Science fun, with both terms emphasized equally.

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TRY THIS!

50 FUN EXPERIMENTS FOR THE MAD SCIENTIST IN YOU

Pretested by a crew of young assistants, these dozens of science demonstrations are both doable and worth doing.

The experiments are grouped into seven categories such as “Bugs and Microbes,” “Weird Physics” and “Things Water Does.” They range from making slime (“oobleck”) and “biofilm” to designing a cat IQ test and constructing skittering “brushybots” made from motorized toothbrushes. All include not only supply lists and step-by-step directions, but expected results, explanations of the science concepts involved, follow-up questions and cramped but usually helpful photos. Many also include potential glitches—a rare feature that, in the case of efforts to light up an LED with potatoes or lemons, manifests as a frank, detailed record of one failure after another (now, that’s science!). Admitting defeat at last, the author and her partners go on to design and construct a slingshot to dispose of all the used groceries. Experimenters may have to squint to read some of the more heavily colored inset boxes, but they shouldn’t have major trouble gathering materials, following the steps or adapting most of the demos into science-fair projects. Young closes with general science-fair advice, plus keys for all of the entries to the Next Generation Science Standards.

Science fun, with both terms emphasized equally. (general and materials indices) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4263-1711-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue...

TRAILBLAZERS

33 WOMEN IN SCIENCE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

With STEM now the hot trend in education and concerted efforts to encourage girls to explore scientific fields, this collective biography is most timely.

Swaby offers 33 brief profiles of some of the world’s most influential women in science, organized in loose groupings: technology and innovation, earth and stars, health and medicine, and biology. Some of the figures, such as Mary Anning, Rachel Carson, Florence Nightingale, Sally Ride, and Marie Tharp, have been written about for young readers, but most have not. Among the lesser known are Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who invented Kevlar; Yvonne Brill, the Canadian engineer who invented a thruster used in satellites; Elsie Widdowson, the British nutritionist who demonstrated how important fluid and salt are for the body to properly function; and Italian neuroembryologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who made breakthrough discoveries in nerve-cell growth. Swaby emphasizes that most of these scientists had to overcome great obstacles before achieving their successes and receiving recognition due to gender-based discrimination. She also notes that people are not born brilliant scientists and that it’s through repeated observation, experimentation, and testing of ideas that important discoveries are made.

An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue their own scientific curiosities. (source notes, bibliography) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-55396-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A coherent if unexceptional overview of the subject given a solid boost by the visuals.

EXPLORING SPACE

FROM GALILEO TO THE MARS ROVER AND BEYOND

Finely detailed cutaway views of spacecraft and satellites launch a broad account of space exploration’s past, present, and near future.

Jenkins begins with the journey of Voyager I, currently the “most distant man-made object ever,” then goes back to recap the history of astronomy, the space race, and the space-shuttle program. He goes on to survey major interplanetary probes and the proliferating swarm of near-Earth satellites, then closes with reflections on our current revived interest in visiting Mars and a brief mention of a proposed “space elevator.” This is all familiar territory, at least to well-read young skywatchers and would-be astronauts, and despite occasional wry observations (“For longer stays [in space], things to consider include staying fit and healthy, keeping clean, and not going insane”) it reads more like a digest than a vivid, ongoing story. Biesty’s eye for exact, precise detail is well in evidence in the illustrations, though, and if one spread of generic residents of the International Space Station is the only place his human figures aren’t all white and male, at least he offers riveting depictions of space gear and craft with every last scientific instrument and structural element visible and labeled.

A coherent if unexceptional overview of the subject given a solid boost by the visuals. (index, timeline, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8931-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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