A book that I wrote and illustrated in 2002, Mad Professor: Concoct Extremely Weird Science Projects-Robot Food, Saucer Slime, Martian Volcanoes, and More, is now available as a Kindle book for $1.99. At that price I bought a copy myself!
From super-secret Zoober Labs, hidden on the island of Kia Ora in the South Pacific, comes this book of experiments that the "budding mad professor can easily complete using materials around the house." Each of these 25 projects is wonderfully illustrated--on laminated, spiral-bound pages--by author Mark Frauenfelder, a former editor of Wired magazine. Broken into four sections, the book provides a basic science lesson before getting down to the experiments, including bits on the scientific method and Asimov's four rules of robotics. Explicit directions and safety tips follow, and each project ends with a How It Works nugget that unravels the mystery behind the science. The experiments include a bunch of old standbys that no budding mad professor should be without -- rock candy, vinegar and baking soda volcanoes, returning tin cans -- as well as a host of unfamiliar slimes and putties that should spark interest in how molecules work. (The description of how polymers work will undoubtedly serve double duty as a refresher for most parents.) Many of the experiments require supervision for younger children, and a few use somewhat less common home materials, but instructions are given in each case on where to find them.
Mad Professor: Concoct Extremely Weird Science Projects-Robot Food, Saucer Slime, Martian Volcanoes, and More. It's also available in a number of other e-book formats.
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Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects