The content of this book is the work of three individuals - Bryan Bunch, Mary C. Hicks,
and me (Keith Wilhelmi). Bryan has (and Mary had) considerable writing experience, including numerous published materials. They co-authored the textbook on which this book is based - Globe Life Science. Mary and I were middle school science teachers. This is the first book that I have co-authored, but I devoted much of my long teaching career to the production of activities for middle school students. [A few of these are available on the Teachers-Pay-Teachers (TPT) website.]
As a means for my students to teach themselves most of the basic content, and to facilitate my efforts to help students develop good outlining skills, I used Globe Life Science for over thirty years. I felt that, if updated, this book could still be a good fit for many teachers.
I must elaborate on the value that I place on enhancing students' outlining skills. Please watch my 40 second youtube video ... "Why Teach Outlining?" ... and view the information under the menu option "Teach Outlining."
In my years as a student, outlining was my most powerful tool. Hence, as a teacher, I felt compelled to equip my students with this skill. I found that allowing students to compare their attempts to a good version was the key strategy. Over time, I outlined the lessons of Globe Life Science, and I've updated those lessons for teachers who purchase Discovering Life Science.
After I retired in May, 2020, I contacted Bryan, the senior author, and proposed that we work on a new edition of Globe Life Science. He was supportive of the idea, but warned me that it might be months before he would be assigned the rights to the book. Upon request, publishers traditionally return the rights to the author (once a book is out of print). Bryan also pointed out that he was involved in a writing project or two, so this would primarily be "on me" (but with his support). In a few months, Bryan's persistence paid off; he obtained the rights. We both believe that Mary, who passed away some years ago, would be pleased with our new version.
"Re-creating" the book meant starting from a hard copy; a digital version was not available. Beginning in April, 2021, I re-typed and updated the last edition of the Globe Life Science book, as well as the teacher's guide. I also added three lessons and an additional careers page. While there is a great deal of updated information, a good portion of the original book remains.
After completing the typing and writing, I scanned in all of the artwork, and added (or resized) the labels of some of the images. I decided that none of the original photos would be used since it would have been nearly impossible to track down and obtain permission from the many photographers. As can be seen on the Photo Credits page (at the end of the glossary), for a few of the new photos I obtained permission from sources like the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. Most of the photos, however, I purchased from two companies (DepositPhotos and Dreamstime); these businesses offer photos that are in the public domain.
The final stages of producing and selling Discovering Life Science included the following:
1) creating this (WIX) website (including hiring Cody of Intercityweb.com to improve the site);
2) hiring Tara of teaberrycreative.com to properly configure (and greatly improve) my original plan for the book's cover;
3) combining the book's pages (using Adobe), and putting the combined file of the book on Amazon KDP;
4) registering Life Science Textbook as a business;
5) following the WIX steps for Search Engine Optimization.
Upon completion of the book, Bryan shared that he felt I'd made so many changes that we ought to consider this a new book. We decided to call it Discovering Life Science. Soon afterwards, Bryan surprised me by recommending that I list myself as the author, and then state that the book was "Based on Globe Life Science by Bryan Bunch and Mary C. Hicks." I will forever be grateful for his generosity and support!
Of course, I believe that many life science teachers would love this book, but I am not asserting that it is a good fit for everyone. For example, evolution and climate change are treated as facts, not "possible explanations." Please see many sample lessons under the CONTENTS menu item.
I take full responsibility for the accuracy of this book's content, and I welcome feedback.