The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry

The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry

The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry - Book Review
Learning about the periodic table of elements can be difficult! And if your kids are like mine, they learn much faster when they can actually see something happen, instead of just reading about it. That’s why the book, The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry: 24 Experiments for Young Scientists, by Sean Connolly, is the perfect mixture of education and hands-on science fun. There are 24 experiments that teach students about the different elements, some of their properties, and how to handle them safely of course.

The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry

From Sean Connolly, the master of messy and dangerous (and therefore extra-fun) science, a collection of more than 20 hands-on experiments that are like an interactive journey through the periodic table of elements.

In this introduction to chemistry for STEM-curious kids ages 9 and up, each chapter of The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry focuses on a single element—its properties, how it was discovered, and even its potential danger level. Easy-to-follow experiments help readers put their newfound knowledge into action.

All that’s needed is a sense of adventure and some items from around the house.

Make your own fossil with silicon. Use a pinhead and measure 166 feet of string for a mind-boggling insight into how a hydrogen atom is built. Discover oxygen and oxygenation by slicing an apple and seeing what happens an hour later. Harness the power of zinc with a potato clock. And enjoy a special hands-off feature about the “Dirty Dozen”—those nasty elements, from arsenic to plutonium, that can wreak havoc wherever they appear (there are no experiments using these chemicals). Matter really matters, and now you’ll really understand why.

About the Author

Sean Connolly is the author of The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science and other STEM-based Genius at Work titles for Workman, along with dozens of other books for both children and adults.

My thoughts:

As a homeschool family, we’re always looking for fun and exciting ways to teach the students about science. Whether we need to dissect something, build a structure, or mix chemicals to cause certain reactions, the more the kids can do themselves, the better they seem to learn the concepts! Since we don’t have a full science lab like public schools have, I have to piece together equipment and materials myself. This book uses mostly things we already have, or can purchase easily, like a potato, apples, string, etc.

The experiments are well written so they are easy to follow, without a lot of adult help required.

Don’t worry, I still supervised and helped with in depth explanations for the more advanced students. But this was a great way to teach concepts about the elements and the periodic table to a range of grade levels! While some of them were more basic in nature, it was a great starting place that covered the simplest material for the younger students and served as a starting point for the older students. They could then use that demonstration and hands-on experience to go on to something more advanced.

And while the book discusses some of the scary elements (think arsenic), you don’t actually work with them! Let’s save that for more advanced classes in college, shall we?

I enjoyed the explanation that was provided in each chapter, from the basic information like the atomic number, boiling point, etc., the text would also cover information such as how and where it was discovered. This was presented in narrative form, so we could read it aloud in a group/class setting, or the students could read it for themselves as time permitted.

I’d definitely recommend this book for homeschool families, students that are curious about science, or even families that want to have some fun hands-on experiments together! It’s meant for grade ranges 4-7, but could be adapted into lessons for older or younger students to fit your personal needs. You can learn more about The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry: 24 Experiments for Young Scientists from Workman Publishing. It is also available on Amazon in Kindle and Hardback versions.

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