An Excavation Team in Egypt Has Discovered Another Ancient Pyramid

An excavation team working near the Dahshur royal necropolis has made an exciting discovery! There aren’t a lot of details about the ancient pyramid, but some of the facts we do know include:

•    The structure was discovered near King Sneferu’s pyramid in the south of Cairo, a burial site for high-ranking officials.
•    The pyramid dates back around 3,700 years.
•    The structure was likely built during the 13th Dynasty, about which historians know very little, due to the rarity of surviving monuments from this time.

Ancient PyramidAs archaeologists continue to excavate the pyramid, they will also continue to gain information about how large it is, whether it is intact, and what secrets the structure may hold. It was originally reported that this pyramid was believed to be one of the first attempts by Ancient Egypt to build a smooth-sided pyramid, but this is now thought to be a translation error.

We now know that this pyramid was built much later and near the time that Ancient Egyptians ceased making pyramids at all. This is a good example of the importance of using a good-quality scientific notebook to keep accurate records when recording any type of data to prevent having it misconstrued.

The location and timing of the new discovery have led to excitement over the potential for learning more about a time where few records exist. King Sneferu constructed the Red and Bent Pyramids, both of which are considered early examples of the Egyptian’s pyramid architecture. Later, King Sneferu’s son, King Khufu, built the pyramids at Giza.

Findings and recordings from the past provide scientists with important information about how significant this discovery may be. Only time will reveal who is buried in the pyramid, but it is already looking as though it may be a high-ranking official like those in proximity to the new discovery.

One can only imagine the thrill that comes from this type of discovery. As researchers anticipate the findings that are likely to be unearthed throughout the excavation, many of us will remain watchful of the news of what each new day may bring.

scientific notebookAs scientists continue to reveal what the new discovery has to offer, they are likely to feel the rush of making a new discovery with each milestone they reach. New discoveries are only experienced once before they become news and the scientist moves on to the next one. The same is true for any researcher at every level of research.

From high school students to those scientists who are working in the field to find new and amazing discoveries from a past era, no other tool is more important than a high-quality journal or research notebook where they can record data, first impressions, and a wide variety of details that will be needed for future analysis. Without accurate and detailed records, the true value of any discovery is at risk of being lost.

The Scientific Notebook Company is a valuable resource for the highest quality notebooks for the classroom, in the field, or any place where valuable data is being recorded. To learn more about available products or to place your order, call SNCO at 800-537-3028.

The Brain’s Hot Zone and What It Means to Your Dreams

“Nothing happens unless first we dream,” Carl Sandburg is quoted as saying.  Dreaming and why we dream is one of science’s great unanswered questions. It’s also a source of fascination for most of us. We wonder endlessly about what our dreams mean, and it often has us questioning who we are and our very purpose.

A new study has recently found the dream center of the brain, known as the “hot zone,” that offers a better understanding of how and when we dream.  Why we dream and what dreams mean can be discovered by writing them down in a classroom notebook, many experts have suggested, and it may even help some of them come true.

dream center What exactly happens in the brain during the four to six times per night that we all dream has been a mystery until now. The University of Wisconsin School of Public Health conducted a study that has found a “hot zone” in the back of the brain. This discovery gives a better understanding of how and when we dream, which areas of the brain are involved, and what that contributes to the content of your dreams.

The neuroscientists found that dreams and dreamless sleep occur in both Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep when brain activity is slower.

The study also found that when dreams contained speech or movement or other activities, those brain regions were activated, similar to when someone is awake. Participants in the study were also given EEGs while they slept.

presence of dreaming Based on the EEG readings, whether the sleepers would report a dream or not when they awakened, researchers were able to predict the presence of dreaming 92 percent of the time and the absence of dreaming 81 percent of the time. Not only does the research give us a better understanding of how and when we dream, it could lead to ways of inducing sleep and even altering dreams, for those who struggle with nightmares and insomnia.

Even with this scientific advancement, remembering dreams and understanding how they came to be is best solved by writing them down as soon as you wake up. Writing down your dreams gives you the opportunity to reflect on your feelings and do a little soul-searching to try to figure out why you are having a certain type of dream.

Many psychologists believe that writing about your dreams can help you become happier and help identify what is really important to you. It’s easy to do and simply requires a bound notebook and a pen that you leave next to your bed. You have to make it a habit.  Think of it as your own science experiment.

Call Scientific Notebook Company today at 800-537-3028 and let us help you find the best way to record your data so you can be on your way to making your own discovery.

You’ll Never Believe What NASA’s New Discoveries Reveal

New reports from NASA, including a recent announcement, show just how far science is taking us in the search for life. Evidence of new ocean worlds and water on planets thought previously to be devoid of life are demonstrating just how far we’ve come, but what do these ocean worlds really tell us? Grab your scientific notebooks and tuck into this incredible information; this is some exciting stuff!

NASA’s New Discoveries RevealAlien Oceans

Having lived on Earth for all of our lives (with the exception of astronauts), even the best scientists are prone to holding an Earth-centric view of nature itself. When we think of oceans, most of us think of Earth’s oceans—teeming with life and many right for swimming, too, depending on where you are in the world.

Unfortunately, that’s probably not the case for most of the oceans discovered by Hubble. But the presence of water does increase the chances of a planet developing into a hospitable world down the road—and that’s great news for us here on Earth.

A Concentrated Effort

While the Hubble telescope is certainly expanding our ability to investigate exoplanets from here on Earth, the recent Cassini mission also contributed to NASA’s new data. Cassini, a satellite orbiting Saturn, has spent the last 30 years gathering information about the planet. Though NASA’s details were scant, they pointed to the fact that something discovered on Saturn may allow scientists to detect life on other planets at a more reliable rate.

Europa May Be the Answer

Of additional interest, and currently on NASA’s radar, is Europa, a small exoplanet orbiting Jupiter. New telescope data is revealing evidence of water molecules and evaporation, a sign that Europa may contain water spouts—and, thus, oceans. Scientists suspect that Europa could even contain three times the water of Earth. Kevin Costner’s Waterworld just might be real (albeit not in the way the movie represented).

Technically, Europa is an ice planet, so the idea of life may seem pretty far-fetched. But what’s often missed is the fact that the tiny planet’s ocean makes contact with geothermal elements that heat up the water and provide the planet with warmth. In the right conditions, that geothermal activity could very well create the perfect recipe for life to develop.

Learn new discoveries from NASAUpcoming Clipper Mission

With evidence rolling out of Europa, and scientists chomping at the bit to explore it, a clipper mission in 2020 is the inevitable next step. Scientists hope that, by getting a closer look and probing the planet directly, they’ll be able to identify whether or not their suspicions are accurate.

New Information May Change Space Exploration

NASA also hinted at additional discoveries, mostly of exoplanets throughout the solar system. While these planets weren’t directly identified, a NASA representative did say that what they’ve found could change space exploration forever. They also hinted that some of the features they may have found on these exoplanets could point to life—life that’s similar in nature to the life found here on Earth.

Furiously scribbling down details in your trusty research notebook? You’re not alone. Scientists all across the world are just as excited as you are about the findings. While SNCO can’t discover new life on your behalf, we can make it easier to do the work you already love. Contact us today at 800-537-3028 to inquire about our research supplies.

How to Become a STEM Mentor

STEM professionals are justifiably proud of their fields. Scientists, engineers, and mathematicians are all incredibly valuable members of society and industry who help discover new technologies, develop new and better ways of doing things, and whose work generally improves the lives of million people across the world.

As important as STEM professionals are, however, there’s one thing that many of them can do to make an even bigger impact: Become a mentor to young students. Young minds, especially those that are interested in pursuing a career in a STEM field, need nurturing, and the best people to do that are other professionals who can foster intellect and curiosity while also providing practical tips on getting a job and learning new skills.

If you’ve ever considered becoming a mentor, there’s no better time than now.

Become a STEM mentor

Becoming a Mentor – Where to Start

As with almost anything, the hardest part of becoming a mentor is probably figuring out how to get started. Where should an aspiring STEM mentor go to find pupils? Are there any organizations that can provide support? What’s the best place to find students who most need the help, and who are really committed to taking the lessons they learn and applying them to their lives?

On that front, we’ve got some good news: There are lots of organizations that are looking for STEM mentors to partner with students, and they are ready to do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of getting the relationship between mentor and student off the ground.

Organizations like Global STEM Alliance, the Corporation for National & Community Service, and other similar groups are always looking for people willing to volunteer their time; even more opportunities are available through local universities, community colleges, high schools, and educational organizations. If you truly want to become a mentor, the opportunity is just a Google search or a phone call away.

I’ve Become a Mentor – Now What?

Congratulations—you’re now a STEM mentor! You’ve got a big task ahead of you. By taking a student under your wing, you’re assuming at least partial responsibility for their future success. Any good mentor takes that responsibility incredibly seriously, which is why so many worry about what exactly they’re supposed to do. While there’s no one objectively correct way to be a mentor—each student and each teacher are different, after all—here are some good starting points:

  • •   Listen: Mentoring is more than just talking while the student listens. If you ever had a bad teacher when you were in school, then you know just how quickly an uncommunicative or overly stubborn teacher can kill a student’s interest in learning. Listen when your student has something they need to say, and take their concerns seriously.
  • •   Care: Becoming a mentor means assuming responsibility for your student. That means putting in extra work when it’s needed and demonstrating a genuine interest in your student’s learning and progress.
  • •   Be Available: For many students, a mentor is more than just a teacher they get lessons from for a few hours every week. Your student may want to ask you advice on other things or need you to be a parental figure for them. If you’re not up to the task, then you might want to take the time to connect your student with a mentor who can provide them with the kind of attention they need.

STEM Mentors

A big part of teaching a STEM field is showing students how to record a proper laboratory notebook. Contact Scientific Notebook Company today at 800-537-3028 for more information on our notebooks and laboratory supplies.

How Adults Can Sabotage a Child’s Academic Success in Science and Mathematics

They were the beacon of hope and a light into the future almost a half-century ago. Two of the most beloved wonders of the world, then—science and mathematics—have become two of the most controversial subjects in today’s public and private education system. Science is suffering from variable results based off shaky theories and continual research into itself, causing its constants to change—changes that most people cannot or will not understand or accept.

Child's Academic Success in Mathematics

Meanwhile, mathematics suffers from an overall deep dislike of the subject by many people and by the birth of technology, which grants quick access to complex equations by a sequence of keystrokes—much unlike the mid-1900s, and before, when problem-solving was drawn out in laboratory notebooks or on classroom chalkboards.

Conversations have turned away from bouncing ideas and thoughts from one person to the next. Now, we often repeat aloud the words and numbers displayed on screens from waves of data bounced between the electronic devices. With this disconnect applied to the fundamentals of math, it is quite easy to forgo understanding the entire equation, ending up just spitting out the answer.

So, how can people really learn about and like math when they don’t want or need to? It doesn’t help that parents reinforce this behavior when they pull out their phones to calculate a tip or convert fractions into decimals. Why would a student choose to pick up a pencil and a lab notebook if the mentality toward math is to use a smartphone to come up with an answer?

As it turns out, all of these anxieties and fears of science and mathematics affect the ability of children in the classroom. Some believe it has to do with the fact that “parents’ and teachers’ own math anxieties and their beliefs about whether math ability is a stable trait may prove to be significant influences on children’s math attitudes.”1

Child's Academic Success in Science

Another example of detrimental effects these attitudes toward math have on children are the deep-seeded gender stereotypes about girls’ inabilities to excel in mathematics. This, alone, could prevent a student from fulfilling her potential simply because of a culture perpetuates this belief about both math and science.

Science is constantly under the scrutiny of religious leaders. It is hard to imagine that the creationism and evolution-based ideologies could be any further apart. Most creationist leaders toss aside scientific research that contradicts creationism, no matter how solid or well-researched it may be.

In some states, where religion plays a huge part of daily life, this ideology can affect the classroom significantly. Students are not taught that science is a living, breathing subject. Instead, many are taught that science had its shot and has, in some ways, failed to prove itself.

It is imperative that adults stress the importance of science and math, and the advantages they provide us in improving our culture and careers, as well as our understanding of the vast universe we call home. With these key elements in mind, students can prepare themselves for a bright and successful future ahead.



A Teacher’s Guide to Mentoring Students in STEM

Today’s school curricula tend to fall short in the subjects science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Many public schools have shifted their focus to helping students do well on various standardized tests and now spend a good portion of the school year reviewing materials covered on these tests. As a result, numerous nonprofit and charity organizations have developed programs over the years to help connect students with STEM mentors.

Scientific Notebook
STEM mentors play a vital role in helping children, teens, and young adults further develop their interests in related STEM career fields. A STEM mentor does not have to be a teacher by professional, and many mentors come from various STEM career fields. The goal of a STEM mentor is much more than just talking about STEM-related topics of interest between the mentor and mentee.

What makes a great mentor is being able to listen to the student. In some cases, the student may only require a “sounding board” and someone to talk to about different ideas and thoughts they have while working through a problem on their own. Other times, they just want someone they can talk to without discussing any STEM topics whatsoever. STEM mentors need to recognize these differences and be able to provide the support the student requires.

Another aspect to becoming an outstanding mentor is helping to inspire students in various ways. For instance, you could challenge them to explore various topics on their own and find something within those topics that truly excites and motivates them. On the other hand, you could provide them an overview of a recent advancement in a STEM field and ask them their input on how they think this new development will benefit people.

Furthermore, a STEM mentor needs to be able to notice the differences between admiration and true interest. Some students will look for adults they admire, who are basically their “heroes” in one of the STEM fields. This adoration can sometimes create challenges for the mentors because they need to help the student learn the difference between what topics are of interest to the student, not just the STEM field of expertise their mentor excels in.

Mentoring Students in STEM

In addition to these traits, a mentor must be able to come up with creative ways to provide students with hands-on experiences to truly help expand the student’s ideas and thought processes about STEM-related fields. Mentors should also try to arrange the opportunities for students to meet professionals working in STEM career fields so they can see first-hand exactly what is like to work in that area of STEM.

As students become older, the nature of the relationship between mentor and mentee needs to evolve and expand. Mentoring high school and college students becomes more about building stronger relationships and helping guide the students to careers they will enjoy doing.

If becoming a STEM mentor sounds enticing, we encourage you to seek out various programs in your area. For all of your research and scientific lab notebook needs, remember to order them from SNCO by calling 800.537.3028 today. We are world’s leading manufacturer of scientific notebooks!

Tips for Reading a Scientific Paper

For many students of science, learning how to read scientific papers can pose a challenge in the beginning. With the use of referencing scientific papers in the media, classroom, and on websites, it is vital to be able to read and correctly interpret scientific papers.

Lab notebook

Scientific papers are almost always prefaced with an abstract—a summary of the hypothesis, research, and results. However, some abstracts can be fairly short, may contain a significant amount of scientific jargon, or do not convey the in-depth research done by the paper’s authors.  Some websites also require you to have an account to be able to read the paper’s full text. You may feel overwhelmed, at first, so here are a few tips to help you read and understand a paper from beginning to end.

  1. Give it a quick first read. Using a lab notebook, write down the name of the paper. Be sure to take notes while reading. Use the header words of each different section—for example, Introduction, Conclusion, etc.—so you are able to keep your notes organized.  Quickly skim the paper and write down main themes, theories, research data, and other terms or phrases that stand out.
  2. Create a list of phrases or terms that confuse you. In your laboratory notebook, be sure to create a way to identify unfamiliar and/or confusing terms or phrases. Different sciences may use familiar terms as a completely different meaning. Some sciences use the context of words to explain research that may not make sense in layman’s terms.
  3. Research words you do not understand. Use a scientific dictionary to research unfamiliar terms or phrases. Once you have gathered all of the information in context of the paper, re-read it again carefully. Be sure to compare your new understanding of the paper to your notes. Double check that the notes you have written down in your lab notebook are correctly aligned with the paper’s data. Key elements to look out for are the publishing date, hypothesis, sample size, collection methods, and conclusion(s).
  4. Pay attention to figure details. Many papers include graphs, infographics, and/or tables. It is key to take notes on the figures in the order of which they are mentioned in the paper. It is very important to understand the effects of scaling within the graph(s) to be able to correctly interpret the data. Record the information you learned in your laboratory notebook.
  5. Interpret the data in student scientific notebooks. Use your laboratory research notebook to answer the questions. You may have to go back and read sections several times while comparing your notes to the paper in order to get a better understanding of the subject. Be sure to do independent research on the same or similar studies.
  6. Ask yourself the following questions:

-What is the hypothesis?
-What are the data collection methods?
-What does the data say about the hypothesis?
-What does the conclusion say about the hypothesis?

Scientific notebooks


How to Cite in ACS Format

To a lot of students, learning to write in an academic style is nothing more than a chore and an inconvenience—something that their professors foist on them just to make things more difficult for them. The truth is, however, that there are very good reasons that anyone hoping to make their name known in the world of science and academia should familiarize themselves with ACS style and make it a habit of writing in accordance with academic formats.

Like it or not, academic formats are the language of the field; anyone who wants to be taken seriously in the world of science publications—or who wants to follow proper guidelines for writing a laboratory notebook—needs to learn to cite their sources in ACS format. If you want to learn how to do that or need a refresher, read on!

Writing a Laboratory Notebook

An Introduction to ACS Format

In case you don’t know, ACS stands for American Chemical Society, the group that came up with the guidelines for how scientific articles should be written. ACS format has long been the chosen style for academic scientific writing, and, like other academic formats for citing sources, it provides a unified framework that makes interpreting and fact checking articles easier.

Additionally, according to commonly accepted guidelines, laboratory manuals and notebooks should also be written in ACS style.

What Is ACS Format?

The most important part of ACS format is its guidelines for citations. Inevitably, science articles will make reference to other works, whether those are books, other articles, or the writer’s own previous work. Depending on the information and the type of material being cited, the format changes.

According to ACS format, in-text citations can be handled in different ways:

  1. Superscript numbers
    • •   The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.¹
    • •   Jones and Weaver1 state that the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
  1. Italic numbers
    • •   The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. (1)
    • •   Jones and Weaver (1) state that the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
  1. Author name and year of publication
    • •   The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog (Weaver and Jones, 1998)
    • •   Weaver and Jones state that the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. (1998)
    • •   If there is more than one other, they should always be written with an “and” (“Weaver and Jones”). For more than two authors, use the first author’s name followed by “et al.” (“Weaver et al.”)

ACS format also has specific guidelines for how to write a reference list of works that are cited in an article. Books, articles, theses, and reports all have their own formats, and we don’t have space to cover all of them, so we’ll only cover the most basic of each type.

  1. Books
    • •   Weaver, K. The Quick Brown Fox: Did It Jump Over the Lazy Dog?, 3rd. ed.; McGraw-Hill, Boston, 1998.
  1. Articles from scientific journals
    • •   Weaver, K. Jones, B. Roberts, M. Methods of Jumping Over the Lazy Dog by Quick Brown Foxes. J. Am Chem. Soc. 1998, 122, 10033-`0046.
  1. Articles from online journals
    • •   Weaver, K. Solutions for Quick Brown Foxes When Encountering Lazy Dogs. Chem. Ed. [Online] 1998, 11, 383-393 (accessed Nov 14, 2016)

This is only the most basic overview of ACS format, but it should give you the guidance you need to get started. If you need more information, refer to the ACS Style Guide, which contains the entire guidelines for the format.

Laboratory Notebook ACS Format

Scientific Notebook Company (SNCO) is the leading provider of notebooks and writing supplies for students, scientists, and lab workers. For more information, give us a call at 800-537-3028.

Scanning Lab Notebooks Prevents Disaster

Traditional paper laboratory notebooks provide a convenient and versatile means for researchers and other laboratory professionals to document their work. However, paper notebooks can easily be lost or damaged. Scanning your lab books provides a needed backup that will ensure that important records are safe and accessible.

glove hand with lab equipment

Paper-based lab notebooks are here to stay. They’re far too convenient and versatile to ever be replaced by a digital medium. Also, the act of recording notes by hand has been shown to help humans in the retention of information—another great argument for keeping scientific notebooks in research labs.

Although paper notebooks will continue to be an important part of laboratory protocol, there is a place for digital technology in helping to record important information about experiments, studies, and other lab work. Scanning pages from research notebooks into a digital archive will help preserve the information within these critical records. Scanned copies also make reproducing and sharing processes, procedures, and observations from lab professionals easier.

Scientific notebooks are very helpful in the process of documenting research and experience, but they are vulnerable to any number of disasters. They can be lost in transit from one location to another. They can be stolen. They can be damaged and rendered illegible by chemical spills. They can be destroyed in fires or natural disasters.

Loss of the important information contained in these notebooks is an unacceptable risk for research organizations and labs. Millions of dollars may be lost if research organizations do not keep thorough documentation of their work.

Scientific notebooks often play a critical role in the patent process and in legal challenges regarding patents and intellectual property. A properly maintained scientific notebook can provide critical evidence documenting the progression and timing of research and development.

These notebooks also play an important role in allowing researchers see how other researchers arrived at conclusions, allowing them to build upon the work of those who’ve gone before them. Scanning notebooks eliminates this risk.

Modern scanning equipment can create accurate, crystal-clear images of lab notebook pages in full color. These images are typically saved in a document management system that makes accessing needed information convenient. Many have full-text searches that allow data managers to quickly find relevant pages.

Lab staff can scan pages in themselves or turn the responsibility over to a reliable professional scanning operation. Professional scanners can ensure the integrity of the original notebooks are maintained, and that all digital copies of notebook pages are of good quality and are properly saved.

Lab notebooks

Laboratories should make scanning scientific notebooks a key component of their disaster recovery and compliance policies. This digital technology can ensure that lab notebooks that can provide important insight of how discoveries are made or offer important evidence for court cases or patent applications are never lost, making it a worthwhile investment.

SNCO manufactures top-quality laboratory notebooks, patent notebooks, engineering notebooks, and related materials. Founded in 1959, SNCO has provided a durable medium of documentation for generations of the nation’s leading minds in science and medicine.

Tips for Writing and Submitting Papers to Be Published in Scientific Journals

One of the biggest rewards for scientific researchers is to have their work published in a scientific journal. It allows them to share their success on a project, plus it helps gain exposure for their work. Before you sit down and start hammering out a piece of content you would like to have published, you will want to review these tips and suggestions.

Writing and Submitting Tips

Writing Tips

Writing the piece of content is one of the most important aspects to having it accepted for publication. You do not want to rush through the processes; otherwise, the piece will probably be rejected. The best place to start is to consider the target audience and adjust your writing to fit with their knowledge and educational levels. For instance, if you want to write a piece for teenagers and have it published in a scientific journal that is appropriate for their age group, you need to make sure the content can be easily understood and avoid using jargon that they might not be aware of or know.

Once you have identified your target audience, your next steps should include:

•  Find the Right Journal
• Review the Journal’s Author Guidelines and Scope
• Draft an Outline
• Review, Edit, and Modify the Outline
• Compose the Content
• Verify the Title Reflects the Theme
• Confirm the Abstract Captures the Main Points of the Paper
• Have Your Peers Read the Paper and Provide Feedback
• Revise the Paper as Needed
• Have the Contend Edited/Reviewed by a Professional


During the early stages, while you are creating the outline and preparing to write the paper, it is beneficial to review your research notebook and other reference notebooks where you documented your research to ensure you remain on topic.

Review your Research Notebook

When you are ready to submit your paper to the journal, you will want to make sure to include a cover letter. Cover letters provide the opportunity to impress the editors or chief editors of various journal publications. Consider it like having a face-to-face meeting to explain and persuade the editor to publish your paper. Cover letters should include several key components, not just a copied title and abstract from the paper.

• An Outline of the Main Theme
• Persuasive Arguments for the Importance of the Paper
• Justification of the Relevance for the Target Audience
• Acknowledgment of Colleagues and Peers that Already Reviewed the Paper and Their Feedback
Keep in mind, a cover letter should be concise and direct. It is easy to try to fit too much into the cover letter so that it ends up being several pages long. Rather, a good rule of thumb is to limit the cover letter to about half a page, but no more than a single page. Last, remember to thank the editor for his or her time and consideration.
In the event your paper is rejected, review the feedback provided and make revisions to the content before resubmitting it. For all of your lab, research, and scientific notebook needs, please feel free to contact SNCO today at 800.537.3028.