There’s a whole universe of science out there – just waiting to be discovered! At Lafayette Science Museum, we want to help you navigate through it all, so we’re creating a road map. Each week, we will post some of our favorite science content, including books, podcasts, movies, YouTube channels, documentaries, etc. to help propel your journey of discovery! All of our picks will be archived here on our webpage called LSM Recommends. Enjoy!


April 17 • Citizen Scientists • BOOK 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  This book is a how-to for engaging seasonal projects for nature lovers and parents and teachers, too. Get involved in gathering data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count and FrogWatch USA. Whether in a field, urban park, or your own backyard, you can put your nose to a monarch pupa, listen for raucous frog calls, tally woodpeckers, or sweep the grass for ladybugs. This book, full of engaging photos and useful tips, will show you how.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  Author Loree Griffin Burns explains that citizen science is the study of our world by the people who live in it. With crisp color photos and stories from amateur scientists both young and old, this book includes instructions, equipment lists, field guides, a quick quiz, and additional resources. Burns emphasizes gentleness in catching, tagging, photographing, and releasing specimens. It's a reminder of how important it is to treat our planet with care on Earth Day and everyday.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM   Science is for everyone! And anyone can be a scientist by observing the world around them. Citizen scientists of all ages will find new, thought-provoking exhibits from astronomy to zoology and everything in between at LSM. Explore more with us six days a week, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm.
 

          


April 10 • Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Kit • TOY 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  Explore physical science while learning to build 10 LEGO machines that swing, pivot, roll, lift and drop. Connect, rearrange and experiment with the machines to create chain reactions. The kit includes an instruction book, 33 LEGO elements, 6 plastic balls, string, paper ramps and funnel, and is designed to work with basic bricks from any LEGO collection.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  One thing leads to another in this customizable project kit, which encourages kids to imagine, experiment and invent wacky, Rube Goldberg style contraptions. The bright, colorful book includes clear instructions and photos to inspire young builders while they learn about the physics behind each machine.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM   We love science! And we firmly believe that science is for curious minds of all ages. We strive to develop new, thought-provoking exhibits to keep our content fresh and up-to-date. From astronomy to zoology, there's always more to explore at LSM. Visit us to see the latest! We're open six days a week, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm.
 

   


April 3 • The Watcher • BOOK 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  The Watcher is a biography of pioneering primatologist Jane Goodall. From her childhood observing animals and dreaming of Africa to her research with chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania, The Watcher reveals how Goodall's work changed the way we think about animals and ourselves.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  We love The Watcher's use of vivid imagery and lyrical prose to tell the story of a brave young woman who wasn't afraid to do something that had never been done before. Jane Goodall's dedication to the study of chimpanzees in their natural habitat lead to breakthrough discoveries and, later, to conservation efforts to preserve forests and save chimps from extinction.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM   There is so much to discover about humans and our origins by studying other animals. At LSM, check out our exhibit, Digital Divide, which examines the development of digital structures, or fingers and toes, in humans and animals. From plants to insects to mammals, birds, fish and reptiles, LSM offers a variety of biology exhibits for naturalists, young and old.
 

          


March 27 • Brains On! • PODCAST 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  Brains On! is a podcast featuring science and kids produced by American Public Media. A different kid co-hosts each episode. Together with host, Molly Bloom, they ask questions and go wherever the answers lead by interviewing experts, performing plays or even writing songs. Every listener is encouraged to join in and turn their brains on! 

WHY WE LOVE IT  Brains On! is serious about being curious. And curiosity is a fundamental driver of scientific thought and discovery. The podcast's host and co-host use simple explanations and analogies to talk with kids about science topics making the episodes easy to follow and understand. It encourages kids and adults to think about interesting phenomena and talk about science, which is an excellent exercise for brains young and old.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  With Spring Break just around the corner, it's a perfect time to plan your visit at LSM. Keep curious minds occupied with fascinating science exhibits featuring mammals, insects, dinosaurs, fossils, rocks, minerals and more! Be sure to check out our newest exhibit – Augmented Reality and then catch a show in our all digital Planetarium. Take a look at our holiday hours and planetarium show times.

 

   


March 20 • Maker Dad • BOOK 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  Mark Frauenfelder, former editor in chief of MAKE magazine, knows a thing or two about cool tech projects. Maker Dad is a collection of geeky crafts and gadgets he loves to make with his own daughters. Using affordable technology, basic tools, and easy-to-follow instructions, any parent and child can explore making with results that are both rewarding and fun to play with.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  Maker Dad cultivates an early affinity for math, science and technology, teaches lifelong skills, and encourages parents and kids to geek out together. And what could be better than that? Add in colorful photos, clear illustrations, a robot that draws colorful patterns, and an electronic instrument you play with a friend, and we can't wait to get started!
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM   Lafayette Science Museum and Lafayette Public Library are teaming up to host Lafayette's inaugural Mini Maker Faire on March 24. It's part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new – a family-friendly festival of creativity, invention and resourcefulness. Lafayette's Mini Maker Faire will features our community's tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, artists, artisans, designers, builders, doers, and more. It's a free event to celebrate making in all its forms! Reserve your free ticket and join us!
 

          


March 13 • Dragon Coaster Maker Kit • TOY 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  The Marbleocity: Dragon Coaster is a maker kit by Tinkineer. The kits include laser cut wood pieces and metal marbles and are designed to stand alone or be connected with other Marbleocity kits. It’s a fun way to learn about roller coaster design and conservation of energy while making an awesome kinetic sculpture!  

WHY WE LOVE IT  Marbleocity "marble machines" introduce engineering principles and physics concepts. Each instruction manual includes a graphic novel featuring fun comic characters, the Tinkineers. Kelvin, Joule, Newt and friends are always building, tinkering, and exercising their problem-solving skills. They introduce STEM concepts in an engaging way for young makers.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM   Lafayette Science Museum and Lafayette Public Library are teaming up to host Lafayette's inaugural Mini Maker Faire on March 24. It's part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new – a family-friendly festival of creativity, invention and resourcefulness. Lafayette's Mini Maker Faire will features our community's tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, artists, artisans, designers, builders, doers, and more. It's a free event to celebrate making in all its forms! Reserve your free ticket and join us!
 

       


March 6 • Maker Lab • BOOK 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  Learn by doing with Maker Lab using everyday materials from your kitchen, desk, or your own backyard. Build, invent, create, and discover the science behind 28 fascinating science projects.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  Maker Lab provides clear, crisp, colorful photos along with step-by-step instructions and an explanation of the scientific principle demonstrated by each project. Impress your friends and family, create an amazing school project or simply make something incredible because you love science! Lemon batteries, rocket cars, jungle in bottle, fossils, and so much more.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM   Lafayette Science Museum and Lafayette Public Library are teaming up to host Lafayette's inaugural Mini Maker Faire on March 24. It's part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new – a family-friendly festival of creativity, invention and resourcefulness. Lafayette's Mini Maker Faire will features our community's tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, artists, artisans, designers, builders, doers, and more. It's a free event to celebrate making in all its forms! Reserve your free ticket and join us!
 

          


February 27 • Make: • YOUTUBE CHANNEL 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT   The Make: YouTube channel brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all technology, crafts, engineering, and science projects. The channel is loaded with exciting videos for people who enjoy making things using everyday materials and technology in new and different ways.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  The Maker movement is a culture that emphasizes learning-through-doing and shared-learning motivated by fun and self-fulfillment. Making encourages novel applications of technologies and exploring the intersections between traditionally separate domains of working. With a heavy focus on STEM and STEAM fields, Making offers something for just about everyone to enjoy.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM   Lafayette Science Museum and Lafayette Public Library are teaming up to host Lafayette's inaugural Mini Maker Faire on March 24. It's part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new – a family-friendly festival of creativity, invention and resourcefulness. Lafayette's Mini Maker Faire will features our community's tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, artists, artisans, designers, builders, doers and more. It's a free event to celebrate making in all its forms! Reserve your free ticket and join us!
 

 


February 20 • Hidden Figures • MOVIE 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT   Hidden Figures is an award-winning film based on Margot Lee Shatterly's book by the same name. It tells the true story of three brilliant African-American women at NASA – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson – the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  Hidden Figures celebrates the often overlooked or untold achievements of women of color in science. It provides examples of real-world engineering, mathematical and scientific work and highlights the power of diversity, team work, and ingenuity in solving scientific problems. At the same time, Hidden Figures illustrates the challenges and struggles of scientific work and the perseverance required to overcome obstacles. Enjoy this fascinating story by watching the film or reading the book; there's even a Young Reader's edition.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM   Our exhibit, Leaving Earth, explores space flight from the earliest attempts at rocketry to the future plan for space tourism. From the first dreamers who looked at the moon to those who stepped on its surface, see the story of how humankind used the scientific method to break the bounds of gravity to leave Earth and travel into space.
 

      


February 13 • Here Comes the Garbage Barge! • BOOK 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  Here Comes the Garbage Barge! is based on a true story. In 1987, a barge departed from Islip, NY hauling 3200 tons of garbage. Area landfills were overflowing and polluting the groundwater. The town planned to ship the garbage south, but the barge was turned away at every port from North Carolina to Belize. It resulted in an embarassing, costly fiasco: a six month, six-thousand-mile journey that garnered national attention.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  The fictionalized story is told with humor and visually-striking art. It prompts readers to consider what happens to our trash after we toss it into the garbage can. And it highlights the importance of recycling, reducing, and reusing whenever possible. The art for this book was built by Red Nose Studio from repurposed garbage - wire, fabric, junk, and more. The creation of the art is told in its own story on the inside jacket of the book.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  LSM's Project Front Yard exhibit focuses on our community's effort to build awareness about civic and environmental responsibility. It features Yardley the Gnome, the Litter Lifespan Quiz, and a Storm Drain model. Amelie's River Report is a video narrated by a civic-minded student named Amelie who learns about litter and how to keep our waterways clean and safe for residents and wildlife. After viewing the exhibit, visitors can make the Litter Quitter Pledge.
 

          


February 6 • Bugs by the Numbers • BOOK 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  Using silhouette-style portraits of insects, worms, and arachnids designed using only numerals, Bugs by the Numbers is an eye-catching and imaginative look at the insect world. This book by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss, creators of award-winning titles Alphabeasties and Other Amazing Types and Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types, is recommended for kids aged 6–12 and their families.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  Fascinating numeric facts about each specimen provide a wealth of information in a fun, visually stimulating, and easily digestible way. An ant's head, thorax, and abdomen are designed with 1s, 2s, and 3s and a group of ladybugs are made with numerals corresponding to the number of spots on their wings. The book includes liftable flaps, intricate die cuts, and unexpected details about each of the featured species.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  The Crawl Space: Enter the World of Entomology features 19 terrariums that put the focus on beetles and bugs, centipedes, millipedes, caterpillars, and more. You’ll see a variety of creatures, including some you'll be glad are behind the glass, such as tarantulas and black widow spiders. There will be plenty of wiggling and wriggling, so it’s a great experience for families. Who knows? Your kids’ eyes may be bugging out over this one.
 
And on February 17, join us for ArtWalk with artist Kelly Guidry, who has created eight spectacular new bug sculptures for LSM's Crawl Space entomology exhibit. During this ArtWalk, see the new bugs, meet the artist and see more of his amazing work!

 

          


January 30 • It’s Okay To Be Smart • YOUTUBE CHANNEL 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  It's Okay to be Smart is a YouTube Channel about science and part of the PBS Digital Studios network. Joe Hanson, a Ph.D. biologist, is the show's creator, writer, and host. From physics to astronomy, to biology and neuroscience, nothing is off-limits in this quirky investigation of all that science has to offer.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  This fun, creative show is an enlightening exploration of scientific ideas. It's Okay to be Smart shows that being smart isn't just okay, but truly exciting. It presents science as more than just a series of facts. Science is a creative process, it's the excitement we feel at the edge of knowledge, a sense of wonder. Science is for everyone.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  We love science! And we firmly believe that science is for curious minds of all ages. While It's Okay to be Smart offers new episodes each week, we strive to develop new, thought-provoking exhibits to keep our content fresh and up-to-date. From astronomy to zoology, there's always more to explore at LSM. Visit us to see the latest! We're open six days a week, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm.

 



January 23 • One Well: The Story of Water on Earth • BOOK 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  One Well is a book about our planet's most valuable natural resource: water. It tells the eye-opening story of how all water on Earth is connected and essential to all life. It provides a call to action arming each of us with the power to conserve and protect the global supply of water. This richly illustrated book is aimed at grades 3-7, but offers fascinating information and perspectives for readers of all ages.  

WHY WE LOVE IT  One Well is part of CitizenKid, a collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens. The book's message is enlightening and empowering. In addition to the story presented in the book, One Well is liberally splashed with interesting facts from which our museum staff learned a great deal. The author also provides notes for parents, guardians, and teachers to make the most out of reading this book with children.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  At LSM, visitors can learn more about the ways we live with, use, conserve and protect our water resources and habitats with Coastal Quest VR and the Project Front Yard exhibits. Coastal Quest VR is a virtual reality game about coastal erosion. Players must protect Louisiana's coast from attacking forces with defenses like barrier islands, oyster farms, and jetties. Project Front Yard is a community effort to improve the environment around us. Our exhibit focuses specifically on local waterways, the Lower Mississippi Watershed, and civic and environmental responsibility.

 

          


January 16 • StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson • PODCAST 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  StarTalk Radio is a podcast devoted to astronomy, physics and everything else about life in the universe, hosted by renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium of at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Each week Tyson, joined by comedian co-hosts, celebrities, and other special guests, explores captivating subjects such as space travel, extra-terrestrial life, the Big Bang, the role science plays in people's lives, the future of our Earth and the environment, and breaking news from the universe. 

WHY WE LOVE IT  StarTalk Radio is a fascinating intersection between science, pop culture and comedy brought to you with clarity, humor and passion. With eight previous seasons in addition to new episodes covering everything under the sun; or rather under the universe, choose from a plethora of content and learn something new about space and science. New episodes premiere every Friday at 7 pm ET.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  Find a quarterly schedule of special planetarium events curated by LSM's own planetarium director, Dave Hostetter, on our website HERE. Events include telescope classes, solar, star and planetary viewings, and other special presentations.

 

   


January 9 • Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System • APP 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System invites players to sign up for a fact-filled mission to learn all about our solar system. The app is beautifully crafted – jam-packed with animations, music, and play – and it's educational. 

WHY WE LOVE IT  This app makes the most of gaming screen time by truly making learning fun. Kids will love the vibrant animations, music, and humor – and parents will love that it helps to cultivate a love of science and exploration.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  With astronomy programs in our fully digital planetarium (listing HERE), a solar system touch panel, Hubble telescope imagery and the Discovering Space Virtual Reality experience, LSM offers something for every stargazer in your family. Our exhibits and programs can rocket any Space Ace astronomy buff to the next level.

 

       


January 2 • National Geographic First Big Book of Dinosaurs • BOOK 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT  This book is geared toward 4- to 8-year-olds who love dinosaurs! Dinos big and small bring this prehistoric world to life, with stunning illustrations by Franco Tempesta. 

WHY WE LOVE IT  This book is filled with fun facts and age appropriate information. Each spread features a different dinosaur, along with simple text in big type – perfect for little ones! Kids will love the interactive approach and parents will appreciate tips to help take their experience beyond the page.
 
MORE TO EXPLORE AT LSM  In our lobby and on the second floor, visitors to LSM can examine dinosaur fossil casts from the late Jurassic Period including Allosaurus, Camptosaurus, and Stegosaurus. Take a moment to sit back, relax, and learn more about The Age of Dinosaurs in our Dino Lounge upstairs!