Maker Lab by the Smithsonian Institution

Maker Lab book cover: depicts planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn made out of rubberbands"We young scientists have to start somewhere...you can start by asking "why?" And by making messes, making mistakes, and making connections." -Jack Andraka in the "Foreword."

Maker Lab makes science look awesome. The 28 activities range from the simple such as making invisible ink or monster marshmallows to more complex like the construction of a breathing machine and sound speakers. Scientists ranging from grade 3 and older will find something to spark their imagination. (Younger scientists definitely will, too, though an older mind will be needed to assist.)

Each activity has background information followed by a photo list of items needed for the experiment. Step-by-step instructions are simple and their accompanying photograph makes it easy to find success. An "How It Works" section concludes each experiment lending an effective cohesion between the initial background information and what occurred during the experiment process. Parents may also be pleased to note that each entry also contains a difficulty rating and an estimated amount of time needed to complete the experiment.

While it will certainly be useful come science fair time, this book is recommended for anyone looking for time to fill.

Find Maker Lab in the Library.

Celeste, Kids World