I love experiments. They represent the best part of education because you learn by doing and usually have a pretty fun time while you’re at it. So when Workman Publishing sent me Potato Chip Science, I had a big grin on my face – and not just because the book (and its accessories) shipped in a real potato chip bag.
Ripping into the kit, I was curious what I’d find inside. There’s an 85 page book that covers the 29 experiments, a glossary of scientific terms and a lot more background information to help kids understand how the experiments fit in the world around them. There were also dozens of biodegradable packing chips, wires, plastic lids and other odds and ends to fill in material requirements.
The experiment selection is an interesting mish-mash of hard science – analyzing the acidity of potato chips – and the mundane – making a bird house from a Pringles-type tube. The kit covers a wide swath of science, including physics, biology, chemistry and earth sciences. Authors Max Kurzweil and his teenage son lay the potato puns on a little heavily for my tastes, but in the end, it’s all good fun and the science wins out. I was impressed with how much information was packed into the book and my guess is that even adults will likely learn something.
My only complaint is that, although the kit is packed with items to help you perform experiments, I didn’t see a single experiment that could be performed with just the items in the bag. All of them required other items, some of which we didn’t have at our house (2.5 oz chip bags, red cabbage, potting soil, etc.). You’d think with so many experiments and so many items included, at least one experiment would be ready to go, out-of-the-bag.
Still, Potato Chip Science is worth the price of admission. There’s enough in the bag to last you for many weekends … and spark imaginations for investigations for many more.
Disclosure: GeekDad was sent a review copy of this kit.