GoPhineas.com is a website dedicated to promoting an interest in science among young people. Phineas L. MacGuire is a fictional character invented by Frances O’Roark Dowell in her popular series, The Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire. There are three Phineas adventures so far, and a fourth will be published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers in 2014. All the books feature experiments that students can do themselves as well as original illustrations by the brilliant Preston McDaniels. The prestigious Kirkus Reviews calls Phineas “one of the most charmingly engaging new characters in the modern chapter-book scene.”
Phineas L. MacGuire—a.k.a. Mac—aims to be the best fourth-grade scientist ever. It’s a tall order, but he’s confident that he can achieve his goal. After all, how many fourth graders can say they’ve reproduced penicillin? None, as far as Mac knows. He has also erupted over eighty-seven volcanoes (with his old best friend Marcus Ballou, who moved away) and knows plenty about caves, fossils, insects, and the solar system. Here are a few more fact Phineas L. MacGuire, boy-scientist extraordinaire:
- He’s allergic to purple, telephone calls, and girls, and can prove it.
- He’s probably the world’s expert on mold, including which has the highest stink potential.
- He does not have a best friend. He does, however, have an un-best friend, who he does not — repeat, not — want to upgrade to best friend status.
To learn more about Phineas and his friends, visit the Books page where you read sample chapters and order, you guessed it, books.
GoPhineas.com is built around Mac’s Notebook, a science blog for kids that is updated once a week or so. The topics vary greatly: news articles, scientist interviews, experiments to try at home, book reviews, updates on NASA missions, features on key figures and events in the history of science… Each entry is assigned a subject, so it is possible, for instance, to use the listings in the left-hand navigation section to go directly to Notebook entries related to, say, “Geology & Fossils” or “Weather & Climate.”
Over time, as Notebook posts on popular topics accumulate, we’ll organize them into “Collections” that have their own section navigation, such as How to Think Like a Scientist.
Science News for Kids is a live, curated feed of science headlines from around the world updated most business days. Parents and Teachers who wish to work contemporary events into their discussions with young people will find plenty of interesting referrals here.
About the Author
Frances O’Roark Dowell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Dovey Coe, which won the Edgar Award, Where I’d Like to Be, the bestselling The Secret Language of Girls, and its sequel The Kind of Friends We Used to Be, Chicken Boy, Shooting the Moon, which was awarded the Christopher Medal, the Phineas L. MacGuire series, Falling In, the teen novel Ten Miles Past Normal and, most recently, The Second Life of Abigail Walker. She lives with her husband and two sons in Durham, North Carolina. Read more about her at FrancesDowell.com
The day-to-day upkeep of GoPhineas.com is handled by David L. Kaufman and Clifton P. Dowell. David has a degree in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has worked extensively in computer programming and logistics. He likes cats, music, astronomy and guitars, and is allergic to custard and pot roast. Clifton has a degree in English from UNC-Chapel Hill and works as a journalist in Raleigh, N.C. He likes dogs, Piedmont blues, backyard astronomy, rock collecting and North American archeology. He is allergic to dogs, so he and Frances got a dog that doesn’t make him sneeze.