Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My New Books -- Science, Technology and Geeky Fun!

This past year has been busy -- but the result has been TWO new books with tons of amazing science and other geeky projects for kids and families!

Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families is a new book from Potter Craft co-authored by me and the other editors of Wired.com's GeekMom blog: Natania Barron, Corrina Lawson and Jenny Williams.Written primarily for moms who want to share their geeky interests with their kids, it includes fun activities like superhero costumes, math puzzles, snack food hacks, and science-y crafts, as well as a whole chapter of at-home experiments.

Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future with 20 Projects, a book for kids ages 9-12 from Nomad Press, is packed full of information about how robots work and contains "low tech/no tech" projects based on actual robotics research. No special tools or skills are needed to build any of the working robotics models in this book -- just ordinary crafts materials and recycled electronics parts!

Both these books are available from Amazon or your favorite local bookstore. You can see sample projects and photos and read more about the books on my website Crafts for Learning, my Amazing Robotics Projects Facebook page, and on GeekMom and GeekDad!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Now FInd "Home Science" Projects at Your Bookstore!



It's been a while since I updated this blog. Among the things that has been keeping me busy is contributing ideas to GeekDad editor Ken Denmead's series of activity books for parents and kids. The latest in the series, The Geek Dad Book for Aspiring Mad Scientists: The Coolest Experiments and Projects for Science Fairs and Family Fun, contains a dozen projects first seen here and on my other "home science" blogs. (Check the sidebar if you've never seen them!)


 What's even more exciting is that I'm now at work along with my three co-editors at GeekMom.com on our own book! It is due out in the Fall of 2012 from Potter Crafts, a division of Crown Publishing. And my own activity book for kids, Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future with 20 Projects, will be out this summer from Nomad Press.

There's a lot going on, but in the meantime, drop by GeekMom.com and GeekDad.com for more great family activities!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Integrated Science at Home

If you haven't visited our current science blog, Integrated Science at Home, go take a look. We're working our way through a Teaching Company video lecture series called The Joy of Science, which explains the major science concepts using a chronological approach. The series is a handy way of making sure we cover some of the basic material we may have skimmed or skipped over in our more focused courses.

As we watch each episode, I've been jotting down ideas for labs we can do related to each topic. So far most of the topics have been related to Classical Physics. (You know, that stuff I thought would be too boring to go over last year.) I've really been enjoying the projects we've done. Tonight when it got dark we did a demonstration of Total Internal Reflection using a laser pointer and a soda bottle full of water. Check it out!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Pop-up LHC: A Big Bang in a Book

My review of the pop-up book version of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is over at GeekDad. It's a little more complicated than most pop-up books -- but then, the topic IS nuclear physics!

Buy it at Amazon!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaching Physics in Remote Places



This year we are doing "Integrated Science" using a video course by Prof. Robert Hazen called The Joy of Science. Hazen takes a chronological approach, so we are currently learning about classical physics. In the video Hazen describes simple experiments that can be done at home. We just tried one today, trying to find the declination of a compass needle towards the Earth's North Pole using paper clips, corks and a bowl of water. Our experiment had some problems, so afterwards we went online to look up other ways we could have designed it.

One resource that popped up is from The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics to all audiences, from specialists to the general public. One of their resources is an online book of experiments called Teaching Physics in Remote Places. It seems perfect for doing physics in the home or classroom -- chances are your set-up isn't any more primitive than that used by the authors of this books!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Now Blogging at GeekMom with Mythbuster Kari Byron!

I've been busy the past few months helping to launch GeekMom, a site dedicated to moms who want to share their geeky passions with their kids. To start us off, we've got MythBusters host Kari Byron writing about her new adventure as mom to a one-year-old girl. Kari is also the host of the new hour-long kids' show Head Rush. Check us out!

And I'll still be blogging at GeekDad, so be sure to stop by there too!