Looking through the catalogue of Make: books, I used to go like “Oh, that looks interesting, I want that … Huh, that book about Raspberry Pi would also be cool… Hey, making robots, I should order that and try it out…” Thanks to Humble Bundle, now I actually go through the books’ contents, reading up on all the fascinating project ideas.
The other day, I told you about the “Tinker Birthday Party“, where we built a small alarm system, inspired from Make: Fun, which I had purchased through Make:‘s first Humble Bundle from a few months ago. Now Make: is back with Humble Bundle, with another batch of great books.
The deal with Humble Bundle book deals is the following: You pay what you want (starting with a minimum amount of a bit under $1) to get a part of the bundle, paying above another two thresholds (the higher threshold usually being $15) gets you more/all books in the bundle. Many pay more than the top threshold; the contribution can be divided freely between Humble Bundle, the publisher (in this case Make:), and a charity of one’s choosing. The books can then be downloaded DRM-free, usually in several different formats such as PDF, ePub, and MOBI.
With such a wealth of new stuff from Make: in my virtual library, so far I had opportunity to browse only through a few of the titles. Here are some of my first discoveries:
- My favorite so far of the bundle is Make: Tinkering by Curt Gabrielson, a science educator of over 20 years. In this book, chapters with detailed project descriptions alternate with chapters about teaching science via tinkering sessions with kids: why tinkering is essential, what makes a good tinkering session, the logistics of organizing a session, how to deal with questions from the kids, etc. Also the project ideas are great: There are chapters on sound, magnetism, mechanics, electrics, chemistry, biology, and engineering and motors. If you are thinking of hosting a tinkering session yourself (e.g., as part of a tinker birthday for your kid): Check out Gabrielson’s book!
- With Make: Paper Inventions, Kathy Ceceri has written a real eye opener. She describes a wealth of great projects, many of which take little preparation and few extra materials: After all, everybody has some paper at home. Just the thing for a rainy weekend at home!
- Emily Cocker and Kelli Townley’s Make It Glow takes the basic idea of lighting up LEDs with a coin-cell battery and runs with it: Glowies, paper circuitry, wearables and several larger installations will keep you and your kids busy and set your home alight — in a good way, obviously.