Jr. Mad Scientists
Do you know any mad scientists? Kids willing to take apart anything to see how it works? Mixers of every ingredient? Whether you are looking for a winning science fair project or to pass the time on a rainy day, these books are filled with simple, exciting experiments:
All time favorites:
What makes these the best? They use items that you probably have lying around like soap or a hair dryer, they only take a few minutes to prepare, color photographs accompany the simple instructions, and each experiment clearly illustrates one concept. Mummify a hot dog, make an electro magnet, and microwave a bar of soap.
These books represent two series geared for kids from about 3 to 6 years. With an adult reading the instructions, kids will be able to do most of the experiments themselves. They will also be able to interpret the results through yes or no questions like, “Does the paper clip float in water? Does it float in oil?” Build bridges out of paper, make your own compass, or make a battery from a lemon.
Turn the kitchen into your own chemistry lab. Why do cookies have to be baked at a certain temperature and for a certain time? What do all those ingredients in cookies do anyway? What happens if we magnify the reactions those ingredients make?
The laws of physics can be difficult to explain, but these books make it fun and easy. Mythbusters recaps an episode from the TV series and then provides mini versions of the experiments that you can try at home. Experiments with Motion covers Newton’s laws using objects like skateboards and balloons.
The experiments in these books are still simple, but concepts behind them are more complex, making them more appropriate for junior high students. Crime Scene Science Fair Projects includes instructions for simplified soil analysis and DNA extraction. The Way the Universe Works includes experiments for understanding radio waves, density, and pulsars.
- Miss Emily