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Over 40 Eye-Poppping, Spine-Tingling, Heart-Pounding Activities That Teach Kids about the Human Body

by Jim Wiese

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-471-33203-8
Publisher: Wiley

Science teacher Wiese (Cosmic Science, not reviewed) is back with 40 quick and often intriguing science puzzles and activities to promote understanding of the human body. Activities are grouped in body systems: Brain and nervous system; Senses, Digestive; Respiratory; Circulatory; Muscular, Skeletal, Reproductive and the Skin. For each section Wiese gives an introduction and a series of projects and experiments. He lists materials, procedures, provides an explanation of what happened, and often gives “more fun stuff to do.” Most projects and experiments require only a few minutes and items easily found in the kitchen: straws, plastic soda bottles, paper plates, ruler, balloons, bread, and scissors. Drawings show boys and girls having fun with science. Some activities are more crafts than science: in “Blood and Gore,” children make a batch of “fake blood,” from white corn syrup, corn starch, and soy sauce. The fake-blood project continues, creating a cocoa and petroleum jelly scab. Later the author explains the real components of blood. Sometimes the explanations are less than satisfactory. In “Bony Blocks,” he has the reader balance a book on a toilet-paper roll set on its side and standing on end. This, he explains, shows a hollow tube is almost as strong as a solid rod. However, whether the roll is on its side or on its end, it is still a hollow tube. There is a lot here to engage curious young people. The index was not seen. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-12)