A new e-book is teaching kids to think likes scientists. Coolbean the Soybean, now available as an interactive book for grades 3-5, helps children learn about agronomic, crop and soil sciences.
Author Shawn Conley is an agronomy professor and the Soybean and Wheat Extension Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “I wanted to develop a fun, yet educational, tool to help teach today’s youth about where food comes from, career opportunities in agriculture, and explain why soybeans are so important, not only here in the US, but around the world,” says Conley. “My daughters were the main reason for writing this book, but I also remember being inspired at an early age by my first and second grade teacher, Mrs. Swiggum. Hopefully this book can help inspire the next generation of agricultural scientists.”
Previously released as a traditional graphic children’s book, Coolbean the Soybean transformed to an e-book in response to a generation of “digital native” students who want educational texts in a friendly format.
“We wanted to make it welcoming and accessible to boys and girls alike, and not intimidating,” says Lisa Al-Amoodi, managing editor. “The narration helps kids who may have a range of reading abilities.”
Coolbean explains modern farming techniques, how a seed becomes a plant and then produces a crop. The book tells the story of how soil, sunshine, and water affect the growth of the plant, intentionally following Next Generation science standards.
Check it out online at www.coolbeanthesoybean.org/.