Thursday, January 17, 2019

Leonardo's Science Workshop: Invent, Create, and Make STEAM Projects Like a Genius

I have been talking about STE(A)M education and books since the very earliest days of this blog.  It's vitally important to expose kids to the concepts as soon as possible.  They're the ones who are going to be making our future. They're the innovators, creators, inventors, discoverers of tomorrow's world.  The more our kids are engaging with the world around them, the better.  Critical thinking skills are more vitally important now than ever before.  We're bombarded with messaging and media spin from the moment we're born and learning to differentiate the truth is a vital survival skill. That's where STE(A)M comes in.  Finding fun ways to keep their interest is key.

 Leonardo's Science Workshop is a new project book by Heidi Olinger. Released 1st Jan 2019 by Quarto on their Rockport imprint, it's 144 pages and available in flexibound and ebook formats. It's visually very appealing and includes good clear photography and layout.  The book begins with a short introduction/bio of Leonardo's life and prodigious creative genius.

The chapters are built up around experimentation and observation. There's a pretty good description of the scientific method aimed at middle-readers in the introduction.  The first chapter is about fluid dynamics and includes 6 age-appropriate projects. Each of the tutorials is well photographed and includes clear instructions.

The air chapter is followed by a chapter on kinetics/physics of motion.  This chapter, too, explains basic concepts and includes projects (experiments) to illustrate them. The third chapter is all about energy and includes some nice projects on the electromagnetic spectrum, static electricity, building a wind turbine, etc.

All in all, these are age appropriate, interesting, well written, and safe.  The layout is appealing and accessible.  It would be a good addition to a classroom module for physics for middle grades. It would also make a good gift for a physics interested young person.  It might be a little too straightforward and rigid to interest kids who are already wrongly convinced physics isn't cool or fun.

We need more critical thinkers and anything that fires up the next generation's STEAMers is great!

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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