Writer, copy editor, and educator who finds joy in reading, writing, and thinking along life’s trails

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Mr. Wizard
Don Herbert in 1971 (NBC Network Public Domain)

Newsletter from Martha Stoddard                  

Imagine that you are inspecting a television star’s collected photographs, science experiment directions, fan mail, and other artifacts which show clues to his famous work. You would be standing at the Don “Mr. Wizard” Herbert 2015 exhibit in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Archives Center in Washington, D.C.

I was one of Mr. Wizard’s early admirers who eagerly viewed each Watch Mr. Wizard Saturday morning show’s science demonstrations which included a child actor as assistant. Don Herbert (1917–2007) encouraged children to do varied science experiments using common materials to discover big ideas. The show amazed millions of viewers like me from 1951 until 1965, even from Canada in 1971. The television programs were called Mr. Wizard’s World from 1983 until 1990. Thousands of his fans formed MR. WIZARD Science Clubs across the country.

Mr. Wizard knew that “When we encourage children to ask questions, make predictions, offer explanations and explore in a safe environment, we lend them the kind of support that they need to become successful science students and scientific thinkers.” (Helping Your Child Learn Science, U.S. Department of Education)

Don Herbert also wrote these children’s books:

  • Mr. Wizard’s Supermarket Science, 1980, Penguin Random House;

  • Mr. Wizard’s 400 Experiments in Science, 1983, Book-Lab;

  • Mr. Wizard’s Experiments for Young Scientists, 1990, Doubleday Books for Young Readers.

The DVDs of television episodes are available at the website www.mrwizardstudios.com . Here Don Herbert’s step-daughter Kristen and her husband Tom Kikosey answer fan mail and work to continue Mr. Wizard’s love of hands-on science learning for nurturing growth of 21st century thinking skills.

Science instructor Bill Nye once wrote that if viewers enjoyed science learning when watching the show, “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” the credit for the idea goes to Don Herbert.




Learn about Science Writers

Find out about science writers’ lives,
writing styles, and thoughts.

Kate Messner

Seymour Simon

 



Recommended Reading

Kate Messner’s books:

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, 2017, Chronicle Books

Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree, 2015, Chronicle Books, LLC

Over and Under the Pond, 2017, Chronicle Books

Seymour Simon’s books:

The Paper Airplane Book, 1976, Puffin Books

Earth Our Planet in Space, 2003, Simon and Schuster

Killer Whales, 2002, Chronicle Books LLC

Science Connections/
American Library
Association http://gws.ala.org/category/sciences


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