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Kinetic Contraptions: Build a Hovercraft, Airboat, and More with a Hobby Motor Paperback – January 1, 2010

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Gear heads, physics buffs, and model builders are the potential audience for this book that's reminiscent of Popular Science magazine, but with small, poor-quality black-and-white photos depicting the steps to create various vehicles. Projects, including the creation of land, air, water, spinning, and "bizarro" machines, follow detailed opening chapters focusing on safety, materials, and basic circuitry. They also describe how to make switches, and how to wire batteries in serial and parallel configurations to construct a "roach" or a motor with a battery pack and a switch that will be used in projects throughout the book. The models are crafted out of materials such as Styrofoam, wood, film canister lids, wires, and brass fasteners, and, of course, magnets, batteries, tape, and hot glue. Boxed insets in each chapter explain the science behind the machines; trouble-shooting suggestions anticipate problems and suggest solutions. The author peppers the dense text with witty comments and asides, but it's clear this is a book for dedicated enthusiasts. The help of a knowledgeable adult will be necessary for most projects. An appendix of supply sources completes the package.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Reminiscent of Popular Science magazine . . . . a book for dedicated enthusiasts."  —School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Original edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781556529573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556529573
  • ASIN: 1556529570
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book clear and easy to follow. The projects were well within the range of my 10 to 14 year-old students, and we had many successful adventures building and tinkering with the "roaches." We used this book as curriculum for enrichment activities at our after-school program, and did not find it overly technical. On the contrary, many of the projects are whimsical and straight-out fun. Our session became one of the most popular in the program. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to good fun with some motors, batteries, wire, tape and Popsicle sticks!
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