Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Amazing Math Projects You Can Build Yourself

By:   Laszlo C. Bardos   
Illustrated by:  Sam Carbaugh
Published by:  Nomad Press      Date:   2010
ISBN:   978-1-934670-57-6
Price:  $15.95
Ages:  9 and up
Rating:  4 ½ stars (1-5)
Reviewed by:   Kris Quinn Christopherson

Synopsis:  From prime numbers to paraboloids, Amazing Math Projects You Can Build Yourself introduces readers to the beauty and wonder of math through hands-on activities including projects about number patterns, lines, curves, and shapes.  Learning through examples of how we encounter math in our daily lives, children will marvel at the mathematical patterns in snowflakes and discover the graceful curves in the Golden Gate Bridge.  Readers will never look at soap bubbles the same way again.  A companion website includes video instructions for many projects in the book and provides additional activities. 

Overall thoughts:  Math was not my favorite, nor my best, subject in school, so I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book. However, it was an interesting read and allowed this hesitant math student to enjoy the idea of making a geodesic dome big enough to sit in. 

The book jumped right into the simplest arithmetic and moved its way to higher mathematical concepts. Filled with illustrations, ‘did you know’ blurbs, and ‘words 2 know’, it allows even the mathematical novice to be engaged in the concepts.  I appreciated that the projects were written in clear and easy-to-understand formats, and included supply lists with on-hand items to implement concepts such as the Pythagorean Theorem and platonic solids.  With this book, you can definitely build projects to enhance your math skills and classes if enrolled in school, but it is not a text book. 


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