Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Doing & Learning
The Kids' Book of Simple Machines: Cool Projects & Activities that Make Science Fun!

The Kids' Book of Simple Machines: Cool Projects & Activities that Make Science Fun!

Fall 2015 Doing & Learning
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
Author: Kelly Doudna
ISBN: 978-1-938063-59-6
Hardcover Price: $14.95

Every so often, something happens that opens a child's perceptual portals to the wonderful world of science, and, just like that, science, at least as a concept, suddenly makes sense. While it's just the beginning in the learning curve, practically speaking, science suddenly becomes no longer scary.

This compact, astute book could be that "something" for early-elementary students who don't yet know how to embrace science in real-world terms. And for those who do, it will only fuel their fascination.

There's something about simple machines that makes them simply remarkable-to students of any age. Maybe it's that they were first identified thousands of years ago and to this day are parts of every complex machine made. Maybe it's because they are everywhere-and you can see them if you know what to look for. Maybe it's because they make everyone's work easier.

This splendid book introduces the six simple machines - the wedge, wheel and axle, lever, inclined plane, screw and pulley. It starts with one of several brief historical profiles-from Archimedes and Galileo to the Wright Brothers and Rube Goldberg-before introducing in clear and simple terms all six simple machines.

Not only does this book define what simple machines are and do, it leaves no doubt how each is embedded in everyday life. That see-saw at the park? A basic lever and fulcrum. That bicycle? Wheel and axle, of course, but so is toilet paper on a holder, and a pizza cutter. The lid on the jelly jar? A screw. A pinball machine? Think about it!

On and on, the book identifies simple machines and the "mechanical advantage," as Archimedes put it, that they provide. And, after a thorough primer on simple machines, the book offers a dozen easy projects kids can try that reinforce what simple machines do. For junior engineers, this is a great book; for any curious child, it could be an "aha" moment.

Don Oldenburg   ©2015 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Mighty Media Press

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