Is it just me or are kids smarter than us? Some days I’m amazed at the projects they develop, whether it’s a campaign like #1000blackgirlbooks or a life-changing gizmo like these 3D printed superhero hands. With a little know-how, some tools, and a friendly grown up saying “I believe in you,” kids can do some pretty revolutionary things. Just in time for Barnes & Noble’s Maker Faire on November 5th and 6th, here are eight books that will encourage the young makers in your life to dream big and build something that can change the world.
Pocket Genius: Science
Those late elementary school years are filled with questions like “Why do lemons taste sour?” and “How do helmets protect us?” Like an encyclopedia for your pocket, this compact book has the answers. Biology, chemistry, and physics are all explored in this accessible, easy-to-use reference book. It’s perfect for rainy-day browsing or getting to the bottom of tricky topics. With guides to everything from space to sharks to rocks and minerals, the Pocket Genius series is filled with books to inspire young explorers.
Getting Started with Engineering
Learning to think like an engineer is all about creativity and problem solving. This book encourages tinkerers ages 7 and up to test and try until they find a solution. Easy projects will get young readers excited to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Edison, who famously said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” And that’s how you go from getting started with engineering to being an engineer for the ages!
The scientific method lies behind much of the progress that has been made in the last 500 years. Designing experiments, disproving hypotheses, and controlling for unknown variables are all essential to what makes science scientific. This book is packed with age-appropriate science projects that use simple tools and supplies, like the baking soda you probably already have in the cupboard, to give kids a hands-on introduction to the ooey, gooey world of science.
If your kids love to think scientifically, but aren’t so interested in wearing a white lab coat, electronics may be their calling. Written by an electrical engineer, this book includes simple, safe projects that will get kids building their first electronic circuits. Once young electricians learn the basics, the possibilities are endless!
Can we all agree building your own robot is pretty much living the dream? If you’re not worried your kid’s existence will peak too early, this book includes everything they need to know to get started designing and building their very own robot. The only step this book doesn’t go into detail on? Showing off your awesome robot. But your kids can probably figure that part out on their own.
This book includes 28 science-fair-friendly projects like the classic volcano and the lemon battery to help kids design, build, and invent. But with text from the Smithsonian Institute that goes beyond the “how” to explain the “why”, this book will inspire kids to ask deeper questions and add their own creativity to their home maker lab. Along the way, they’ll discover just what makes being a maker so fun.
Encourage your child’s inner MacGyver to thrive with projects that use simple tools and common items to dramatic effect. This book is packed with ways to DIY your way through life, whether that means building a remote-control copter at home—or breaking out of a basement with just the coins in your pocket and a whole lot of pluck! The next step? Building a life-size flying LED copter so you can fly away with them!
If your kiddos have taken the maker spirit to a whole new level and created something that probably shouldn’t see the light of day, say a miniature black hole or a solar powered drone, you might find yourself in need of a place to hide their work. Enter this book. Projects include making a box with a secret compartment and more. Perfect for those moments when you need a break from chaperoning the mad-scientist party that’s taking place in your garage.
Will you join us at your local Barnes & Noble for the Maker Faire? We would love to see you and your family there. Learn more details here!