Stephen Ornes

Freelance Writer

Stephen Ornes has been writing for Science News for Students since 2008, and his 2014 story "Where Will Lightning Strike?" won an AAAS/Kavli Gold Award. He lives in Nashville, Tenn., and he has three children, who are inventing their own language. His family has a cat, six chicken, and two rabbits, but he secretly thinks hagfish are the most fascinating animals. Stephen has written two books. One is a biography of mathematician Sophie Germain, who was born during the French Revolution. The other, which was published in 2019, features art inspired by math. Visit him online at stephenornes.com.

All Stories by Stephen Ornes

  1. Climate

    Hotspots found for lightning’s superbolts

    A nine-year survey reveals where and when the most energetic lightning strikes — and it’s not what scientists expected.

  2. Physics

    Scientists find the secret to colossal bubbles

    What’s the right mix of materials to blow big bubbles that stretch without popping? Physicists have turned up the solution.

  3. Climate

    Explainer: What is attribution science?

    A relatively new, developing field of science investigates possible links between climate change and extreme weather events.

  4. Climate

    Space weather forecast: Big storms ahead

    Scientists studying blobs of energetic particles shot from the sun may help us prepare for stormy consequences on Earth.

  5. Math

    For these artists, math is their muse

    Artists around the world are finding inspiration in the curves, equations and patterns of mathematics. Here are some of their stories.

  6. Tech

    This robot’s parts are helpless alone, but turn smart as they team up

    In a new system called “particle robotics,” many small, simple helpless units can seemingly come to life and start moving when amassed into a team.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Explainer: Vaccines are not linked to autism

    Some parents say no to children’s vaccines because they worry immunizations could cause autism. But science has looked again and again and still finds no causal tie.

  8. Physics

    Explainer: What are black holes?

    Among the most extreme celestial bodies in the universe, black holes are dense, massive entities whose gravity can sometimes hold together an entire galaxy.

  9. Tech

    Rise of the botnets

    Botnets are armies of connected, infected computers that attack websites and other online businesses. Some scientists have found ways to use connected computers for good, too.

  10. Oceans

    How three coastal communities are dealing with rising seas

    As our climate changes and seas rise, people who live near the ocean are at risk of losing their towns — and homes.