Fairground Physics: Motion, Momentum, and Magnets with Hands-On Science Activities

Nomad. (Build It Yourself). Mar. 2020. 128p. pap. $17.95. ISBN 9781619308916.
Gr 5-8–Middle grade readers explore some of the scientific principles at play in the design and operation of amusement parks and fairs. This entry in the “Build It Yourself” series is punctuated by colorful comic strips, fun facts, and experiments. The first chapter sheds light on the history of leisure parks, and succeeding chapters focus on motion, force, energy, heat, and waves. A word of caution to those considering purchase based on the cover text: Despite being subtitled “motion, momentum, and magnets,” magnetism does not feature heavily in the text, receiving no more than a passing glance in the chapter on force. The experiments seem accessible, age appropriate, and fun, and the accompanying diagrams are effective. Overall, the spotlighted scientific topics are treated superficially and a wide breadth is prioritized over any significant depth, but this book could certainly spark some intrigue in the tween mind.
VERDICT A fine supplementary textbook for middle school science, but an unlikely candidate for unguided borrowing in a school library.

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