Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun: 22 Super-Charged Projects for Kids

Overview

Kids ages 8—12 will love these 22 exciting activities and experiments focused on producing and playing with renewable energy. Projects range from the quick and simple — like the Pie Plate Wind-Maker — to the thrillingly large-scale, like Pedal Power, in which kids use a bicycle to power a 12-volt battery. Each activity teaches children about renewable energy and larger environmental issues. Education doesn’t get more fun than this! Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun offers more than enough to get any kid charged up ...

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Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun: 22 Super-Charged Projects for Kids

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Overview

Kids ages 8—12 will love these 22 exciting activities and experiments focused on producing and playing with renewable energy. Projects range from the quick and simple — like the Pie Plate Wind-Maker — to the thrillingly large-scale, like Pedal Power, in which kids use a bicycle to power a 12-volt battery. Each activity teaches children about renewable energy and larger environmental issues. Education doesn’t get more fun than this! Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun offers more than enough to get any kid charged up about renewable energy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Caduto encourages a hands-on approach to climate change, conservation, and alternative energy by combining conversational text, photographs, and cartoon graphics with dynamic and informative projects. In a section on the sun, readers are invited to "write with sunlight," using wood, safety glasses, and a magnifying glass (under parental supervision); a section on wind power provides steps for constructing a windmill. Other projects suggest small lifestyle changes to benefit the environment, such as spending a day without using electricity or researching and pledging to help countries most affected by climate change. Curious kids should enjoy the hands-on projects with tangible outcomes, while absorbing the lesson about mindfulness. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The promised activities are only part of what this title has to offer. The serious topics of global warming and energy production, use, and conservation are combined with a self-empowerment, can-do message. The inclusion of stories, humor, full-color photos, and cartoon illustrations and diagrams keep the presentation lighthearted. Each chapter begins with background information followed by the projects that range from the intensive bicycle-powered generator to a simpler energy-conservation board game. Several activities, such as the "Personal Solar Power" kit, require a considerable number of specialized supplies, tools, and adult help, while others, like the "Party-Balloon Wind Gauge," do not. Each activity concludes with a series of extension ideas that encourage scientific and creative thinking. Young people or "Green Giants" who have made significant differences to the environment are highlighted. Clear photos and step-by-step instructions modeled by real students accompany the activities. Extensive back matter includes sources for supplies, lists of environmental organizations, and a list of endangered animals by continent. With its solid science and inspirational stories and quotes, this is a great guide for classrooms, youth groups, and motivated individuals.—Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI
New York Journal of Books
The promised activities are only part of what this title has to offer. The serious topics of global warming and energy production, use, and conservation are combined with a self-empowerment, can-do message. The inclusion of stories,
humor, full-color photos, and cartoon illustrations and diagrams keep the presentation lighthearted. Each chapter begins with background information followed by the projects that range from the intensive bicycle-powered generator to a simpler energy-conservation board game. Several activities, such as the “Personal Solar Power” kit, require a considerable number of specialized supplies, tools, and adult help, while others, like the “Party-Balloon Wind Gauge,” do not. Each activity concludes with a series of extension ideas that encourage scientific and creative thinking. Young people or “Green Giants” who have made significant differences to the environment are highlighted. Clear photos and step-by-step instructions modeled by real students accompany the activities. Extensive back matter includes sources for supplies, lists of environmental organizations, and a list of endangered animals by continent. With its solid science and inspirational stories and quotes, this is a great guide for classrooms, youth groups, and motivated individuals.–Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI (Starred review, July 2011)
From the Publisher
“Encourages a sense of both wonder and power in young global citizens.”
Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
How can we understand the problems that face us as our planet gets warmer and our fuel sources shrink? One way, Caduto suggests, is through experimentation and play. His book takes kids through 22 experiments aimed at gaining understanding of the scary issues—such as global warming—with fun activities and short explanations of the science involved. "Some of you have probably heard the term global warming so many times that you just don't think about it anymore," Caduto writes in the chapter called Global Climate Change. "What's the big deal about the few more hot summer days and milder winters that Earthlings now experience because of global warming?" He explains the big deal and the greenhouse effect. Then to cement the concept, he offers a demonstration: two thermometers are put in the sun. One is in a makeshift greenhouse; the other is in the open air. With demonstrations and experiments like this, Caduto moves through problems, then he addresses two solutions—the Sun and the wind—inviting kids to build real, if not very powerful, generators. Throughout the book he features young activists who have cleaned up parks, lobbied for animals and made other significant contributions. Overall, the book is inspiring and energizing. It will be useful for home and school. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The promised activities are only part of what this title has to offer. The serious topics of global warming and energy production, use, and conservation are combined with a self-empowerment, can-do message. The inclusion of stories, humor, full-color photos, and cartoon illustrations and diagrams keep the presentation lighthearted. Each chapter begins with background information followed by the projects that range from the intensive bicycle-powered generator to a simpler energy-conservation board game. Several activities, such as the "Personal Solar Power" kit, require a considerable number of specialized supplies, tools, and adult help, while others, like the "Party-Balloon Wind Gauge," do not. Each activity concludes with a series of extension ideas that encourage scientific and creative thinking. Young people or "Green Giants" who have made significant differences to the environment are highlighted. Clear photos and step-by-step instructions modeled by real students accompany the activities. Extensive back matter includes sources for supplies, lists of environmental organizations, and a list of endangered animals by continent. With its solid science and inspirational stories and quotes, this is a great guide for classrooms, youth groups, and motivated individuals.—Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603429719
  • Publisher: Storey Books
  • Publication date: 4/30/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Caduto is an author, storyteller, ecologist, and musician. He is the author of Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun and is well-known as the creator and co-author of the international best-selling Keepers of the Earth series. He also wrote Native American Gardening, Earth Tales from Around the World, Pond and Brook, The Crimson Elf, In the Beginning, and A Child of God. His many awards include The Aesop Prize, NAPPA Gold and Silver Awards, and a Storytelling World Honor Award. His articles have appeared in Cricket, Ranger Rick, and Nature Study. He can be found at www.p-e-a-c-e.net. He lives in Norwich, Vermont.

John Hanson Mitchell is the editor of Sanctuary, the journal of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and the author of The Paradise of All These Parts and Ceremonial Time.

David Bonta is the founder and president of USA Solar Stores.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 16, 2011

    A must for every involved parent, elementary science teacher and school library!

    This is a rare, hands-on book, lovingly written and edited, with interesting and doable experiments that actually teach the principles they tout. It should capture the imagination of the most uninterested students, through utilization of commonly available materials, clear instructions, and delightful examples. Run, don't walk, to fetch it, if you have interest involvement in elementary children, 8-12. They'll love you for it while they learn excellent science, as well as sensitivity to how power can be created without creating huge carbon footprints.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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