Published by Quarry Books
Summary: 37 labs in nine chapters introduce a wide variety of mathematical topics, such as geometry, topology, fractals, and graph theory. Each chapter begins with a “Think About It” question to be considered before diving into the labs. Each lab includes a materials list, a boxed math fact, instructions, and diagrams. The activities seem like simple games, puzzles, and craft projects, but don’t be fooled, constructing with toothpicks and gumdrops can lead to a greater understanding of antiprisms and Platonic solids. In the authors’ introduction, they state that the activities have been tested on kids ages 6-10, but can be enjoyed by middle school students, high school students, and adults. Back matter includes pull-outs to use with a few of the labs, hints and solutions for many of the labs, and an index. 144 pages; grades 2+
Pros: “Mathematicians play,” the authors state in their introduction. If you think you hate math, or you know a child who hates math, this book may be just the remedy. Every activity looks like fun and is simple to set up, yet leads to a mathematical way of looking at the world. The colorful photos of kids engaged in the activities and the simple, clear diagrams add to the fun.
Cons: My neighbors may call for reinforcements when I head outside with five feet of string, two broomsticks, and some chalk to draw a giant ellipse in my driveway.