Bardhan-Quallen's latest collection (Last-Minute Science Fair Projects, 2006, etc.) includes 18 demonstrations and experiments. They range from simple cell observation to growing bacteria and fungi and using kitchen materials to demonstrate scientific principles, nicely graduated to encourage learning about experimental procedures and simple chemistry. Many experiments require the use of a simple microscope, and some call for bacterial culture plates, made at home with chicken broth and powdered agar. Adult supervision is suggested for cooking, cutting and handling strong chemicals and microwaved marshmallows. Clear step-by-step instructions call for readily available materials, include illustrations of the materials, equipment and some processes and usually fit on a single page. There are suggestions for extension activities. A "What's going on?" section explains potential results. These intriguing projects range from watching osmosis in action and testing plants for antibacterial properties to making a mummy from a fresh fish, dissolving eggshells and softening bones. Making ice cream demonstrates the phases of matter. Printed on glossy paper, this useful and interesting book will stand up to repeated handling in the kitchen lab. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)
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The 18 experiments in this collection, second in the Mad Science series, investigate micro-organisms thriving in kitchens. Using readily available materials (plus extras like powdered agar), readers can learn bacteria basics by taking samples from around the house and examining the growth in agar plates, inflating a balloon using yeast, and mummifying a fish with baking soda. Clear explanations of each experiment's end result make this a good choice for those just starting to tinker around with home chemistry sets. Ages 9-12. (Dec.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
Gr 5-7--The promised mold garden is only one of 18 activities in this collection. Introductory material covers microscope use and offers steps to become a "mad scientist," including, "Be prepared for anything." The first three chapters focus on cell properties, bacteria or single cells, and fungus, the unseen things that lurk around a kitchen. The section concludes with an activity to mummify a fish, scaled and gutted, demonstrating how decay is avoided. The final chapter covers a range of mostly chemistry-oriented experiments using acids and bases, oxidation, and Charles's Law. Background information and simplified explanations accompany each experiment, which is set apart in a recipe format using a smaller type size. Directions include few illustrations and broadly labeled steps, such as "Prepare the Fish," requiring careful reading. Safety reminders are highlighted when potentially dangerous supplies or equipment is used. The only photos are of a sampling of common bacteria. Cartoon spot art adds design interest. Many of the experiments are in other collections, but this combination is fresh. Readers will want to grab an apron and get started.--Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI[Page 123]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.