The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science: The Very Best Backyard Science Experiments You Can Do Yourself

The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science: The Very Best Backyard Science Experiments You Can Do Yourself

by Neil A. Downie
     
 

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The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science is Neil Downie's biggest and most astounding compendium yet of science experiments you can do in your own kitchen or backyard using common household items. It may be the only book that encourages hands-on science learning through the use of high-velocity, air-driven carrots.

Downie, the undisputed maestro of Saturday

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Overview

The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science is Neil Downie's biggest and most astounding compendium yet of science experiments you can do in your own kitchen or backyard using common household items. It may be the only book that encourages hands-on science learning through the use of high-velocity, air-driven carrots.

Downie, the undisputed maestro of Saturday science, here reveals important principles in physics, engineering, and chemistry through such marvels as the Helevator—a contraption that's half helicopter, half elevator—and the Rocket Railroad, which pumps propellant up from its own track. The Riddle of the Sands demonstrates why some granular materials form steep cones when poured while others collapse in an avalanche. The Sunbeam Exploder creates a combustible delivery system out of sunlight, while the Red Hot Memory experiment shows you how to store data as heat. Want to learn to tell time using a knife and some butter? There's a whole section devoted to exotic clocks and oscillators that teaches you how.

The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science features more than seventy fun and astonishing experiments that range in difficulty from simple to more challenging. All of them are original, and all are guaranteed to work. Downie provides instructions for each one and explains the underlying science, and also presents experimental variations that readers will want to try.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
In his book, physicist Neil Downie provides a series of do-it-yourself science experiments that stand apart from your ho-hum Mr. Wizard-fare because, well, they involve a few high-speed projectiles. . . . All you need are a few household items, some good judgment and, possibly, a carrotproof vest.
— Aaron Leitko
Nature Physics
To keep the kids entertained this summer, what better than a bit of Saturday science? Neil A. Downie's compendium of experiments—'chosen on the grounds that they are new, that they work, that they are spectacular, and that they are interesting'—includes electric gunpowder, the knife-through-butter clock, the impossible turbine and armour-piercing carrots. Each experiment is accompanied by a straightforward scientific explanation, the occasional hazard warning and 'just a little math.'
Popular Science blog
If you either run a science club or are a teenager who likes getting your hands dirty experimentally, you are going to love this. I certainly would have in my youth.
ForeWord Reviews
[T]his ample resource encourages readers to consider everyday occurrences and enlivens complex ideas with lessons designed to inspire curiosity. . . . Recommended as a follow-up to the author's previous collections in the series, and as a valuable treasury of projects for teachers, coordinators of science clubs, parents of advanced, older homeschoolers, and adult enthusiasts who have experience in the field and are seeking enjoyable activities to practice and share with others.
— Karen Rigby
Teach Secondary
Downie's instructions are admirably clear and straightforward; his explanations of the underlying science admirably comprehensive and comprehensible; and his passion and enthusiasm, totally infectious.
— Helen Mulley
New Scientist
This book is guaranteed fun.
Washington Post - Aaron Leitko
In his book, physicist Neil Downie provides a series of do-it-yourself science experiments that stand apart from your ho-hum Mr. Wizard-fare because, well, they involve a few high-speed projectiles. . . . All you need are a few household items, some good judgment and, possibly, a carrotproof vest.
ForeWord Reviews - Karen Rigby
[T]his ample resource encourages readers to consider everyday occurrences and enlivens complex ideas with lessons designed to inspire curiosity. . . . Recommended as a follow-up to the author's previous collections in the series, and as a valuable treasury of projects for teachers, coordinators of science clubs, parents of advanced, older homeschoolers, and adult enthusiasts who have experience in the field and are seeking enjoyable activities to practice and share with others.
Teach Secondary - Helen Mulley
Downie's instructions are admirably clear and straightforward; his explanations of the underlying science admirably comprehensive and comprehensible; and his passion and enthusiasm, totally infectious.
Physics World - Clarissa Ai Ling Lee
[T]hose willing to put in the effort will get a real kick out of this book.
Education in Chemistry - Paul Wolstenholme-Hogg
The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science is an absolutely fantastic book that contains one of the largest collections of fun-to-do experiments that you will ever come across in a science library. . . . Downie does not just stop at the experiment—each one is backed up with the science behind it, the equipment you need and references for further reading. It truly is a wonderful book to read, and more importantly, a book to bring out the scientist in anyone.
School Science Review - Sandra Baggley
This really is the ultimate science project book and could be used as the basis of a great science club or for ideas for some interesting and unexpected physics demonstrations. The projects range from simple to quite challenging and all of them are original and guaranteed to work. There should be a copy of the book in the school and staff library. There is also a video on YouTube featuring the author that is well worth watching.
From the Publisher
"In his book, physicist Neil Downie provides a series of do-it-yourself science experiments that stand apart from your ho-hum Mr. Wizard-fare because, well, they involve a few high-speed projectiles. . . . All you need are a few household items, some good judgment and, possibly, a carrotproof vest."—Aaron Leitko, Washington Post

"To keep the kids entertained this summer, what better than a bit of Saturday science? Neil A. Downie's compendium of experiments—'chosen on the grounds that they are new, that they work, that they are spectacular, and that they are interesting'—includes electric gunpowder, the knife-through-butter clock, the impossible turbine and armour-piercing carrots. Each experiment is accompanied by a straightforward scientific explanation, the occasional hazard warning and 'just a little math.'"Nature Physics

"If you either run a science club or are a teenager who likes getting your hands dirty experimentally, you are going to love this. I certainly would have in my youth."Popular Science blog (U.K)

"[T]his ample resource encourages readers to consider everyday occurrences and enlivens complex ideas with lessons designed to inspire curiosity. . . . Recommended as a follow-up to the author's previous collections in the series, and as a valuable treasury of projects for teachers, coordinators of science clubs, parents of advanced, older homeschoolers, and adult enthusiasts who have experience in the field and are seeking enjoyable activities to practice and share with others."—Karen Rigby, ForeWord Reviews

"Downie's instructions are admirably clear and straightforward; his explanations of the underlying science admirably comprehensive and comprehensible; and his passion and enthusiasm, totally infectious."—Helen Mulley, Teach Secondary

"This book is guaranteed fun."New Scientist

"[T]hose willing to put in the effort will get a real kick out of this book."—Clarissa Ai Ling Lee,Physics World

"The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science is an absolutely fantastic book that contains one of the largest collections of fun-to-do experiments that you will ever come across in a science library. . . . Downie does not just stop at the experiment—each one is backed up with the science behind it, the equipment you need and references for further reading. It truly is a wonderful book to read, and more importantly, a book to bring out the scientist in anyone."—Paul Wolstenholme-Hogg, Education in Chemistry

"This really is the ultimate science project book and could be used as the basis of a great science club or for ideas for some interesting and unexpected physics demonstrations. The projects range from simple to quite challenging and all of them are original and guaranteed to work. There should be a copy of the book in the school and staff library. There is also a video on YouTube featuring the author that is well worth watching."—Sandra Baggley, School Science Review

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
Projectile carrots, shifting sand, and exploding gunpowder—this is not the standard hands-on science book for kids. The key is indeed hands-on, that kids need to be ready to build and experiment; most of the projects require more set-up than baking soda and vinegar volcanoes. And I'll admit, I was originally put off by the idea of building but as I kept reading, I realized he was getting at more complex science than most kids address in middle school. Downie is not aiming for the baking soda volcano crowd, but for the kids who are ready to explore more. Saturday science refers to a science club, where one would be able to use a hammer and spend the time exploring outside the curriculum. The explanations are detailed, with the chemical and physics equations provided. They may take some work for kids (and adults) to understand. The illustrations are mostly solid, though it would be nice to have more. The book is divided into sections, though it was not clear how each group was differentiated. Lists of more resources are available at the end of each experiment. These experiments are not set up for science fairs, however, any kid who is ready to work through one of these projects would be able to modify the experiment enough to pose a basic science fair project question. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691149660
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/13/2012
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
745,367
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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Meet the Author

Neil A. Downie is a lead scientist with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and visiting professor of multidisciplinary engineering at the University of Surrey. His books include Vacuum Bazookas, Electric Rainbow Jelly, and 27 Other Saturday Science Projects (Princeton).

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