Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste [Book Review]
This fun and simple science experiment book is fantastic! The book itself is a quick read as each experiment is laid out in simple easy to follow blocks. Perfect for the amateur scientist with little growing geeks, or the professional educators use in their classes.
Every section starts with a quick list of what you will need to perform the experiment. As you would expect in several cases Steve recommends products or kits available from his company, however each time he provides alternate items you can acquire on your own. In only one example do I think that his product or one like it is essentially irreplaceable in the experiment.
This is followed simple and easy to follow instruction, in many cases ones a child could perform. Since part of the point of good demonstrations like these is to engage the mind and get thoughts going many of the experiments have a ‘Take It Further’ section with suggestions on additional things you can try with the base experiment to help get little scientist’s brains running.
Each experiment has a nice explanation of the science behind the “Wow!”. These are very well written and explain things clearly, but don’t shy away from getting into the nitty-gritty of the science. A few are finished up with a ‘Real-World Application’ giving an example of how the demonstrated principle is used or can be found in the real-world.
The book ends with a series of more serious but highly “Wow!” demonstrations intended purely for trained science demonstrators (i.e. teachers) these are an enjoyable read and I can see that they would be very nice to integrate into a science curriculum. The very last experiment is a kid friendly version of the penultimate ‘Exploding Toothpaste’ teachers demonstration.
I have tried one of the experiments so far with my daughters and we had a lot of fun with it. My galley is set to expire soon but I plan on purchasing a copy of the book once it comes out so we can do more of them!
I would highly recommend this book to science educators and parents of little budding scientists, it is both very educational and extremely enjoyable.
More reviews over on Goodreads (added 10/6/2011)