The American Heritage Student Science Dictionary

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9780547002439: The American Heritage Student Science Dictionary
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The American Heritage Student Science Dictionary is the ideal science resource for students and their families for homework, school projects, or just browsing. This updated edition includes a revised table of the planets that takes into account the demotion of Pluto from the category of planet, along with the new vocabulary created by the International Astronomical Union, including the term dwarf planet.With over 4,500 entries, 425 full-color photographs and drawings, and 175 fascinating feature notes, this is the most current and comprehensive student science dictionary available.

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About the Author:

The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries are a team of professional lexicographers with advanced degrees in various scholarly fields. The editors familiarize themselves with the vocabulary in specific subject areas, collect materials on new developments and usage, and work with expert consultants to ensure that the content of our publications is as accurate and as up-to-date as possible.

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This attractive volume was designed to help users in grades seven and up understand the important concepts of science. In an accessible manner that does not talk down to users, the 4,500 entries provide pronunciation, part of speech, and definition, with enough detail to explain the scientific meaning and relevance of each term. Entries may also include irregular plurals, run-ons, and other forms, and cross-references that direct the user to other entries for more information or for purposes of comparison.

Although easy enough for a fifth-grader to use, the work provides more than just a simple definition of an elusive term. It also offers sidebars entitled "Did You Know?" which clarify 100 important terms, such as plate tectonics. In a conversational tone, these "Did You Know?" features challenge readers to use their observation skills or own experiences to understand the scientific concepts. "A Closer Look" examines a dozen topics in even more detail. For example, Leaf has a useful illustration that helps users understand (and see) the difference between monocotyledon and dicotyledon leaves. Additional boxed features called "Usage " and "Word History" also add to the user's understanding. (For example, the "Usage" box on infectious/communicable/contagious helps to clarify what the three terms mean in relation to each other.)

Another welcome feature are the 300 biographical entries, which identify men and women from around the world who have made a contribution to science. These short entries include birth and death dates, nationality, and importance and often have a photograph or illustration. Some 20 individuals are treated in longer biography sidebars. The biographies would be especially helpful for small libraries that have a limited range of reference materials for children in science.

More than 400 full-color illustrations and photographs as well as graphics, charts, and tables enhance the text. The typeface, the amount of white space, and the overall design of this work will appeal to students who might be intimidated by larger scientific dictionaries. Overall, this is an excellent addition to school and public libraries.

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