Friday, August 23, 2019

Review: Hack Your Backyard by Niki Ahrens


The great outdoors is calling! Explore science in your own backyard through this wild collection of projects. Make your own compass, learn to tell the temperature from crickets, count the stars, and more! Simple instructions and clear photos ensure projects will be successful, and QR codes lead to supplemental content. This book was created in partnership with Science Buddies®, an organization focused on fostering STEM discovery through hands-on explorations.

Oh look, a book written for my children!

School is now under way here, but we have enjoyed a summer spent in the dirt and the forests. We even discovered a species of millipede none of us has ever seen, right in our own back yard! 

This title contains 8 simple outdoor experiments, some of which may be familiar from elementary school science fairs (watching how water travels through a flower's stem by adding food coloring). All are a great way for adults who feel uncomfortable with their science knowledge to begin exploring together with their children. A "science takeaway" for each experiment gives an easy-to-understand explanation of the science involved.

Most of these can be done any time of year, and in city or country locations. A few involve live animals (ants, pill bugs, worms), so make sure your kids are treating them gently and letting them go afterward. My kids aren't going to believe their ears when I tell them I actually WANT them to collect more roly-polies!

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