prehistoric planet was populated by many fascinating creatures both dinosaurs and nondinosaurs. With an introduction from Chairman of Paleontology at the Museum, Dr. Mark Norell, the book also features short notes, fossil photos, and an illustrated timeline to explain everything, simply and clearly, to even the youngest dinosaur hunter.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM LSM's first floor atrium features fossil casts from the Cenozoic Period, which began 65 million years ago. See a towering American mastodon, a giant ground sloth, and saber-toothed cats. Beyond the atrium, watch paleontologists and students at work in the UL Geology Preparation Laboratory In the lab, scientists carefully remove fossils from rocks collected in the field – their finds include everything from extinct giant camels to prehistoric fish and many other specimens.

September 4 • SciShow

September 4 • SciShow

YOUTUBE CHANNEL

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  SciShow explores the unexpected by delving into the scientific subjects that defy expectations and pique curiosity. The show covers a variety of science topics and subjects – astronomy, biology, chemistry, entomology, meteorology, psychology, zoology and more!

WHY WE LOVE IT  SciShow is a treasure trove of hundreds of videos that present science content in an entertaining and educational way. Clever, fast-paced episodes range from 4-10 minutes and cover topics from silly to seriously scientific.  

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  LSM offers science exhibits and educational content for curious minds of all ages! Our exhibits cover a wide range of topics, and we are always working to develop fresh, up-to-date new content and experiences. We're open six days a week, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm.

August 28 • Counting on Katherine

August 28 • Counting on Katherine

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Counting on Katherine is the bold story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race. Her precise calculations were crucial in the successful return of the Apollo 13 mission. From her childhood as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments at NASA, this is the story of her groundbreaking contributions to science and history.

WHY WE LOVE IT Counting on Katherine is an excellent biography that will inspire young readers, especially girls, to do what they love. It features engaging text and captivating illustrations about the amazing life of Katherine Johnson, this picture book is sure to inspire a new generation of mathematicians.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM LSM's Leaving Earth exhibit explores space flight from the earliest attempts at rocketry to the moon landing to the future of space tourism. With small scale models and artifacts, the exhibit tells the story of how humankind broke the bounds of gravity to leave Earth and travel into space. Learn more about the Mercury and Apollo missions for which Katherine Johnson calculated flight paths to send the first Americans into space.

August 21 • Bugs N' Slugs

August 21 • Bugs N' Slugs

GAME

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Bugs N' Slugs is a delightful family board game of multiple choice and "true or false" questions about the world of insects! Activity cards get players involved in creative, physical challenges. Put your entomological expertise to the test as you slither, creep, and crawl to cross the finish line first.

WHY WE LOVE IT Learn all about insects, bugs, and other critters while having fun! Bugs 'N' Slugs combines trivia and activities for an exciting, funny, family-friendly experience. The game is both engaging and educational. Recommended for 2-6 players ages 5 and up.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM Join us Saturday, August 25 for Insect Day at the Museum. Interact with live bugs of all kinds and meet some of Louisiana's top entomologists and insect enthusiasts. From butterflies to beetles, pollinators to pests, there will be something for everyone to learn and enjoy!

August 14 • Island on Fire

August 14 • Island on Fire

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Island on Fire is the story of Laki, Iceland's largest volcano. Its eruption in 1783 is one of history's great, untold natural disasters. Spewing out sun-blocking ash and poisonous fog for eight long months, the effects of the eruption lingered across the world for years. But the book also tells the story of the dawn of modern volcanology, history, and a look at what might transpire if a volcano like Laki erupts again in our lifetime.

WHY WE LOVE IT Island on Fire explores the role of volcanic eruptions in changing the course of history - resulting in climate change, famine, disease, and even revolution. The authors look at how an eruption on a similar scale might affect our modern world, presenting volcano science, and posing thought-provoking questions in an easy-to-read style.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM Join us this Thursday, August 16 at 7 p.m. for LSM's Documentary Date Night featuring the documentary film Into the Inferno. Director Werner Herzog and volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer visit volcanoes around the globe in an attempt to understand man's relationship with one of nature's most violent wonders. It's a free screening of an educational, science-focused film in the museum gallery.

August 7 • Magic School Bus Engineering Lab

August 7 • Magic School Bus Engineering Lab

KIT

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Seatbelts, everyone! Get ready to design, create and experiment with Engineering Lab! Ms Frizzle and her students take Young Scientists on a wild ride with The Magic School Bus as they explore the fascinating world of engineering. Young scientists solve all kinds of fun and unique problems that lead to discoveries in the fields of chemical, electrical, mechanical and even civil engineering.

WHY WE LOVE IT Build a solar oven, design a car, construct a bridge, create solar energy, design an electric game, make a simple machine, construct a submarine and much, much more! This bus-shaped kit comes with 33 colorful experiment cards, a data notebook to record experiment designs and is packed with science components such as a solar panel, motor, buzzer, electric wires and more.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM By applying the latest technology to interactive experiences and immersive education, LSM's exhibits are designed to promote interest and inspire careers through science, technology, engineering, and math. Our educational science exhibits are designed for curious minds of all ages! We're open six days a week, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm.

July 31 • Smartphone Microscope

July 31 • Smartphone Microscope

TOY

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Learn about the world around you with this Smartphone Microscope from Discover with Dr. Cool. It attaches to any smartphone and there is no software required. Use the included stabilizer to capture the perfect magnified shot of just about anything that sparks your curiosity. It features a universal spring clamp, a focus knob and lock, and a dual light switch for ultraviolet and bright LED viewing modes.

WHY WE LOVE IT With the Smartphone Microscope, explore details around you that can't be seen with the naked eye. This universal smartphone accessory puts science at your fingertips. In fact, you can even get an up-close view of your own unique fingerprints. Or magnify just about anything from minerals, to plants, and insects. With powerful LED and ultraviolet functions, explore your world in crisp focus and detail.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM Find the Smartphone Microscope at LSM's new Discover Store, located in the museum's lobby. Visit our Microscopy exhibits to see high-resolution, magnified images of insects and plants made with a scanning electron microscope to learn more about distinct features of insect and plant structures. Check out our videoscope magnification station in Energy Unearthed to study sediments and ammonites used as index fossils in the field of biostratigraphy.

July 24 • Pale Blue Dot

July 24 • Pale Blue Dot

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT In Pale Blue Dot, Carl Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race.

WHY WE LOVE IT By offering a tour of our solar system, galaxy and beyond, Sagan meshes the history of astronomical discovery, space exploration, and life on planet Earth. The book is an exploration of our place in the universe illustrated with photographs, maps, and high-resolution images made by Voyager 1 and 2 as well as other satellites, telescopes, and spacecraft including the famous image of Earth as a "pale blue dot ... a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM Join us this Thursday, July 26 at 7 p.m. for the next installment of LSM's Documentary Date Night featuring the documentary film THE FARTHEST about the iconic Voyager space mission - the first man-made object ever to leave our solar system and travel into the void of deep space. It's a free screening of an educational, science-focused film in the museum gallery.

July 17 • Skunk Bear

July 17 • Skunk Bear

YOUTUBE CHANNEL

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Skunk Bear is NPR's science show. Reporter Adam Cole explores the secrets of the universe and documents the wonders of nature using film, animation, music, and science to answer your questions about the world. Skunk Bear's Space Playlist is the perfect place to pique your planetary interests.

WHY WE LOVE IT With Skunk Bear's Space Playlist, feast your eyes on icy volcanoes, ethane lakes, and ripples in Saturn's rings, explore the historical role of eclipses in science, travel with New Horizons on a mission to Pluto, learn about constellations, the moon and more. We love the upbeat Hubble song and the space-time journey to the moon set to the music of David Bowie.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM LSM's Space Frontier Week, celebrating the anniversary of Apollo 11, is in full swing. Visit us to explore our Leaving Earth exhibit, learn about meteorites, see space flight models, catch a planetarium show, or join us for a special event this week! Our three-day Planetarium Marathon began today and includes twenty-one of our planetarium programs. Planet-Palooza in Parc International rounds out the week on Friday from 8-10:30 pm - with telescopes for viewing Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and maybe even Mercury.

July 10 • Solar System Interactive Wall Chart

July 10 • Solar System Interactive Wall Chart

POSTER

WHAT IT'S ABOUT This interactive wall chart of the solar system comes alive with any smart device. Download the free app and watch as it transforms into a vibrant, multi-media experience allowing the user to view the sun and the planets in a whole new way. With 3D interactive animation, seek-and-find mode, read-alongs, videos and more - immerse yourself in a brilliant learning experience.

WHY WE LOVE IT With this Augmented Reality enabled wall chart, astronomers of all ages will have fun exploring and learning about planets, satellites, rockets and more. This durable chart is packed full of intricate 3D animations, fascinating videos, informative read-alongs, and games that come to life when paired with a free app on any smartphone or tablet.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM Join LSM for a solar system-centric schedule of events. Our three-day Planetarium Marathon kicks off July 17, followed by a special presentation of Science on the Bayou that evening. And join us on July 20 for Planet Palooza in Parc International.

July 3 • Jr. Glow Stomp Rocket

July 3 • Jr. Glow Stomp Rocket

TOY

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Learn about gravity, trajectory, and force with the Jr. Glow Rocket from Stomp Rocket. 100% kid-powered rockets encourage kids to run, jump, and STOMP to launch rockets up to 100 feet in the air! The glow-in-the-dark foam rockets stand out against the dark sky so the fun can continue long after sunset.

WHY WE LOVE IT For 25 years, Stomp Rocket has been making science a blast! Winners of The Creative Child and The Top Toy of the Year Award in 2017, Stomp Rockets make learning about physics fun and interactive.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM Find Jr. Glow Rockets and other Stomp Rockets at LSM's brand new Discover Store, located in the lobby. The store offers an exciting collection of souvenirs, toys, games, and kits, each related to the museum's exhibits. Be sure to check it on your next visit!

June 26 • Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

June 26 • Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Marie Tharp was a pioneering scientist and the first person ever to map the ocean floor. Her work was valuable in proving the theory of continental drift: that all the continents on Earth move very slowly, toward or away from one another, over time.

WHY WE LOVE IT Marie Tharp wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, she decided to give it a try. At the time, it was not easy to be a woman and a scientist, but she persevered. Today, Marie Tharp is considered one of the twentieth century's most important scientists.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM June is World Oceans Month. Explore LSM's ocean exhibits including the NOAA Oceans Today touch panel, a Virtual Aquarium, and ocean experiences in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Learn about modern-day whales and see fossil casts of pre-historic marine mammals.

June 19 • Uncle Goose Ocean Blocks

June 19 • Uncle Goose Ocean Blocks

TOY

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Uncle Goose Ocean Blocks celebrate the variety of interesting marine life in Earth's oceans. This set of 14 basswood cubes are printed using child-safe inks. One side of each block reveals a closeup of the sea creature featured on its opposite side. Colorful, debossed Art Nouveau letters grace the remaining sides.

WHY WE LOVE IT We love the tropical color palette, illustration style, and typography. Uncle Goose Ocean Blocks inspire curiosity in the ecosystems and life teeming in our oceans, which cover 70% of Earth's surface. These classic, durable, and sustainably-sourced blocks are sure to become a family favorite.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM June is National Ocean Month. Explore LSM's ocean exhibits, including the NOAA Oceans Today touch panel, a Virtual Aquarium, and ocean experiences in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Learn about modern-day whales and see fossil casts of pre-historic marine mammals. Join us for Documentary Date Night this Thursday, June 21 at 7pm for a screening of Chasing Coral, a breathtaking documentary about coral reefs.

June 12 • Newton's Rainbow

June 12 • Newton's Rainbow

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Newton's Rainbow tells the story of young Isaac―always reading, questioning, observing, and inventing. This colorful picture book biography celebrates Newton's discoveries of gravity, motion, and even rainbows. These discoveries gave mankind a new understanding of the natural world and changed science forever.

WHY WE LOVE IT Newton's Rainbow reveals that from an early age Isaac Newton's deep curiosity set him apart and led him to question, experiment, and study the mysteries of the world around him. The author points out that it took a long time for Newton to develop his theories and that he made mistakes, faced challenges, and overcame setbacks along the way.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM Newton's experiments about the nature of light, how it travels, and what it was made of revealed the spectrum of visible light and changed the prevailing theories of the time. Explore the nature of light with our latest exhibit LUS Fiber - Speed of Light about the science of fiber optic communication.

June 5 • Maker Lab Outdoors

June 5 • Maker Lab Outdoors

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT This collection of 25 science projects and experiments is designed to get kids outside, spark their creativity, and help them develop science skills through hands-on learning. Build a wormery, learn about compost, crack open rocks using water and learn about freezing and thawing, build and launch a water rocket to see Newton's laws in action. It's a must-have for every young scientist curious about their surroundings and makers, crafters, and those who enjoy exploring the outdoors.

WHY WE LOVE IT Maker Lab Outdoor projects are simple to do, the steps are clearly laid out, and the explanations of what's going on in each activity are easy to understand. These projects focus on Earth and the environment, plants and animals, weather, water and physics, bringing science learning home and into the backyard. It's packed with fun science and uses things that are easy to find.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM School's out and summer has officially begun! In addition to Maker Lab Outdoor, get your science fix this summer with a visit to LSM. Our educational science exhibits are designed for curious minds of all ages! We're open six days a week, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm.

May 29 • The Show About Science

May 29 • The Show About Science

PODCAST

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Hosted by second grader, Nate Butkus, The Show About Science is an awesome adventure into the wondrous world of scientific research and discovery! Each episode is filled with fascinating information from scientists and educators around the globe. If you're a curious kid, then this is the show for you!

WHY WE LOVE IT We love listening as Nate share his enthusiasm for science with others. His curiosity and thought-provoking questions inspire others to explore, learn, and discover more about their passions. Nate and his guests explore everything from chemistry to climate change, evolution to extraterrestrials, and human brains to bat biology.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM LSM offers science exhibits and educational content for curious minds of all ages! Our exhibits cover a wide range of topics, and we are always working to develop fresh, up-to-date new content and experiences. We're open six days a week, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm.

May 22 • Fossil Hunter Lottie

May 22 • Fossil Hunter Lottie

TOY

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Fossil Hunter Lottie is ready for adventure! It's the summer holidays and she can't wait to go to Lincoln Cliff Beach to look for fossils. With a special rock hammer, trowel, and magnifying glass, Lottie is excited to make a scientific discovery of her very own.

WHY WE LOVE IT Fossil Hunter Lottie is inspired by Mary Anning, a real-life fossil hunter and paleontologist who lived in the early 1800s. Lottie is an award-winning, age-appropriate doll whose motto is "Be bold. Be brave. Be you." Outfitted with cargo shorts, vest, boots, and cap, Lottie's backpack holds her fossil hunting tools, four ammonite fossils, and collector cards about Mary Anning.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM LSM is home to the UL Lafayette Geology Preparation Laboratory. Visitors can view faculty, students, and volunteers working in the lab to remove fossils and minerals from rocks collected in the field. Using microscopes, miniature jack hammers, sandblasters, and other tools, they locate and prepare fossils and minerals for scientific research, display, and preservation.

May 15 • Wild: Endangered Animals in Living Motion

May 15 • Wild: Endangered Animals in Living Motion

BOOK

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Wild brings to vivid life eight animals who are under threat of extinction. Using multiple interwoven photographs viewed through a special lens, the photicular images in this book are animated with each turn of the page. From pandas lazily munching bamboo shoots to a bumblebee hovering over a flower, this book brings the animals to life while highlighting our responsibility to preserve the most critically threatened species in the world.

WHY WE LOVE IT Informative profiles of each animal turn abstract numbers and names into touching stories of how some of the most fascinating animals on Earth live, socialize, and enrich our planet. An opening essay explores the environmental and economic threats to animal populations and how conservationists are working to slow - and when possible, reverse - the damage.

MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM On Saturday May 19, LSM will celebrate Endangered Species Day recognizing conservation efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats. Members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be at the museum with special activities and programs to raise awareness about endangered wildlife and conservation. Join us!