AUSTIN, Texas —He is Mr. Rogers, without the cardigan sweater. The polar opposite of Bill Nye the Science Guy, whose bungee jumping, scuba diving and parachuting prop up his made-for-television science show.
Dr. Jack Myers doesn’t need gimmicks to get children’s attention. For four decades, he has been the faceless, seemingly all-knowing “Oz,” answering science questions for the magazine Highlights for Children.
As a father, grandfather and great-grandfather of an increasing number of Texas residents, Myers, emeritus professor of zoology at UT Austin, has plenty of experience responding to questions the average adult is at a loss to answer.
Myers is a science teacher extraordinaire, and he proves that again in his latest book, What Happened to the Mammoths? and Other Explorations of Science in Action,recently published by Boyd Mills Press of Honesdale, Penn., a Highlightscompany.
“Science is the search for understanding of our world,” Myers said. “All the fun and excitement is in the search. That’s where the action is. That’s why this series is called Science in Action. It tells about explorations and discoveries as they happened.”
Myers is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of photosynthesis, a member of the National Academy of Science, and for 40 years science editor (now senior science editor) of Highlights,the nation’s largest-circulation magazine for young children, founded in 1946 by his parents. What Happened to the Mammoths?,illustrated by artist John Rice, is Myers’ seventh book for young people published by Boyds Mills Press since 1993.
In his new book, Myers offers a dozen explorations of science in action about the nature and behavior of creatures ranging from bacteria through pandas to the (now extinct) mammoth. Each of the explorations tells of an important breakthrough reported in the national scientific press.
For example, readers will learn:
- How a dolphin can ride a boat wake to keep up speed and spend little energy
- How cats can make that purr sound
- Why alligator eggs must get cavities
- How a homing pigeon finds its way home
- How a Weddell’s seal, although a mammal that must breathe air, can stay underwater for an hour and still come back to the surface safe and sound (the maximum for a human is about 90 seconds)
- How a falcon sees
- And, what really did happen to the huge, long-gone mammoths?
These creatures — some lovable, some dangerous and all amazing — are the reader’s gateway into the world of real science.
For more information, contact Myers via e-mail at: Txjack10@aol.com