Indiana Humanities Offers ‘Shelfie’ Challenge

I was a little too excited when I saw the Shelfie Challenge from the Indiana Humanities Quantum Leap program. A reading contest where you win a $10 Amazon gift card at the end? Sign me up!

Alas, I skimmed right over the information that the program is only for Hoosier middle schoolers in grades 5-8. So, I can’t participate, but maybe you know a middle schooler who might be looking for some new reading material this summer.

The 10 books in this challenge are all about women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). A mix of fiction, non-fiction and graphic novel, but all about women and girls in science.

Here’s why it caught my eye initially: I have a 6-year-old little girl at home who is enthralled in the sciences and math! She’s always been a curious thinker and is a natural questioner of her surroundings, wanting to understand how things work and why.

Recently, we were flipping through the parks and recreation catalog for our hometown and while I encouraged her to look at the sporting options (I’m also always looking for ways to tire her out in the summer), she opted instead for the “All About Birds” STEM program. Of course!

And the other night there was a nature documentary on PBS about hummingbirds, so we had to stop and watch it, naturally.

This is a topic that really hits home for our family and even though I’m too old and she’s too young to participate in this particular challenge, I’m so happy to see a list of books on this topic – and you can bet we’re going to be adding these to our reading list anyway.

To enter the challenge, read at least five books from the list by the end of 2018. Take some notes about what you’re reading or how you feel about it and fill out an online survey and voila – that $10 Amazon gift card is yours!

Picking Up a Book? We’re Not Doing It

23104098How do Americans spend their time? Wylie Communications reports:

  • Engaging in leisure activities: 4 hours, 27 minutes a day (Utah) to 6 hours, 8 minutes a day (West Virginia)
  • Watching TV: 2 hours, 3 minutes a day (West Virginia) to 3 hours, 38 minutes a day (Utah)
  • Using a computer for games or leisure: 19 to 31 minutes a day on weekdays and 22 to 37 minutes on weekends
  • Reading: 13 minutes a day (most Southern states) to 29 minutes a day (North Dakota)

And the news worsens. Teens spend just 4 minutes a day reading for pleasure. Young adults (25 to 34) read for fun for just 8 minutes a day.

Those numbers are downright scary for more than a few reasons.

Is Technology Turning Us Into Poor Readers? Answer: “No, Me Still Read Nice”

Few doubt the positive impact of technology on the way we work and live. This Atlantic Monthly article, however, questions the more subtle influence that computers might have on reading and learning. The article is titled: "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"

For the sake of congruity, I don’t mind telling you that this article was too long for me to read all the way through. However, the premise seems noteworthy and the layout is pretty.