Reviewed by Mike Bucci
High School Teacher
Whenever I prepare to teach a new topic, I try to refresh my content background. I often begin at the children’s section of the library, because I've found that adult books don’t provide the clear explanations, analogies, and authentic examples I need. But it has always been really difficult to find good material about physical science in any section of the library. Until now.
This book is for adults, and it’s fun. William Robertson is a well-qualified author with a light-hearted style. I found the premise, “Stop Faking It," interesting. Is that what some teachers do? If the author didn't have such a good sense of humor, a reader might take offense at the implication. However, without a doubt, this book will help teachers to understand the science concepts so that they can teach them with confidence.
Topics include kinetic and potential energy, forms of energy, work, simple machines, and thermal energy. The book is organized by the learning cycle (activity, explanation, and application), which is a good sequence for learners of any age. Each topic begins with thought-provoking questions. The explanations have good flow, a conversational tone, and plenty of comic asides that make for a very readable book.
The activities involve basic materials, and formulas are derived from simple experiments. The illustrations are humorous and effective. Each chapter includes a summary and Scilinks, which provide Internet connections for further information. A glossary is included. Part of a series about physical science concepts for teachers, this book is recommended for teachers at any level who would like to refresh their understanding and teaching of energy topics.
Review posted on 11/12/2002