This week’s word is “Primer.”
If you’re a regular reader of my Word Wednesday column, you’ll know that DK science books feature prominently. I’ve looked at, Science Squad, The Bacteria Book, and How to be an Engineer in recent weeks, all of which are great for inspiring youngsters with the wonder of science. This week I’m looking at How to be Good at Science, Technology & Engineering, which is probably best described as a “visual science primer.” The book is filled with diagrams that explain the fundamentals of Biology, Physics, and Chemistry for an audience aged around 8 upwards.
What is How to be Good at Science, Technology & Engineering?
The book is 320 pages long and broken down into 6 sections.
- Introduction: An overview of what science is, how it is studied, and the application of scientific method and collaboration. A break down of the fields of science and the engineering process.
- Life: Aka, biology. 106 pages devoted to (amongst other things) the classification of living things, the human body, movement, reproduction, life cycles, genes, evolution, plants, ecology, and human impact on the environment.
- Matter: Chemistry. Atoms and molecules, density, bonding, reactions, and the Periodic Table (Woo!) are all included in this 68-page section. It also includes an overview of significant elements such as Hydrogen, Carbon, and the Halogens.
- Energy: 48 pages about Energy. What it is, how to measure it, how it’s generated in power stations. Waves, sound, and light; reflection, refraction, the spectrum. Electricity, magnetism, and electronics are all found in the Energy section too.
- Forces: Across 30 pages, this section looks at what forces are, friction, drag, machines, power, gravity, flight, and pressure.
- Earth and Space: The final 44 pages are given over to the Earth, both its surface and its position in the Solar System and the Universe beyond.
Finally, there is a comprehensive glossary and index.
Most subjects are condensed to a double-page spread, with each one being filled with a combination of text and diagrams. The pictures in the book are all diagrams and not photos. Each picture is clearly labeled and sits alongside the publisher’s trademark clear and informative text.
Why should you read How to be Good at Science, Technology & Engineering?
I had a science book similar to this when I was growing up, and I loved it. It accompanied me everywhere for a while. It’s easy to see that HtbGaST&E will do exactly the same for the next generation of scientists.
Everything in the book is clearly set out. The diagrams are bold and well-labeled, fostering understanding and desire to continue reading. The book is laid out in a logical fashion and its comprehensive index and contents pages make it easy to find what you’re looking for.
The book is perfect for children who love science and want to deepen their understanding. It’s the next logical step for children who have enjoyed DK’s Science Squad book. This is a great book for parents too. If you find yourself stumped from some particularly persistent (science related) “Why?” questions, you’ll probably find the answer here. This book answers many, many questions children may have about the world around us.
It’s also a great book for answering those questions teachers do insist on asking your children to find out about. If you’re looking for a one-stop, elementary science homework, shop, this book is definitely for you.
Every week, I feel like I say “this DK book is my favorite.” It’s because they are all so great. HtbGaST&E certainly scores highly on the accessing of information front, but the real reason I love it, is the nostalgia kick it has given me. I remember 8-year-old me, standing at the foot of the knowledge tree. It’s books like this that help children start their journey to its uppermost branches. It’s a reminder of a time of limitless wonder and opportunity. When life was an adventure awaiting and a string of possibilities. From the time before I realized life was mainly washing up, paying bills, and pairing odd socks.
In short, DK has done it again. How to be Good at Science, Technology & Engineering is an excellent book and great way to introduce your children to the wonders of science.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in order to write this review.