Prior to the landing of the NASA Rover Perseverance on Mars, I attended a live NASA webinar, Mars Perseverance: Mission Overview & Countdown to Mars. A team of eight scientists led this webinar for students and teachers.

Justin Simon (a NASA scientist) talked about the planet Mars and about the rover Perseverance. He talked about the weather on Mars and what kind of planet it was. Simon also talked about the certain parts of the 2,260-pound rover and how they worked.

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 Jeff Kinney’s new book, “Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories,” was released March 16. This is the third book in the Awesome Friendly series, and it is spectacular! You’ll like it if you enjoy somewhat spooky and funny stories.

There are lots of fun short stories told from Rowley’s point of view. In my opinion, Rowley’s point of view is fun and exciting, like it is being told by one of your friends. The Wimpy Kid books are told from Greg’s point of view, and he seems to try to act older and more mature than Rowley.

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 Recently I was fortunate enough to do a Zoom interview with Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid series. Kinney will be in Tucson for a drive-through book event at Mostly Books on March 26.

Kinney said that he is looking forward to being in Arizona. “Some of my happiest memories as a father have been going through Sedona...and other parts of Arizona with my kids,” He says. He is looking forward to visiting again with his family.

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 “The Croods 2: A New Age” was even better than the first Croods movie! It was full of adventure and humor as well as a lesson about building relationships.

 The movie builds upon the first movie, so you might want to watch “The Croods” before watching The Croods 2. I love the saying that one of the main characters, Grug says. He always tells his family that, “The pack stays together” as they travel and look for a place where the Crood family can be safe.

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 In November, we participated in the Arizona STEM Adventure, which was planned by many local organizations. These groups included: SARSEF, Northwest Pima Community College, The STEMAZing Project, Office of the Pima County School Superintendent, the University of Arizona Office of Societal Impacts, Raytheon, IBM, and Thomas R. Brown Foundations.

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 One day in early April my dad took my sisters and me to play softball at Joaquin Murrieta Park. As we were playing, a Mandalorian drove up on his motorcycle and asked if he could join us. Due to the COVID-19 we all wore masks as we took turns pitching, hitting and fielding. At the end of our practice, the Mandalorian gave us each a gift card and told us to be the kindness we wanted to see in the world.

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 My family and I recently went camping at the Bog Springs Campground in Madera Canyon and we had a great time. Madera Canyon is just south of Tucson and it does not take long to get there.

Campers can camp at Bog Springs for up to two weeks at a time. We located a site at the campground and set up our tent. While we were there we saw many deer and some turkeys.

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 At the last Bear Essential News Young Reporter Zoom meeting, we met Gary Shepard. Shepard attended the Zoom meeting to tell us about his job as art director for Bear Essential News  and to answer our questions.

His adventures with Bear began 24 years ago. In 1996, Bear’s editor Stephen Gin asked Shepard if he knew anyone who would be interested in creating kids’ art for Bear Essential News . Shepard said he was interested.

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 National Twins Days 2020 happened Friday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 9. This event occurs on the first full weekend in August each year.

Being a twin is special because you have someone that understands you. Your twin gets you through hard times and is always there by your side to help you, no matter what.

Another special part that we love about being twins is that we get to share special moments together, like our birthdays (even though Ellie is nine minutes older!)

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 Recently I was able to attend the first Chief Science Officer (CSO) Math Festival. CSO Sahiba helped to plan the event and presented to those in attendance. Students were able to select two 45-minute breakout sessions to attend in addition to being a part of the general session for everyone. The available sessions included: Interactive Math Problems, Problem Solving Strategies, Math Theory, and Math in Real Life.

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