Hey, ACS, Where’s My Coloring Book?There was nothing I liked to do better when I was a young lass than to put crayons to the pages of my coloring books. Staying inside the lines was decidedly cool, and anyone who couldn’t manage it wasn’t allowed to defile my beloved “Sleeping Beauty” or “Aladdin” books. Even today, I have a soft spot for coloring books, so when I see one as fantastic as Cell Press’s “Coloring With Cell,” I think it deserves a mention. I picked up this fun book at a Cell symposium late last year; it came with the registration materials. Immediately, I was in love with the book, made especially for young and old geeks everywhere. Inside, Sammy The Cell guides you through the pages, describing the parts inside cells, how membrane channels work, and into what forms stem cells can differentiate. A particular favorite is the connect-the-dots activity you can do to reveal RNA polymerase stuck to some DNA.
Milli Mole. But what else? Newscripts readers: What would you want to see in a coloring book geared toward getting people excited about chemistry? (And ACS, when are you going to print one, please?) Is it easier or harder to come up with things to color than for biology?I recently shared “Coloring With Cell” with my 10-year-old niece, who wasn’t quite sure at first what to make of the book but humored me by coloring a page or two. In the end, though, she asked if I could bring it back so she could finish coloring a virus particle. Sweeter words I’ve never heard. This rad coloring book got me to thinking: “What would an American Chemical Society coloring book look like? What sorts of things would it ask tiny chemists to color?” Some flasks and beakers of course, and some ball-and-stick molecules to be sure. Perhaps the periodic table, a bit of safety gear, and our dear mascot, Other Newscripts coloring book reading: “Backyard Gas, Crafty Chemistry,” where kids learn about the wonders of hydro-fracking.