NONFICTION

Junk Drawer Geometry: 50 Awesome Activities That Don't Cost a Thing

208p. glossary. photos. Chicago Review. Oct. 2018. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780912777795.
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Gr 5 Up—Mercer, an experienced physics teacher, presents simple projects in this accessible volume. The introduction provides a succinct rationale for using hands-on activities to help students master math and science concepts. The volume is divided into three sections, each with 14–18 examples. In "Geometry Tools," students make cereal box calipers, a paper protractor, and yarn and cardboard graph paper. In "Math Labs," students see real-world applications to geometry concepts as they work through projects such as cheese cracker Pythagoras and midsegment toilet paper. In "Fun Geometry Activities," students make their own tessellations and puzzles. Each craft includes a brief description, a list of supplies, an explanation of the math concepts learned, and information on which grade levels the project is for, from elementary to high school. Step-by-step directions are comprehensible and accompanied by useful photos. The titular phrase "Junk drawer geometry" is right on—all materials are inexpensive and easy to gather.
VERDICT A great addition to STEM collections and makerspaces.

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