NONFICTION

Engines!: With 25 Science Projects for Kids

Nomad. (Explore Your World). Oct. 2020. 96p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781619309371; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781619309401.
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Gr 3-5–An anthropomorphic beaver and snail provide a brief history of engines and 25 hands-on activities that demonstrate the concepts presented. A time line at the beginning of the text spotlights key advancements in engine engineering. An introductory chapter quickly explains the use of catapults and siege engines, the earliest steam engines, and modern engines. Subsequent chapters focus on clockwork motors, heat, electric, pneumatic, and hydraulic engines. Sprinkled throughout each chapter are illustrations and photographs, definitions of key terms, QR codes to access video content, additional fact boxes, and jokes and riddles provided by the snail. Each chapter ends with several projects that, as the topics progress, become more challenging and will require adult assistance in addition to trips to the hardware store, pharmacy, and possibly the grocery store. Concepts are presented succinctly with real-world applications, but the activities could benefit from continuity in the supply list (sometimes only a science notebook is listed, other times it is a science notebook and a pencil; matches are not always listed for candles) and clarity on when adult assistance is required. The final activity feels disconnected in its discussion of atoms and molecules. A glossary, metric conversions, additional books and websites, and an index can be found in the back matter.
VERDICT An additional purchase where STEM materials are in high demand.

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