Alternative Fuels, Disaster Management, Exponential Growth, Media Literacy, Microbiology, Psychology (Anti-Bullying), Public Health, Quarantines, Transportation Solutions
Be careful. Your next step might be your last.
Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.
In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.
Highlights from STEM Read Fuzzy Mud Event!
Fuzzy Mud: The STEM Read Experience was an event at Northern Illinois University on April 6th, 2016. 750 children participated in activities and presentations involving Louis Sachar’s book “Fuzzy Mud.” In this video, Louis himself talks about the amazing day!
Louis Sachar's Top 5 Books
Fuzzy Mud author Louis Sachar shares his top five favorite books of all time, including classic literature and a couple surprises.
Fuzzy Mud and Alternative Fuels with Argonne National Laboratory
NIU’s STEM Read meet up with some amazing Argonne scientists in celebration of Louis Sachar’s Fuzzy Mud! Learn all about biofuels and engineering!
Talking Turtles at the Midwest Museum of Natural History
In Louis Sachar’s Fuzzy Mud turtles help save the day. Click above to find out why!
Fuzzy Mud and Renewable Energy
In Fuzzy Mud, the mud was seen as a possible new source of energy. Engineering students at NIU talk about the benefits of researching renewable energy sources.
Ergonyms and Microbiology
Here’s another look at our Fuzzy Mud event! In this video, Dr. Ed O’Loughlin of Agronne National Laboratory talks about microbiology, and how real life Ergonyms could exist in our world!
Outbreaks and Quarantines
Here’s another look at our Fuzzy Mud event! In this video, Dr. Lydia Finney of Argonne National Laboratory discusses outbreaks, and Stacy Jackson from Northern Illinois University’s College of Health and Human Sciences leads the students in a fun activity!
Engineering in a Crisis
Fuzzy Mud: The STEM Read Experience was an event at Northern Illinois University on April 6th, 2016. 750 children participated in activities and presentations involving Louis Sachar’s book “Fuzzy Mud.” In this video, Sean Tikkun of the Education Psychology department at NIU, and Dr. Kristen Brynteson, director of professional development at NIU STEAM Works, talk about how to engineer in a crisis, and lead the kids in an activity involving leading someone who is blind through a crisis.
Fuzzy Mud: The STEM Read Experience was an event at Northern Illinois University on April 6th, 2016. 750 children participated in activities and presentations involving Louis Sachar’s book “Fuzzy Mud.” In this video, Chris Kramer of Argonne National Laboratory talks about how to communicate during a crisis.
Play the Fuzzy Math Game
Turtles: Our Not-So-Fuzzy Friends at the Midwest Museum of Natural History
Want to learn more about turtles and other reptiles and see how their unique traits saved the day in Fuzzy Mud? The Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore, Illinois, is offering field trip packages and school outreach programs with live animal encounters to learn about turtles and other reptiles, and an activity on food web/energy/disease exchange in relation to invasive species. Additional worksheets and activities are available. Contact Cindy Khartri at email@example.com to learn more.
We Survived the Fuzzy Mud
Click the image below to access pictures taken at the Fuzzy Mud event. These images were part of the STEM Read and SMARTspace@NIU activities with students.
The Buzz on the Fuzz: Problem-Based Learning Challenges
Your students can take an in-depth look at how the concepts from Fuzzy Mud are impacting their school and town. This lesson plan includes topics, leading questions, presentation ideas, and a rubric for exploring–
- Alternative Fuels
- Alternative Transportation
- Invasive Species
Slime Mold States of America
In this lesson, your students can grow and feed slime mold and the observe and analyze its movement as it spreads across a map of the United States.
Argonne Gets Fuzzy!
Check out these activities created by our partners at Argonne National Laboratory for Fuzzy Mud: The STEM Read Experience!
The Real Dirt on Biofuels
There’s a lot of corn in the Midwest but can we use it to fly? This is a contemporary, real-world scenario that scientists at Argonne National Laboratory, in the airline industry, in agriculture, from government, and from not-for-profit energy organizations have been exploring for some time: how to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) from ground and air transportation while meeting society’s needs.
- Argonne Biofuels Lab 1 – Data Analysis and Decisions
- Argonne Biofuels Lab 2 – Making Biofuels
- Argonne Biofuels Lab 3 – Testing Biofuels
Investigating Tiny Terrors with Argonne’s Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
The microscopic world is filled with tiny terrors like the ergonyms in Fuzzy Mud. In this activity, you are concerned that lead is getting into your food, water, and air. Your job is to find out more about sources of lead and how it affects the environment. See what’s lurking in your location by collecting samples, sending them to Argonne, and receiving a report and images from their SEM.
Note that the sample limit is 8 per classroom. Turnaround time for an electronic report from Argonne to students is a week. Email Alice Woodward Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions and send your samples to the address noted in the lesson plan.
Video Discussion Guide
Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.
According to his website, Louis Sachar grew up in both New York and California, having orange fights in the orange tree groves near his town. He was a good student, but it was upon reading the likes of J.D. Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut in high school that he became an avid reader. Before he was the famous author he is today he had a brief, but incredibly successful career as a door-to-door salesmen. He sold cleaning products.
He attended both the University of California at Berkely and Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. In which he earned degrees in economics and law respectively. In 1989 his writing career took off well enough that he could discontinue his law practice and dedicate his full-time work to writing. He now happily lives with his wife Carla and their daughter Sherre in Austin, Texas.
Other Books by Louis Sachar
- Sideways Stories From Wayside School
- Johnny’s in the Basement
- Someday Angeline
- Sixth Grade Secrets
- There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom
- The Boy Who Lost His Face
- Wayside School is Falling Down
- Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School
- Dog’s Don’t Tell Jokes
- Kidnapped at Birth?
- Why Pick on Me?
- Is He a Girl?
- More Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside school
- Alone in His Teacher’s House
- Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger
- Holes – Winner of the National Book Award and Newbery Medal
- The Boy Who Lost His Face
- Class President
- A Flying Birthday Cake?
- Super Fast Out of Control!
- A Magic Crystal?
- Stanley Yelnats’ Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake
- Small Steps
- The Cardturner
- Fuzzy Mud