November 28 Birthday: Luke Howard: THE MAN WHO NAMED THE CLOUDS:

Luke Howard, scientist
November 28, 1772-March 21, 1864

The Man Who Named the Clouds by Julie Hannah and Joan Holub, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye (Albert Whitman, 2006)

From childhood, Howard was an intrepid cloud watcher. He kept weather journals and painted the clouds. As an adult, frustrated because a classification system for clouds did not exist, Howard created one. And it is still in use today.

Float on over to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to see photos of common cloud types and to read about the classification system.

November 7 Birthday: MARIE CURIE

Marie Curie, physicist and chemist
Nov. 7, 1867-July 4, 1934

Marie Curie by Leonard Everett Fisher (Atheneum, 1994)

Life as a pioneering scientist was not easy but Curie, a Polish-French pioneer in radioactivity persevered and ultimately won two Nobel Peace Prizes for her efforts.

Visit the Nobel Award site to read more about Curie.


Jacques Cousteau, scientist

June 11, 1910-June 25, 1997

The Fantastic Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccario (Knopf, 2010)

Cousteau loved the water and he spent his life exploring and protecting it. Along the way, he invented diving equipment and waterproof cameras. He sailed the world on the Calypso so we could see below the surface. includes news of the day, expeditions as well as information about technology and environmental programs.

April 2 Birthday: Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian

Maria Merian, scientist

April 2, 1647-Jan. 13, 1717

Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Henry Holt, 2010)

Although Europeans during the Middle Ages thought insects were evil, Maria Merian thought them beautiful and harmless. Through careful observation and study she eventually proved metamorphosis was a natural process. Written in first person, Merian’s account of her quest for truth during her thirteenth year is transformative.

The Academy of Natural Sciences shows the different stages of the life of a butterfly.