CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 2 . . . . September 20, 2002
Author Amy Pinchuk, who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, used her academic and design skills to craft these two fascinating books which will surely captivate budding young scientists, science fair entrants and any kid who just loves to tinker with gizmos and fiddle with gadgets. With some guidance, kids as young as nine should be able to build some of the gadgets, and 14- year-olds will be challenged by the complexity and requisite skills others require. Using Pinchuk's explicit instructions and well-illustrated step-by step process, students have the opportunity to build a spy camera, a light-up doorbell for their room, a flashy key ring, or any of eight other thingamajigs. In Make Amazing Toy and Game Gadgets, young students can confidently build an "Outta Sight Light Box" (a great secret spy flashlight) using common household materials, a 3-volt battery and a 1.5 to 3 volt LED by following Pinchuk's five-step design process and using the testing procedures she includes for each gadget. After building this simple electrical device, older students might go on to attempt building "Cool Shades." Building these flashing light glasses requires the student to understand a little electrical theory and to do some relatively simple electrical circuitry. If Make Cool Gadgets for Your Room is selected, the simplest thingamajig is a flashing key ring, and the most complex is a secret code machine. Both books contain a well thought out "What's That" glossary of terms and components that complements the gadgets students are building. These are windfall books for science and electrical/electronic teachers, and they will excite students about designing and creating their own gizmos, doodads, thingamabobs, etc.
Ian Stewart teaches at David Livingstone School in Winnipeg No.1 School Division.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.