When O’Reilly published Bob Thompson’s excellent Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments (review) they encountered an outpouring of nostalgia from readers reminiscing about the ‘good old days’ of chemistry sets. Out of this sentiment came a new offering, Make: Science Room.
An idea started to percolate around the office: how cool would it be if we created a microsite on Make: Online that would serve as a virtual classroom to teach our readers the fundamentals of science and offer lots of fun and challenging experiments and projects for them to try and discuss with each other? And what if we brought back the legitimate chemistry kits of yore by assembling a curated collection of serious but affordable science kits, laboratory equipment, chemicals, and supplies in the Maker Shed. So we did exactly that!
The Make: Science Room is our DIY science destination. Here you’ll find how-tos on setting up a home lab, evaluating and buying equipment and supplies, and conducting all manner of fun and educational home science experiments. We also provide a forum, through comments, for our readers to share their ideas and collaborate on their own experiments and discoveries. We’ll be including modified content from these books as well as creating original content. As time goes on, we’ll expand the Science Room to include sections on astronomy, Earth sciences, biology, and other disciplines. We already have dozens of additional articles on deck and will be posting batches of them each week, so check back often.
Curated by Thompson, the site currently offers articles about chemistry and forensics, including experiments involving solvent extraction, recrystalization, and soil analysis. For noobs, they also offer articles helping you set up your own lab. Check it out!