There’s no shortage of science project books for parents and kids. Anyone can tell you how to make your own rock candy crystals or rockets powered by Mentos and Coke. But – call it nepotism or playing 8Bit favorites – I really like Mike Adamick’s Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments. It was released almost one year ago – ICYMI – and answers all the tough science questions kids tend to ask.
Mike had sent me his first book, Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects, which had a bunch of sweet do-it-yourself projects, like superhero capes and those books where you open up the cover and there’s a hidey-box inside. It also had a handful of daunting projects, like building rope swings, teeter-totters and old fashioned fruit crate scooters. Fo’ real. You can see that Mike loves DIY more than anyone, and even talked about my nerdy perler projects in an article on Parade. No shame here. My favorites game is fierce.
This book, Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments, will teach you rad stuff – even how to make Mentos/Coke rockets and candy crystals. My favorite thing about the book is that it answers the perennial kid question, “why?”
Why do leaves change colors? Why does vinegar and salt shine a penny? Why did you throw up all over your dad’s station wagon when you were reading a book during a car trip? Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments explains these sorts of questions in a really easy-to-understand way, with actionable projects associated with them.
Best of all, Mike breaks every experiment down into sections: “Why It Works”, “Here’s What You Need”, and “Here’s What You Do”. Boom. That’s it. No fluff. You just do your experiment and then – WHAM – you’re onto the next. That sound was your brain hitting the side of your head because the awesomeness just hit you in the face.
Mike’s clear-cut experiments are split into five categories: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Planet Earth and The Human Body. There’s even an intro that reminds you that it’s okay to fail – because you will frequently. Science is about the discoveries we make when things don’t go as planned. And as such, you might not end up with Mike Adamick results in all of your projects, and that’s okay.
Some experiments make for toys your kid will want to play with all day, like the cool little “rockets” you can make out of balloons, straws, tape and string. Some stuff you might want to do one-and-done, like the already mentioned rock candy crystals. They’re cool, but food coloring…candy…I’m mess-phobic.
Look, I wouldn’t be playing favorites if I didn’t tell you that Mike’s books are awesome (it’s in the name), and that if your kid’s hitting school age, it’d behoove you to pick up Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments. It’s easy science for parents and kids and you might actually learn something yourself, seeing as you don’t really know why leaves turn brown in autumn. Way to pay attention in school, jerk.