Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers by Caroline Alliston

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Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers by Caroline Alliston

Category: Popular Science
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: Creative and fun activity projects for curious kids who want to understand how things work.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 120 Date: October 2017
Publisher: QED Publishing
ISBN: 9781784938482

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Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers takes a strictly hands-on approach to science to show how scientific ideas can be applied to real-world situations. The book contains 25 projects with varying degrees of complexity to demonstrate topics such as air travel, programmable machines, light, motion and electricity. The book is designed with the younger scientist in mind, so there is a focus on the fun aspect, with many of the projects involving toys.

Visually, the book is very impressive and everything is laid out in a logical and ordered way. The projects are numbered in difficulty order, with level 1 being the most simple and level 3 being the most complex, which would probably require a certain amount of adult help and supervision. Each project begins with a handy list of items needed. Some of the more technical items can be ordered online and a list of useful websites is provided. The instructions are detailed and clear, with plenty of close-up diagrams with specific measurements included. Attention to health and safety is a priority, with warning signs provided for sections that need adult help.

At the end of each project, there is a summary explaining how the machine works, as well as suggestions for further exploration and ways of adapting the machines to create different outcomes.

There really is something for everyone here; from a simple CD racer made with a cotton reel and elastic band, to much more complex projects like a moving model of the earth, moon and sun. My personal favourite was the teddy bear zip line; I can imagine most children having lots of fun with that one!

The book states that Each project is made with easy-to-find objects. Personally I found this statement to be misleading, as it led me to think that most of the projects in the book would be of the kitchen science variety. In reality, most of the projects required very specific items that would not be found in the average home, such as motors, wires, crocodile clips and crumble controllers. Most projects need a lot of planning; they can't be spontaneously created by things just lying around the home or in the kitchen cupboards. There are a few exceptions to this though, including the excellent Glider, made solely from polystyrene pizza discs and paper-clips. Anything that means I can eat pizza in the name of science has to be a good thing.

The author has a thorough knowledge of her subject and a real knack for creating interesting experiments that will delight, entertain and educate children. I just wish that the projects had relied more on everyday items rather than things that had to be bought specifically from the internet.

If your kids have the science bug, why not try This is Not a Science Book: A Smart Art Activity Book by Clive Gifford, an interactive book for young sparks.

Buy Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers by Caroline Alliston at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers by Caroline Alliston at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers by Caroline Alliston at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers by Caroline Alliston at Amazon.com.


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