From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–This series title briefly describes 20 experiments that could be done in astronomy or science classes. Each chapter opens with the concepts covered, the time needed, the materials required, and a numbered list of steps and includes one or two demonstrations that could be performed in approximately 45 to 60 minutes. For some of the more complicated activities (building a cross-staff, simple telescope, or spectroscope, for example), the directions suffer from insufficient illustration to clarify the text. Additionally, sometimes the illustrations are separated by more than one page from the directions describing them, so the experimenter must do a lot of page-flipping in order to follow them. What the book really lacks, however, is the sense of enthusiasm or excitement that these experiments could generate. It contains safety instructions and back matter that includes a glossary, periodic table, brief answers to study questions, and lists of websites for further research.Denise Schmidt, San Francisco Public Library, CA
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This volume, one of six in the Facts on File Science Experiment set, presents experiments designed to foster understanding of space science and astronomy. Geared to middle- and high-school students and their teachers, the 20 experiments convey basic astronomy principles, draw from historic experiments, or explore new technologies. Individual experiments are presented in the same format throughout. A one-sentence overview begins each investigation and is followed by an introduction, time requirements, materials list, procedures, sample data table, analysis questions, discussions of the scientific principles involved and their connection to real life, and further reading. Color diagrams and drawings illustrate each experiment. The volume begins with an extensive “Safety Precautions” section, and each experiment includes a safety note. A concluding “Scope and Sequence Chart” aligns experiments with National Science Content Standards for grades 5–8 and 9–12. A “Setting” section tells where experiments could or should be performed—in a school laboratory, at home, or outdoors. A valuable “Our Findings” section provides teachers with ideas for class discussion and possible answers to the analysis questions for each experiment. A glossary, a list of Internet resources, a periodic table of elements, and an index conclude the volume. Schools and libraries where students and teachers are looking for science experiments on space and astronomy will find this volume a useful addition to the collection. Other titles in the set deal with experiments in computer science, environmental science, forensic science, physical science, and weather and climate. Grades 6-12. --Shauna Yusko