Posted in Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Tween Reads

Solve This! Engineering challenges for kids!

Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You, by Joan Marie Galat, (March 2018, NatGeo Kids), $16.99, ISBN: 9781426327322

Ages 8-13

Another STEM/STEAM hit from NatGeo Kids, Solve This gets kids thinking about wacky ways to solve life’s little challenges. Need to soundproof your room for a sleepover? How about protecting your candy stash? NatGeo Kids has your back, with 14 engineering challenges that will make readers laugh and think, “Hmm… but what if hot sauce did get in the swimming pool?”

Organized into three sections, the book first introduces readers to engineers and the science of engineering, with discussions on different types of engineers and an overview of the engineering process. The fun stuff – the challenges! – happens in the Solve This! section, starting with an introduction to the Solution Panel: 13 wonderfully diverse scientists and the author. They took these challenges and offer their own tips and tricks to help kids along in the most kid-friendly and often non-conventional ways. Solutions are sketched out, putting the panel’s money where their mouths are: a kid can look at these sketches and easily work things out. Engineering Our World gives some real-life engineering successes and flops, plus a look at what we can expect from engineering in the future. Back matter includes further resources, a glossary, and an index.

STEM/STEAM fans, this is the book for you. Science classes, library programs, trying not to blow up the basement at home; this is a book you can use anywhere. Discovery Clubs, where are you? This is an entire season’s worth of library programming! A nice add to nonfiction collections and for kids who love tinkering. A handy reference to have when kids come in asking for books on simple machines, too – I have some great ones for the little learners, but this will be a good add to my middle graders’ shelves.