These books, each of which includes nine projects, begin with subject-specific introductions to science-fair basics and the scientific method. The authors explain the outline of the projects and encourage readers to explore and critique various sources before they begin. Colorful photographs or illustrations appear on every spread. Experiments include measuring how Earth's position relative to the sun changes each day (Astronomy ), measuring how the angle of a ramp affects acceleration (Forces ), and what salt does to a plant (Rocks ). A hypothesis to guide research, an indication of difficulty level, a list of materials (most of which should be readily available) and their approximate cost, and a further-reading list precede the instructions. Questions to prompt students on what to observe and additional activities and ideas for project displays are provided. The writing is dry, but solid and straightforward. However, supplemental resources will be needed. For example, Rocks directs students to study the Mohs hardness scale, which does not appear anywhere in the book. The last chapter of each work, "The Competition," offers tips on preparing for the science-fair judges and more on creating a display and final report. Yael Calhoun's Earth Science Fair Projects Using Rocks, Minerals, Magnets, Mud, and More (2005) and Robert Gardner's Forces and Motion Science Fair Projects Using Water Balloons, Pulleys, and Other Stuff (2004, both Enslow) offer more comprehensive introductions. Halls's books are additional purchases.
Maren OstergardCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Students will love pouring through these exciting science fair ideas about rocks and minerals. Each project comes with helpful hints on how to customize the project and win the science fair prize.
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