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o Core to science curriculum in relevant grades
o Engaging hands-on experiments
o Lively text appropriate for grade range
o Full-color photos and illustrations throughout
o Approximately 10 two-page experiments and one three-page experiment per title
o Lists of further reading. Websites, glossary, and index
o Meets Reading First funding requirements
6/1/08 Science Books & Films
The Experiment with Science series of books has colorful photographs, easy-to-follow text, and clear explanations. However, as with most children's "experiment" books, the experiments are almost all demonstrations. Nearly all of the instructions are cookbooklike, explaining to kids what they should do and then what they will observe. There are a few exceptions, however, including making lenses out of gelatin (pp. 26-28 of Try It with Food!) and relating the size of "moon" craters to the size of an object and the distance it travels (pp. 21-23 of Fantastic Phenomena). In contrast to the other activities, these give the experimenter the chance to change things and observe what happens.
As a set of demonstrations, this series is clearly and simply written, and the activities are easy enough for a middle or upper elementary school student to carry out independently. The materials, all of which are readily available, are listed clearly, as are the time and degree of mess involved in each activity and need for adult supervision. The explanations of what to expect are well written, simple, and accurate. Photographs clarify the setup of most of the activities.
These books are appealing and engaging. They will allow children to observe many "scientific" phenomena at work. In general, however, they do not lead kids through the questioning and observation that constitute scientific experimentation.
RELATED SUBJECTS: Science Experiments and Projects