Friday, September 16, 2011
Major book donation announced to Christchurch schools
South Pacific Press directors Neale Pitches and Meryl-Lynn Pluck and Pacific Learning (USA) president Jim Connelly announced today that their companies are giving 4,000 copies of an innovative new graphic science book, The Great Earth Magnet by physicist Gillian Turner, to Christchurch schools.
The gift is in memory of Brian Taylor, former director of Kings Language School and long-time director of Science Alive in Christchurch, who died in the February 22 earthquake.
“Brian was a passionate educator, with a special love of science,” Pitches said. “He understood that science literacy needs to start at an early age, and there is no better time than now to get students thinking about Earth and the powerful forces that churn beneath our feet.
Gillian Turner adapted the text from her book North Pole, South Pole: The Epic Quest to Solve the Great Mystery of Earth’s Magnetism, which has been a success both in New Zealand and the US. Published by Wellington’s Awa Press, the book was shortlisted for the 2011 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize. An American edition sold out and is into a second printing.
The Great Earth Magnet explains, in easy-to-understand format, the forces impacting on Earth and their effects. “We have young students playing with magnets and musing, as Einstein did, about the forces involved. This book explains a great mystery – why our planet has a magnetic field – in a way that will enthrall and educate anyone from a young child to a grandparent,” Pitches said.
Peter Baker Transport, in a generous show of support, will deliver the 4000 books to Christchurch free of charge.
South Pacific Press has also collaborated with Awa Press to offer a special low-price package of The Great Earth Magnet – print and ebook editions – with North Pole, South Pole for schools and families across New Zealand . “It’s vital for New Zealand’s ‘new economy’ that New Zealanders are science-literate,” Awa Press publisher Mary Varnham said, “and Gillian Turner has an astonishing talent for making complex scientific material easy for anyone to understand and enjoy.”