Sunday, February 24, 2008
Fizz, Bubble & Flash
I reserved this book through my library's website a while back but just took a look at it the other day. At first glance, it looks like a book for younger children (the age range listed on the back is 8 and up). But with its lively, clear explanations of all the elements and families of the periodic table and its nicely-laid-out experiments, including variations on demonstrations I've seen elsewhere plus some that are new to me (such as one that tests zirconium-based underarm anti-perspirant on aluminum foil), I'm thinking of buying a copy to keep around for my own teens. Author Anita Brandolini is a chemistry professor at Ramapo College who tested out the activities on kids at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey (a museum which my family has enjoyed on trips with the grandparents). My only beef: in general the illustrations are cute, but the drawings of molecules don't successfully convey the idea of their structure in three-dimensional space.