March 10, 2018

Teacher Book Talk: Maker Lab Outdoors

What a wonderful surprise when I arrived home from school yesterday! I found this waiting for me in my mailbox...

I immediately began perusing it and couldn't put it down. It is chock-full of colorful pages, photos, and directions for making the coolest kid-interesting stuff. Of course, it's quality material; notice it is a Smithsonian item. I quickly snuck a peak at the publisher's website just to see what they had to say about this beautiful book:
Twenty-eight science projects and experiments to be done outside will spark kids' creativity and help them develop science skills through hands-on learning.
Projects focus on Earth and the environment, plants and animals, rocks and minerals, and space, bringing science learning home and into the backyard. Young scientists can make a cave system and find out about underground rivers, construct a working model of tectonic plates and learn about earthquakes, build a telescope and look to the planets and stars, and more. 
Supporting STEAM education initiatives and the Maker Movement, Maker Lab: Outdoors includes 25 interactive projects to inspire kids' creativity and their scientific side, , and, as the founder of Maker Faire Dale Dougherty says, "to realize with their hands what they can imagine in their minds."
With stunning photography, succinct step-by-step instructions, and detailed explanations, Maker Lab: Outdoors takes readers on a journey of discovery. A must-have for every young scientist curious about their surroundings, and for makers, crafters, and those who enjoy exploring the outdoors.... DK Publishing Company.

Here are a few of those 25 interactive projects mentioned by the publisher:
  • butterfly feeder
  • periscope
  • soil-free planter
  • brilliant barometer
  • cracking rocks
  • a wormery
  • an air cannon
  • a water rocket
  • a paper sundial
  • AND MORE!!!
Let's take a closer look at two of those projects, just so you can see the quality of the text and how fun each project appears. First, a wormery... even the name is great! Each project is displayed in an attractive, inviting photograph followed by step-by-step instructions, complete with sequential photos. Even limited readers can easily re-create the projects independently or with minimal adult assistance. The majority of the projects can be completed with items that most households (classrooms) have on hand or that can readily be collected.

Check out this project, a water rocket! My sixth graders would be all over this one in a heartbeat!

And the best part of this book, what makes this science teacher's heart sing? At the end of each project is the science stuff, how it all works! Gotta love this part!

I can NOT wait to share this book with my class of young scientists. They are going to enjoy it as much as they enjoy the original Make Lab book that I already own.

So, are you intrigued? Want your own copy? To purchase directly from the publisher, click HERE. At the publisher's site, there are links to preferred retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble to name just two. Choosing these retailers may afford you a copy of the book at a lesser price. You can even access a digital copy!

If you really like this Maker Lab book, there is another as I mentioned above. Check out this blog post from July 2017 about the original volume.

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