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Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff (Make)

Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff (Make)

Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff (Make)
By Curt Gabrielson

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(36 customer reviews)

Book Description

How can you consistently pull off hands-on tinkering with kids? How do you deal with questions that you can't answer? How do you know if tinkering kids are learning anything or not? Is there a line between fooling around with real stuff and learning?

The idea of learning through tinkering is not so radical. From the dawn of time, whenever humanity has wanted to know more, we have achieved it most effectively by getting our hands dirty and making careful observations of real stuff.

Make: Tinkering (Kids Learn by Making Stuff) lets you discover how, why--and even what it is--to tinker and tinker well. Author Curt Gabrielson draws on more than 20 years of experience doing hands-on science to facilitate tinkering: learning science while fooling around with real things.

This book shows you how to make:

  • A drum set from plastic bottles, tape, and shrink-wrap
  • Magnetic toys that dance, sway, and amaze
  • Catapults, ball launchers, and table-top basketball
  • A battery-powered magic wand and a steadiness game (don't touch the sides!)
  • Chemical reactions with household items
  • Models of bones and tendons that work like real arms and ankles
  • Spin art machine and a hovercraft from a paper plate!
  • Lifelong learners hungry for their next genuine experience

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #55316 in Books
  • Brand: Maker Media Inc
  • Published on: 2015-11-07
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.17" h x .45" w x 7.01" l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 214 pages


  • Maker Media Inc

Editorial Reviews

This book is terrific! The philosophy couldn't have been better stated. Curt writes beautifully;  it's very readable and his overall message is indisputably valuable, especially in these times of electronic gadgets.  As the book points out, in recent years we find our kids can't even tie their shoes!  Thus, in order to truly learn science, they need access to these sorts of hands-on opportunities more than ever.  So hooray for the very valuable notion of community science workshops, such as have been pioneered in California!

Paul Hewitt, Author of Conceptual Physics

About the Author

Curt Gabrielson runs the Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop and works with science education in East Timor. He has been a science educator for more than 20 years, with positions in the California public schools, the National University of East Timor, and San Francisco’s Exploratorium Teacher Institute.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful.
5Excellent Resource for Teachers and Mentors
By M. Rigsby
This book is filled with low cost ideas for exposing kids to science. Although the primary audience is adults (teachers or group leaders of kids), there is no reason why younger people can't enjoy the projects.

Curt has worked for years with "at-risk" and rough kids--kids falling through the cracks. The techniques and materials described are useful for after school or home school students. The hands on activities are a useful exposure to science and, more importantly, the tinkering provides successful experiences that build confidence.

When I was a little kid, an aunt used to provide me with broken mechanical alarm clocks to "fix." I was quite good at tearing them apart (not so good at putting them back together). Years later, I went to college and became an electrical engineer. I honestly believe that exposure to this type of "tinkering" helps a child learn about herself and her world.

If you want to help kids, pick up a copy of this book--you won't be disappointed.

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful.
5Awesome but...
By Abraham Solomon
This is an awesome book for jump-starting your kid's imagination from stuff that is easily at hand. My only complaint is that the print edition DOES NOT HAVE COLOR PHOTOS in it which makes for a disappointing reading experience, since the photos are so crucial in the context of this particular book:(

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful.
3Pictures would have been nice
I liked the ideas in the book, but for a 10 year old, some pictures inside would have been nice.

See all 36 customer reviews...
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