SCIENCE IN YOUR BACKYARD by Robert & David Webster Gardner


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Young nature enthusiasts are invited to investigate and observe insects, animals, trees, and birds in neighborhood environments, as well as explore astronomy, weather forecasting, simple physics, and light and shadow. For most topics, the child is referred to the library for more detailed materials. Each activity has a brief introduction and instructions for creating equipment. But, unfortunately, the instructions are often so abbreviated that the young scientist may be more confused than enlightened. Directions are included for making a Cape Cod barometer, but the reader is not told how to read it or use it in weather forecasting. Fuller information is needed when the authors say that ""A barometer can be used as an altimeter, the instrument that gives the height of a location above sea level,"" and when they advise the reader to ""calibrate [a wind-speed meter] by. . .holding it outside the window of a car moving through still air."" Instructions are given for making a variety of traps, but the only meager caution provided is ""Never keep raccoons or foxes, since their bite could give you rabies."" The general-science enthusiast would be better served with greater emphasis on concepts and techniques and less on construction; the student looking for useful science-project material will find these diagrams and instructions insufficient. (Index; list of scientific-supply companies.)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Page count: 114pp
Publisher: Messner