Reviewed by Teri Cosentino
6th-7th grade science teacher
Remember that feeling the first time you walked into a candy store where there was such a great variety with different wrapper colors, sizes, shapes and wonderful smells? That is what I felt when I opened this ideal, everyday science source book. I was taken back in time as I became, once again, that wide–eyed kid, but of course instead of munching on sugar, I munched on words—many of them.
There are over a thousand different ideas for labs, demos, examples, and ways to show your students science processes. I was truly blown away at the quality of the hands–on experiments, all tied into the AAAS and NSES standards. This sweet book has it all. It has step–by–step directions to complete investigations; it has tidbits of information and gems of graphs. There are simple, easy experiments, moderate ones, and more detailed, materials driven investigations; but all are doable and all are relevant. Since there are many different types of learners the many different types of experiments presented in the book can reach each diverse learning style. This extra large book covers six sections: Inorganic Matter, Organic Matter, Energy, Inference Models (atoms/astronomy), Technology and Engineering and Instructional Apparatus, Materials, Systems (including safety and measuring systems). Under each of these main topics there are many subtopics. For example, in Energy there is motion, sound, light, heat, electricity, and magnetism. Each of these is further broken down into chapters listing experiments for characteristics, interactions, theory, and applications.
When I first began to read this book, I was on sensory and idea overload. But after I figured out how the book was organized I started to think about the many ways in which I could incorporate the experiments into my curriculum. After all, it is all about student knowledge integration and making sense of science. I now know that I have a source book that I can pull from, both in a pinch and in long term curriculum planning. It is the healthy choice resource for elementary, middle, secondary, and college level teachers.
Review posted on 11/15/2012