Penny’s newest book, written for high school and above, is Magnificent Minds: Sixteen Pioneering Women of science and Medicine. Written to inspire girls and young women to consider science careers, the book’s biographical sketches of sixteen remarkable women span eight countries and four centuries. Learn more here.
A companion book to Magnificent Minds, telling the story of seventeen more women and called Remarkable Minds, will be published September 1, 2015.
The Galactic Academy of Science middle grade novels trace the adventures of pairs of middle school students who travel back in time and meet with scientists of the past in order to solve mysteries in the present. In their travels, the kids are guided by a Dude and Dudetter from the future, Quarkum Phonon and Selectra Volt. Penny is author or co-author of five G.A.S. books, including:
The Desperate Case of the Diamond Chip – Who has stolen Professor Gufov’s invention, a groundbreaking new kind of computer chip? Star student Mae Harris and class clown Clinton Chang travel on a mission through time and learn about the history of atoms and electronics as they track the thief.
The Vicious Case of the Viral Vaccine – When Mae and Clinton start arguing about the safety of a new vaccine, Selectra Volt sends them on a trip to learn about smallpox, rabies, polio, the mumps vaccine, and much more. Can the two kids resolve their differences in time to find out if someone is tampering with the new vaccine?
The Baffling Case of the Battered Brain – When Clinton hits his head in a soccer game and a stranger convinces his coach not to let him go back in the game, Clinton is convinced the stranger is taking bribes to throw games. But Selectra Volt sends him on a time travel journey with Mae to learn about the brain and how it can be injured. Before long, Clinton understands enough to stand up for the stranger in front of his friends.
The Perilous Case of the Zombie Potion – In this Halloween special, Mae and Clinton try to help Sam, who has tried to scare off camp bullies by promising to bring them a zombie. But are zombies real? The kids’ time travel mission takes them to China, Haiti, England, Belgium and Africa as they discover truths about death, near-death, parasites, and the zombie myth. Along the way they discover that Sam’s scientist father in in grave danger, and they are the only ones who may be able to save him.
The Cryptic Case of the Coded Fair – Ella and Shomari travel back in time to meet code makers and breakers of the past, while Anita and Benson work with their tablet computers, all in order to outwit the evil Dr. G and save the international science fair.
The Contaminated Case of the Cooking Contest – When cruise ship passengers start falling ill, Clinton and Mae undertake a time travel mission to learn about food storage, food safety, foodborne illness, and how to track down the cause of a disease. At the same time, they compete in a shipboard cooking contest and try to catch a villain.
Penny is also the author of two middle grade fantasy novels from Mighty Media Press. Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers follows the adventures of thirteen-year-old cousins Ivan and Daphne as they travel through their Great Aunt Adelaide’s barn roof into the magical land of Lexicon, where people live in word or number villages. There the cousins must solve problems and decipher riddles in order to save the lost children of Lexicon.
In The Ice Castle, Ivan and Daphne travel once more to Lexicon in pursuit of their youg cousin Lila, a talented singer. Finding themselves stranded in Lexicon’s Land of Winter, where hew well you sing governs your social status and even your freedom, the cousins find themselves separated and sorted into the roles of fine lady, servant, and slave in the silver mines. Fighting cold, injustice, and imprisonment, the cousins work separately and together to stir up a revolution and restore warmth to the Land of Winter.
Penny has given talks on topics in science and mathematics education to a number of organizations, including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Maine Association for Gifted Education, the Nueva School national conference, and teacher education programs in Massachusetts, Iowa, South Carolina, Colorado, and North Dakota.
Penny is happy to talk to offer 45-minute to one-hour workshops and talks on the following topics:
“Women in Science: Their Struggles and Triumphs.” Based on Remarkable Minds and Magnificent Minds, this talk can be tailored to any age from grade 4 to adult.
“Linking Mathematics and Literature in the Middle School.” Geared to teachers and teachers in training, this talk can be extended to include elementary and high school. Full of concrete examples and resources.
“Integrating STEM and Literacy.” A broader version of the talk above. Attendees will leave with a list of resources.
“The Life and Adventures of Robert Noyce.” This talk about Penny’s father, co-inventor of the microchip and co-founder of Intel is geared especially to Noyce Scholars programs but can be adapted to young people in grades 4-12.
“Writing Science Adventure Stories.” This interactive talk can be adapted to grades 4 through adult, and it can also be offered as a series with student writing in between sessions to create a finished product.
The following work best as 90-minute workshops with middle grade readers (grades 5-7) who have already read the relevant G.A.S. book.
“The Diamond Chip” – Atoms, the periodic table, and concepts in electronics. Activities include exploring heat transfer, using diffraction lenses, and making a simple electroscope.
“The Viral Vaccine” – What vaccines are and how they work. Activities include simulating the interaction of germs and antibodies, demonstrating the importance of hand-washing, and plating germs on agar plates.
“The Battered Brain” – What happens to your brain in a concussion? How did scientists of the past learn about the brain? Activities include making a model of concussion with Jell-O in a jar and trying various tests of orientation and reaction time.
“Codes and Ciphers” – The history of codes and ciphers, with some hands-on and/or computer based activities to make and break codes.
“Cooking Contests and Foodborne Illness” – under development. Ask!
- For a school assembly or group of over one hundred, $350.
- For adult groups of less than one hundred, $200.
- For additional classroom talks in the same day, $150 each.
- For a 90-minute classroom workshop, $300 (includes supplies).
- Travel beyond 100 miles from Boston will be extra.
Penny believes that all children should have a chance to interact with authors and hands-on science. Fees are negotiable in case of financial hardship.
For more information on how you can book Pendred (Penny) Noyce for an event, please reach Tumblehome Learning here