Title: Make This!: Building, Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You
Author: Ella Schwartz
Release date: Feb 5, 2019
Source: I received a copy from Media Masters Publicity Company and the publisher for review consideration.
Create your maker space with this fun and instructive book, chock-full of hands-on activities and cool experiments to get kids thinking and tinkering.
This book is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and supports all kinds of kid creators: those who prefer guided instruction, those who prefer to dream up and design objects on their own, and everyone in between. With thoughtful text and bright illustrations, kids get the tools and the know-how to tackle all kinds of exciting projects: building a kaleidoscope, designing a fidget spinner, planting a rain forest, creating a musical instrument, and more. Unconventional scenarios inspired by real National Geographic explorers give kids a chance to think outside the box and apply their maker skills to real life. Chapters are divided up by scientific principle, such as simple machines, energy, and forces. In each chapter, kids can start by following step-by-step activities, or get creative by tackling an open-ended challenge. Helpful sidebars explain the science behind what’s happening every step of the way.
Make This! is perfect for curious and STEM-loving kids, families looking for a fun way to play together, and anyone else who’s ready to get creative and start tinkering!
Make This!: Building, Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You Review
My first thought upon browsing just the first few pages of Make This! was “Oh, my god. I know a kid who would love this.” While my child is, sadly, not STEM-oriented at all, my best friend’s daughter would go nuts over this book. It is filled with experiments that are both fun and challenging and get a kid’s (and adult’s) mind going.
My second thought was “Wow, there’s a good range of kids featured in these photos!” Even though I didn’t spot any obviously disabled kids, there were different races and genders represented and that made my heart happy. (As did the fact that it’s a female that put together this STEM-oriented book.)
The book is divided up into eight chapters: Simple Machines, Materials, Systems, Optics, Energy, Acoustics, Forces, and Motion. Those chapters are divided up into a “Quick Facts” section, followed by a handful of experiments, and then a “Solve This” section which is designed to make kids think (with the understanding that there sometimes is no right or wrong answer).
The experiments have indicators for how hard it is, when an adult is needed, and how many people you need to pull them off. They range from something as simple as wrapping a plastic bag around a few leaves to see how tree leaves sweat to doing things a little bit more complicated like making a ball launcher. I loved the range of experiments, and how most chapters had at least one low difficulty level experiment that a child could do by themselves.
This would be a great book to pick projects from to do with your child over summer break or for home-schooling. It would also be a good resource for after school programs with so many of the experiments having basic supply requirements. (One can be done with just pencils and a heavy book, for example.)
Overall, I’m really pleased with Make This!: Building, Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You. They did a great job making a book that has a little bit of something for all skill levels and is filled with experiments that are cool even for adults to try with their kiddos as well.
Definitely recommended. Make This! Is available today.