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RAM Recommends: Science Literacy Week 2022

September 25, 2022

Happy Science Literacy Week! Here at RAM, science is integrated into so much of the research that we do. And there’s so much to learn about! So we’ve polled our staff on their favourite books, movies, podcasts, and blogs that share exciting stories of the science, discoveries, and ingenuity shaping our lives.

Here are a few suggestions to check out:

 

Podcasts:

A Life in Ruins podcast discusses real archaeology around the world!”

  • Recommended by: Kyle Forsythe, Curator of Archaeology

“I’m sure it’s been said before, but RADIOLAB! Everyone loves Radiolab.”

  • Recommended by: Kyla Tichkowsky, Program Coordinator & Interpretive Planning

 

Books:

Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality by Eliot Shrefer

“This book is for a young adult audience. My favourite thing about it is that he wrote it as a love letter to his 11-year-old self because he was so scared people would find out he was gay. He had heard so often that queerness is ‘unnatural’, and he felt unnatural. But then he learned as an adult that it is common throughout the animal kingdom. He wrote this book for young people because he wants them to know that queerness IS natural and not grow up with the lies that he was told.”

  • Recommended by: Kyla Tichkowsky, Program Coordinator & Interpretive Planning

 

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers.

  • Recommended by: Kyla Tichkowsky, Program Coordinator & Interpretive Planning

 

Tuniit: Mysterious Folk of the Arctic by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley, illustrated by Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Bigham

“There’s a really good graphic novel, called Tuniit: Mysterious Folk of the Arctic, that discusses the first people in the Arctic and connects the archaeology with traditional knowledge about them that Inuit maintain. It’s aimed at ages 9-12.”

  • Recommended by: Kyle Forsythe, Curator of Archaeology

 

Wild Berries/Pikaci-Minis by Julie Flett

“Julie Flett is a wonderful Indigenous artist who has written several books about Cree culture for children. I love one book in particular, Wild Berries/Pikaci-Minisa. A small boy goes out with his Grandmother to pick berries in the woods. Exploring nature as they pick, Clarence and Grandmother teach the reader Cree words and the importance of berry picking in Cree culture. The story connects with me as I have done research on plant residues on ancient stone tools which helps to understand the types of plants people in the past ate and used.”

  • Recommended by: Karen Giering, Assistant Collections Curator of Archaeology

 

Blogs:

“For a really good blog on Alberta’s past, I would recommend the RETROactive blog.

It summarizes research on topics from archaeology, palaeontology, Indigenous knowledge, and history in a way that’s easily digestible. It’s nice because the kind of research that’s discussed is often inaccessible to the public due to paywalls and jargon-heavy content.”

  • Recommended by: Kyle Forsythe, Curator of Archaeology

 

Toys:

Smart Circuits! This is an educational STEM-based toy that helps teach kids the fundamentals of electronics and circuitry. It continues SmartLab’s mission of promoting independent learning while teaching kiddos science fundamentals in a fun and exciting way!”

  • Recommended by: Kyla Tichkowsky, Program Coordinator & Interpretive Planning

 

 Movies:

“A couple of archaeology-themed movies really stood out to me – they’re adult films but are visually striking and could be good for some older kids with their families:

The first is a visually stunning documentary about Chauvet Cave in France, called Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Available to purchase on Apple iTunes.

The second is a NOVA documentary about how the Maya glyphs were deciphered – called Cracking the Maya Code.”

  • Recommended by: Kyle Forsythe, Curator of Archaeology

 

What would you add to the list?