For a complete introduction and to get to know each Fuddlebrook story/concept, work your way across the main menu bar above. Have fun exploring, and please contact us with any questions you may have!

But that's not all. Check out the introductory video that explains why we created the Fuddlebrook School Science Series.


It's January and that means cold and flu season along with a new onslaught of coronavirus. What can you do to avoid the dreaded snot, sniffles, and sneezes?   

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Learning about the science of color and the art of color is very “cool!” Don’t forget to appreciate the wonder of color this holiday season!

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Recent News

With all the concern with the Omicron coronavirus, the common cold has taken a backseat. And yet, as you read this, about five percent of us have a cold. Up to a billion colds a year occur in the U.S. alone, causing about 60 million lost days of school and 50 million lost days of work—adding up to $25 billion in lost productivity. To make up for it, Americans spend around $5 billion on over-the-counter remedies. Here are some cold stats:

  • Colds are the leading cause of visits to the doctor: Antibiotics are prescribed for more than 60 percent of common colds, despite the fact that bacteria are involved in only two percent.
  • A single cold virus can have 16 million offspring within 24 hours.
  • The velocity of a sneeze is about as fast as a professional baseball pitcher can throw a fastball – about 100 miles (150 km) per hour.
  • The longest sneezing bout ever recorded is that of 12-year-old UK schoolgirl Donna Griffiths, who started sneezing on January 13, 1981, and sneezed for 978 days.

You’ve also probably believed some of these myths about the common cold. They aren’t true so let’s put them to bed!

  1. Being cold causes a cold. Perhaps the most widespread cold myth suggests that exposure to cold temperatures causes people to catch colds. This is probably because colds are much more common in the winter, and cold air often causes a runny nose.
  2. Make the most of it. Some people believe that treating cold symptoms is bad for you because they help you recover. But research has shown that about a quarter of people who catch a cold don’t have any symptoms, and beat the virus just as easily. Furthermore, sneezing and runny noses do not eliminate the virus completely, as it is still reproducing in the cells of the nasal lining. In addition, the more you treat your symptoms, the less likely you are to spread your cold.
  3. Feed a cold and starve a fever (or vice versa). The origins of this saying are unclear. In any case, it probably is not a good idea. Eating well supports your immune system, and you need more fluids than usual when you have a cold if you want to avoid dehydration.
  4. Antibiotics cure the common cold. As noted above, antibiotics usually do not help a cold. Antibiotics work against bacteria, while most colds are viral. The overprescription of unwarranted antibiotics has caused our bodies to develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They may actually make colds worse by killing the ‘friendly’ bacteria and creating an environment more hospitable to the virus.
  5. The Omicron Coronavirus is just like a cold. Both COVID-19 and the common cold are caused by viruses. COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, while the common cold is most often caused by rhinoviruses. These viruses spread in similar ways and cause many of the same signs and symptoms. A couple of differences  would be significant fever with COVID. People are having more fever a day or two, and obviously, if you get significant lung symptoms, bad coughing for a long period of time, any kind of shortness of breath, those things are uncommon with the common cold. Regardless, if you do come down with cold symptoms, runny nose, sore throat, cough, you need to investigate if it could be COVID.

There is, however, one cold myth that contains a grain of truth: Eat chicken soup. A recent study concluded that chicken soup helps the body clear mucus from the bronchial tubes faster and more effectively than other liquids. It does so because inhaling its warm vapors raises the temperature of the nose and loosens thickened secretions. According to the researchers, the active ingredients in traditional recipes also includes celery, onions, carrots, parsley, mushrooms, parsnips, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. These are known for their medicinal and antioxidant properties.

Want to know more? Read our Fuddlebrook story, Snot, Sniffles, and Sneezes. Than watch our short video which conveys how quickly germs can spread and why handwashing is so important!

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Color is all around us and there’s no time like the holidays to experience it. Twinkling lights, bright colored decorations, ribbons, and beautiful packages all add to the wonder of the season. Let’s take a moment to consider the science of color. It’s truly awesome!

Most people perceive a million different colors. We have many words for these colors, but language can never capture our extraordinary range of hues. Our powers of color vision derive from cells in our eyes called cones, three types in all, each triggered by different wavelengths of light. Every moment our eyes are open, those three cones fire off messages to the brain. The brain then combines the signals to produce the phenomena we call color.

Take one cone away—go from being what scientists call a trichromat to a dichromat—and the number of possible combinations drops to 10,000. Almost all other mammals, including dogs and some monkeys, are dichromats. The richness of the world most humans see (color blindness affects approximately 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women in the world) is rivaled only by that of birds and some insects, which also perceive the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.

Researchers suspect, though, that some people see even more. Living among us are people with four cones, who might experience a range of colors invisible to the rest. In fact, British scientists discovered such a woman known only as cDa29, (and suspect there are more) about a decade ago. It’s possible these so-called tetrachromats see a hundred million colors, with each familiar hue fracturing into a hundred more subtle shades for which there are no names. And because perceiving color is a personal experience, they would have no way of knowing they see far beyond what we consider the limits of human vision.

What would it be like to see through cDa29’s eyes? Unfortunately, she cannot describe how her color vision compares with ours, any more than we can describe to a dichromatic person what red looks like. Learn more.

In the book Liza’s Colorful Tale, we learn more about color and the light waves that create it. We create colors beyond the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue by mixing, adding or subtracting colors. But that’s not all. Check out our holiday art project as we create cool and colorful ice sculptures.

Even though most of us don’t have super vision like cDa29, seeing a million colors is pretty special! Take time this holiday season to “drink in” the wonder of color that surrounds us.

Happy holidays!


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What people are saying

This new series marvelously succeeds in introducing young students to inquiry-based, experiential learning of scientific concepts that are age-appropriate. Moreover, students have the opportunity to explore story-based scientific concepts further through hands-on investigations.

--Teresa, Biology Ph.D; former elementary teacher, Springfield, MO

What people are saying

The thing I love most about the Fuddlebrook series is the connection aspect. Not only have the creators connected literacy and science, they have also provided opportunity for exploration of all areas of life. The dispositions and traits of the characters are consistent throughout the books and lead to discussions about friendship, bullying, loyalty, honesty, and humility. Fuddlebrook is "teaching the whole child by connecting to life."

--Carolyn, First Grade Teacher, Ozark, MO