Don't Try This at Home!: Science Fun for Kids on the Go

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Science is everywhere—in playgrounds, amusement parks, shopping malls, and restaurants, on beaches, planes, and even school buses!

Look for secret messages in license plates

Blow frozen soap bubbles

Turn plastic garbage bags into hot-air balloons

Gather meteorites on the beach...and more

With more than ...

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Science is everywhere—in playgrounds, amusement parks, shopping malls, and restaurants, on beaches, planes, and even school buses!

Look for secret messages in license plates

Blow frozen soap bubbles

Turn plastic garbage bags into hot-air balloons

Gather meteorites on the beach...and more

With more than sixty hands-on experiments to choose from, you can have fun wherever you go.

Written by Vicki Cobb and Kathy Darling, the best-selling authors of Bet You Can! and Bet You Can't, this kid-pleasing science activity book is essential fun for family outings and class field trips. With a world of science adventures waiting to be discovered beyond your doorstep, don't try this at home!

Provides instructions for a variety of science activities outside, arranged by such categories as school, parks, and vehicles.

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Editorial Reviews

Books Bulletin of the Center for Children's
The variety of topics and urban/rural settings should cast a wide appeal.
Children's Literature - Cheryl Peterson
Science is everywhere: at the playground, on the beach, on planes, in shopping malls, amusement parks, and restaurants. This collection of science activities is organized by location with hands-on experiments using everyday objects. The reader will learn how to look for secret messages in license plates, gather meteorites on the beach, measure g-forces on a roller coaster, make a hot air balloon from a garbage bag, and much more! All the activities and experiments are accompanied by "insider information" which explains why the activity or experiment works. A great book to take along on summer trips.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-A collection of over 60 easy-to-do activities and demonstrations to perform in schools, parks, restaurants, or while traveling. They include curling a dandelion stem, observing the strobe effect on a computer screen, and detecting stress points in plastic. The principle behind each activity is carefully explained. Some of the experiments, such as the "law abiding balloon" (the movement of a balloon in a moving automobile), appear in more than one of the author's previous books. Although some of the observations could be used as a starting point for science projects, the value of the book lies in helping children become more observant, to question what is really happening, and to learn the scientific principle(s) behind the observation. Although some of activities presented can be found elsewhere, many are interesting adaptations, such as skipping a stone on sand or using a rhododendron to tell the temperature. Frequent black-and-white cartoons break up the text and add a light touch to the presentation. The concept of looking for scientific principles anyplace one might be is well presented here.-Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380728107
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/1999
  • Edition description: Includes 60 experiments
  • Pages: 175
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.51 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Right Place at the Right Time

This book will make you want to leave home. It'snot that Your home isn't a perfectly nice place, butthere are some discoveries thatyou just can't make there. Lots of science books are filled with experiments to do at home. (We even wrote some of them!) But this book is different. It's a field guide for the explorer on the go. Only when you walk out the door can you see secret messages on license plates, discover why there are no singing weight lifters or find meteorites at the beach.

Some people may think you're a bit strange if they see you balancing on soda cans or blowing bubbles when the temperature is below zero. Don't let anyone discourage you. You're just being curious, a natural human trait. After all, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm and look what he discovered—electricity!

All you need is an inquisitive mind and an adventurous spirit. We've supplied dear instructions on how to do dozens and dozens of amazing activities, plus insider information that will let you fascinate friends, impress parents—even teach your teachers. if knowledge is power, you can be a mighty source.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, check this book first. It's organized by place. The chapter headings in the table of contents give a general idea of where you have to be to do the activities. There is also a special index in the back of the book that lists activities by specific location and keys them to special conditions, such as the time of day or season of the year. Some of the experiments in the book require extra care for safety. Make sure you have an adult assistant when you dothem.

The world is filled with opportunities for discovery. Most people miss them, but you won't. You'll be in the right place at the right time-with the right information—if you've got this book with you!

Spy License
See the secret markings on license plates.

Doing the Deed

Counterfeit license plates are used by car thieves. The counterfeits may look authentic to ordinary people, but Police know how to detect the fakes. you can too, but you need to look at license plates from a whole new angle. Many license plates have secret imagesbill it's the viewing angle that reveals them. Although different states have different identifying s ymbols they are almost always placed in a vertical row down the center Of the plate.

The secret symbols are invisible unless you view the plate from an angle of thirty degrees. So stand facing the license plate at a distance of four to eight feet. The correct distance for you depends on your height. The taller you are, the farther away you'll have to stand.

We easily saw the outline of New York State on our license plates in the daytime. But it was even more dramatic at night when the image was illuminated by a flashlight held near our eyes.

Insider Information

The secret symbols are hidden in the reflective sheeting that covers the plate. The sheeting has a layer of tiny glass beads embedded in clear plastic. Behind the beads is a mirrorlike coating. When viewed from most angles, this coating reflects back just about all the light that strikes it.

However, the beads in the pattern of the secret image are treated so that they don't reflect any light when viewed from an angle of thirty degrees. The nonreflecting beads make up the dark areas of the secret pattern.

The reflective sheeting is provided to the states by the 3M Corporation, the only company that makes it. The manafacturing process is so sophisticated that it is unlikely that crooks will be able to duplicate it. Holograms on credit cards serve the same purpose as the secret i8mages on license plates

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2001

    great book

    This book is a great book for school sience experimets. Great book. Get it for your kids

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