Friday, May 17, 2019

Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids

Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids is a STE(A)M tutorial with activities aimed at young readers and their resource people/guardians. Author Christina Schul is an educator and homeschooling mom/blogger has collected 52 fun labs for learning with kids 5-10 years old. Released 14th May 2019 by Rockridge Press, it's 256 pages and available in ebook and paperback formats.

Critical reasoning skills, planning, experimentation, and willingness to learn are basic necessary life skills. Children are naturally curious and willing to learn. These directed activities provide many hours of enjoyment and learning without being strident or preachy.

Each of the included activities includes a step by step tutorial, materials lists, and many have extension activities to refine or modify the results. Each of them includes a short sidebar explaining what relevance it has to the different branches of engineering. 

There are some drawbacks. Though this book is admittedly aimed at an American readership, I was surprised to see that the measurements in the book are all in English (American) units; inches, feet, yards, etc. There is no conversion table included in the book. It's a small quibble, but for a STEAM book, it was surprising. The photography is limited, but the photographs which are included are clear and illustrative. I did appreciate that the young scientists pictured in the experiment tutorials were an inclusive bunch with children of many ethnicities and both sexes included. It may be a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but when I was being educated as an engineer, seeing -any- other girls/women represented was a big thing to me.

The ebook version includes an interactive table of contents Possibly worth noting for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is included in the KU subscription library.  There's also an interactive resource links list (slanted toward readers in North America). The chapter subheadings are also linked for easily paging back and forth to other areas of the book.

This is a fun and worthwhile book. It would make a great classroom library book, resource book, homeschool resource book, or support text for a module on STEAM subjects for kids 5-10(ish). There's also a wide range of activities and most of the experiments use easily sourced materials.

Four stars.

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

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