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 chickens, 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

All Stories by Stephen Ornes

  1. Tech

    Star Trek technology becomes more science than fiction

    On Star Trek, the characters used devices that seemed wild, futuristic and impossible. But those sci-fi gadgets are inspiring real-world, useful inventions.

  2. Tech

    Hack: How to spy on a 3-D printer

    Computer scientists have found that a hacker can eavesdrop on a 3-D printer using a smartphone. The technique uses sound and energy data produced by the printer.

  3. Science & Society

    A woman’s place is in science

    Boys and girls both study science in high school, but men still outnumber women in research jobs.

  4. Animals

    What medicine can learn from squid teeth

    Scientists have identified what makes a squid's sucker teeth so strong. The findings may one day prove useful in medicine.

  5. Tech

    Feeling objects that aren’t there

    A new technology uses high-frequency sound waves to create virtual objects you can feel. Its uses include better video games and safer driving.

  6. Earth

    Bright night lights, big science

    When the northern lights flare, blame the sun. Scientists say auroras “surge” when energy from solar wind builds up on the night side of the Earth.

  7. Tech

    Cool Jobs: Making electronics to wear

    Forget tablets and cell phones. These flexible electronic devices stick to the skin and can perform many tasks, from taking your temp to tracking the sun’s tanning rays.

  8. Environment

    Back off the bacon and cold cuts?

    Here’s how to make sense of the World Health Organization report that has just linked certain meats to a dangerous cancer.

  9. Tech

    How to print shape shifters

    3-D printing was only the beginning. Scientists are pursuing 4-D printing, creating objects that can move and interact with their surroundings.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Cool Jobs: Finding foods for the future

    What's for dinner... tomorrow? Scientists are developing new foods to meet the demands of the growing population in a changing world.

  11. Oceans

    Explainer: What is a tsunami?

    Earthquakes and landslides can create huge waves that travel across oceans.

  12. Science & Society

    Retractions: Righting the wrongs of science

    Retractions let scientific journals remove bogus studies from the record. It's part of a self-correction process that helps move science forward.