Sunday, November 27, 2016

100 Really Wicked Awesome & Totally Cool Things You Should Know About Science!

When you have kids that are nerds it doesn’t take much to set them off. It could be something as simple as an IMAX movie at the planetarium or new slides for the microscope. When I saw the series of “100 Things You Should Know About …” at Barnes & Noble, I knew that they would get a kick out of them. It’s an interesting and highly educational series of books that gives you a lot of condensed information but can definitely be used as a stepping stone to research other things. For homeschoolers they are a really nice supplement for a variety of subjects.

100 Things You Should Know About Science is a great book for kids between the ages of seven and ten but with some help from mom or dad, younger kids could really learn a lot from it. It is divided up into easy to manage sections that cover a lot of different aspects of science. One of the nicest things is that there is a lot of usable information meaning that its based on stuff that kids come in contact with, let’s face the facts here, the periodic table of elements might be fun to memorize but seeing it over and over in books is just boring. This book takes common science themes and presents them in an easy to digest format with great illustrations and small quizzes along the way. There are also experiments that kids can do to learn more about the topics that are being covered and give them a true “hands on” experience.

Let’s take a look at one chapter of the book so you can get an idea of what this offers you. The World of Chemicals (pages 34 and 35), it has five numbered entries about how the world is made of chemical substances, how crude oil is processed, acids, bases and lastly how acids and bases react when exposed to each other. There is a large diagram of the different types products that can be made from crude oil depending on the temperature used and their overall weight. It is pretty cool to see that crude oil makes everything from tar and asphalt to fuel based gases. Kids can use this to learn more about alternative fuel programs, how crude oil is extracted and who uses the most in the world. Kids can also try out the “Frothy Fun” experiment that allows them to see the reaction between vinegar and baking soda.

Even though I made that rather harsh statement about the table of elements being boring, it is covered in 100 Things You Should Know About Science (pages 36 and 37). What makes this different? Entries 74 through 79 give you some solid facts about them including aluminum, carbon, hydrogen and uranium. There is a quiz and a color coded table with complete listings (name, abbreviation, number). I still have to smile when my oldest struggled with the word “xenon”, he would say it “x-non” and get completely red faced.

Other books in this series include “Space”, “Mammals”, “Earth”, “The Human Body”, “Inventions”, “Penguins”, “Elephants” and “Explorers”. If you are looking to build a home library and want to ensure that the books are used over and over again, this series makes for an incredible investment. Take advantage of the “buy one get one free” specials that Barnes & Nobles runs to save money on the various titles.

Pros: Friendly bur educational format, great for homeschoolers, awesome investment.
Cons: May turn your child in a complete science geek.
The Bottom Line: I will not be held responsible if your child turns into a complete nerdling after reading this book.


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