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Gizmos & Gadgets: Creating Science Contraptions That Work (& Knowing Why) (Williamson Kids Can!) Paperback – June 1, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-Hauser gives directions for making a bunch of gadgets, gizmos, contraptions, and doohickeys constructed with stuff often found in cupboards, closets, garages, and "junk" drawers. Materials such as plastic soda bottles, marbles, buttons, straws, and cardboard tubes are cut, trimmed, shaped, and bent in order to be glued, stapled, sewn, and taped. They are ultimately formed into objects to be tossed, balanced, spun, flung, and strung-all to demonstrate various principles of physics. Also included are nudges to encourage individual forays into the worlds of problem solving and inventing. Fun to make-and probably fun to play with-the crafts, if followed sequentially, introduce such basic topics as motion, energy, balancing, and gravity. Even if used as random crafts, they will lead to questions regarding the predictable behaviors of such objects as boomerangs and yo-yos. Classroom teachers can team this with Vicki Cobb's Why Can't You Unscramble an Egg? (Lodestar, 1990; o.p.) and Bernie Zubrowski's Raceways: Having Fun with Balls and Tracks (Morrow, 1985; o.p.).
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Using simple household items to create toys that spin, fling, collide, and whiz, kids will grasp the basics of concepts of gravity, inertia, balance, and energy. Projects are very hands-on. Most activities can be completed with minimal assistance. Every page is jam-packed (in age-appropriate vocabulary) with factoids, fun facts about famous inventors, and inspiration for science lovers of all ages. A 1999 Parents' Choice® Silver Honor. (Parents' Choice®) -- From Parents' Choice
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Series: Williamson Kids Can!
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Williamson Publishing Company (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885593260
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885593269
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By z_mama45 on June 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
My nine year old son loves this book! It has some great projects to do (using easy-to-find materials) while also introducing famous scientists and scientific principles like the laws of motion. We were following the The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, Revised and Updated Edition and found this book to be much better than the books it recommended for Physics.
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Format: Paperback
gizmos and gadgets contains easy, readable information on scientific principles along with appropriate, fun, hands-on experiements. Makes for great reading for scout leaders, teachers or those who like to mess around at home with their kids. Good addition to any library.
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We homeschool our children, and use this book as our 1st and 3rd grade physics book. The experiments are simple, well explained, and can be done with supplies most people would have on hand.
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We have tried several of the projects in this book and they have all worked on the first try. I run a summer camp and homeschool my kids and have looked at 100's of project books. This one is exceptional. The directions are clear, they appear to be "kid tested", and the science information is VERY well organized with several projects to illustrate each principal.
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I would have like clearer step-by-step illustrations or photos, as there are only some B & W ones, but I understand this might be geared towards teachers photocopying the material for class. The variety of activities is great. I'd suggest the age-range for 9-12 year olds to do by themselves. With kids 7 - 8 years old, you have to help them with most activities. I think most of these types of books tend to leave out physics pretty much, and this one includes lots of short explanations that go along with the activities, so that's a plus!
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I bought this for my ten year old son who is very smart, but not very interested in anything that seems like learning. He loved this book! He marked the book with sticky notes of what he wanted to make and started collecting the household items that you need for construction. He was bugging me to make stuff - definitely a great buy for kids that think science boring.
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We love this book in our house! I pull it out when we are looking for something fun to do with the kids. My kids thumb through and pick out their favorite projects. It is fun and educational & a great addition to our homeschool book collection.
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This book is so great. I have an 8 year old tinkerer who can use this book to make really cool engineering projects, some by himself! The paddle boat has been so fun to play with and he is quite proud of his success with it. Great book!
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