Hello, friends! The holiday season is upon is. If you’re scrambling around for last-minute gifts, here are some of our favorite books about electrical engineering, making, tinkering, and science!
You’ll notice that some of these STEM books aren’t new. Buy used books and keep some extra trees alive.
OK, we know you’re not a dummy! And sometimes books in this series are too dumbed down. But this case is different. Electronics for Dummies is a great primer on electronics, starting with basic concepts, moving onto components like resistors and capacitors, and finally diving into complex circuits, putting projects together, and even where to buy electronic parts.
Did you ever wonder why metal bends, glass shatters, car glass shatters spectacularly, rubber bands stretch, and other materials have wildly different physical characteristics? Why Things Break is a wonderful smallish book that takes an entertaining look into the structure of different materials and why they behave as they do. Mark Eberhart is a materials scientist at the Colorado School of Mines, and he takes an informal and entertaining approach while also digging deep into why things break, crack, and fail.
Why even live if one can’t spend time exploring the art and science of making. The Exploratorium‘s Tinkering Studio is a mecca of invention (with a ton of great projects online BTW), and this book is a collection of amazing projects by a host of tinkering artists. These are less instructional and tend more towards amazing projects to browse for getting ideas which you can then research on your own. Enjoy your journey into everything from automatas to wearable electronics to you-name-it. Lose joyful hours to this book.
This book is a good starting point if you’re thinking about bringing inventing and making into your classroom. “While school traditionally separates art and science, theory and practice, such divisions are artificial.” We agree!
Let’s not raise a generation of kids who have never lit a match, climbed on a roof, or shot a slingshot – rather let’s give them the instruction to do all this safely. This will start them on their journey of discovery and experience, and also teach them about safe risk-taking so that when they grow and take risks on their own they’ll know how to judge whether they’re being safe or stupid.
This book is written in a wonderful flip-through-recipes fashion that you and your kids can have fun browsing together.