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Questions from a Child

Both of my sons asked questions that stumped me yesterday. One asked about how ice melts and why it floated. Of course at age five he wanted a simple explanation but I only think of the wikipedia article about the 15 different phases of ice…
My other son followed right after with the question “Why when I am swimming and take a breath do I always float up to the top?”
I knew buoyancy was the word but how do you define that? I said “bubbles of air float up and when you take a breath you have more air in you…” but I felt I was missing out on teaching something much more interesting about the whole idea.

I just so happens that a Library Card is your ticket to a whole world of kid friendly information! I went to the Library section of Tuolumne.gov Clicked on

Student Resource Center Gold

History, literature, science, social studies, and more, a premium selection of reference material, more than 1,100 full-text periodicals and newspapers, primary sources, creative works, and multimedia, including hours of video and audio clips and podcasts. A service of 4999 Cooperative Library System.

I entered my library card number and clicked on “Kids info bits” then searched for “Buoyancy”
There were 12 resources including information on Archimedes from magazines. There was a bunch of great stuff about ice including “Ready, Set, Melt!” in the Science Corner of the magazine Highlights for Children

It is difficult to find credible resources online but the library has purchased several other wonderful resource data banks and they are a free service of your library:

Magazines: INFOTRAC Custom 1000 Journals
Search full-text articles from magazines. A service of 4999 Cooperative Library System.

Health & Wellness Resource Center
Trusted medical reference sources. Health/medical journals, reference volumes, videos from Healthology, Inc., pamphlets and health-related articles from 2,200 general interest publications, and more. A service of 4999 Cooperative Library System.

Heritage Quest Online (Library card barcode number required.)
Census data, family records and local histories, paid for by the TCGenealogical Society.

World Book Online (Library card barcode number required.)
The print encyclopedia and much more.

Happy researching!