Tomecek, Steve (Dirtmeister)

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Tomecek, Steve (Dirtmeister)




Agent—c/o Author Mail, Scholastic, 557 Broadway, New York, NY, 10012. E-mail[email protected]


Writer and geologist. Science Plus, Inc. (educational consultant), executive director and founder. Science Museum of Long Island, former associate director. Worked variously as a consultant for Children's Television Workshop, Discovery Channel, and Newton's Apple television series. Host of Dr. Dad's Phantastic Physical Phenomena; science host of radio show New York Kids.


New York Academy of Sciences, International Planetarium Society, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.

Awards, Honors

Emmy Award, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, for Dr. Dad's Phantastic Physical Phenomena.



Bouncing and Bending Light: Phantastic Physical Phenomena, illustrated by Arnie Ten, Scientific American (New York, NY), 1995.

Simple Attractions, illustrated by Arnie Ten, Scientific American (New York, NY), 1995.

Sun, illustrated by Carla Golembe, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2001.

(As Steve "The Dirtmeister" Tomecek) Dirt, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2002.

Stars, illustrated by Nancy Woodman, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 2002.

What a Great Idea: Inventions That Changed the World, illustrated by Dan Stuckenschneider, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

Moon, illustrated by Lisa Chauncy Guida, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2004.

Author of books for teachers, including Teaching Electricity, Yes You Can!, Scholastic Professional.


Scientist Steve Tomecek is known by many names. Viewers who watched his television show, Dr. Dad's Phantastic Physical Phenomena, know him as Dr. Dad, while many of his readers know him as the "Dirtmeis-ter." A geologist by training, Tomecek is the founder of Science Plus, a company dedicated to science enrichment in schools, museums, and libraries, as a way to help students and professionals become better at understanding science. Along with writing books, Tomecek makes author visits to schools and museums, entertaining students by demonstrating the many experiments budding scientists can do using things found around most homes.

Tomecek's efforts in science enrichment are the focus of his books as well as his company; from the physics of light to astronomy and geology, Tomecek's books cover a wide range of other scientific topics. Dirt offers "lots of neat facts and easy-to-read explanations about dirt," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor. About the same title, Ellen Heath noted in School Library Journal that "scientific accuracy and clarity of writing predominate," and concluded that the book is "a quick, pleasant introduction to Earth science."

With Stars, Tomecek realigns his focus from earth to sky, presenting major facts about the stars to help young astronomers learn about the night sky. A Kirkus Reviews contributor considered the title "a sure winner for future astronomers and their stargazing parents," noting that the book is written in "simple language" to help young readers quickly grasp concepts. Donna Ratterree, writing in School Library Journal, predicted that "this appealing book will help backyard astronomers understand the night sky."

Moon, which also focuses on the heavens, introduces readers to science topics ranging from Galileo's early observations of Earth's moon to modern-day discoveries about the moon's size and crater formations. Noting that Tomecek uses "an engaging picture-book format to introduce basic facts about a topic," Gillian Engberg commented in Booklist that the author uses "short, uncomplicated sentences" in his presentation. A Kirkus Reviews contributor cited the book as "another thumbs up for the author as well as for future space walkers." Heather Ver Voort, reviewing Moon in School Library Journal, wrote that "the book will appeal to children just starting to browse the nonfiction shelves."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, March 1, 2005, Gillian Engberg, review of Moon, p. 1201.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March, 2003, review of Stars, p. 293.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of Dirt, p. 1238; February 1, 2003, review of Stars, p. 241; March 15, 2005, review of Moon, p. 359.

School Library Journal, October, 1995, Carolyn Angus, review of Bouncing and Bending Light: Phantastic Physical Phenomena, p. 151; March, 1996, Blair Christolon, review of Simple Attractions, p. 216; October, 2002, Ellen Heath, review of Dirt, p. 152; May, 2003, Donna Ratterree, review of Stars, p. 143; August, 2005, Heather Ver Voort, review of Moon, p. 118.

Science Books & Films, August, 1995, review of Bouncing and Bending Light, p. 177.


Steve Tomecek Home Page, (June 24, 2006).