These tabletop science experiments are just some of the awesome science activities for middle school you can do at home.
Are you a homeschooling family needing a break from your in-depth semester-long science curriculum, but still want to have some interactive experiments as a part of your lesson plans?
Have you struggled to find accessible, compact science units to work through?
I have a great solution for you!
I received a copy of this curriculum as well as financial compensation for my time to write an honest review and for administering the Giveaway. All opinions stated are mine.
Hands-on Science Books
Tabletop Scientist, a series of books from Dover Publications, is a wonderful choice for families who want to have some fun with science.
My family reviewed:
- The Science of Air – Projects and Experiments with Air and Flight
- The Science of Light – Projects and Experiments with Light and Color
- The Science of Sound – Projects and Experiments with Music and Sound Waves
- The Science of Water – Projects and Experiments with Water Science and Power
Each book is 32 pages long and contains 12 different experiments, based on a main scientific subject.
The instructions for each activity are easy to follow and include quite a few pictures showing each step of the process. A quick look at the “What You Need” area will tell you what to gather before beginning each experiment.
One of the last pages is actually a timeline, starting in the B.C. era, moving all the way through to modern times. These dates highlight some important moments in the book’s subject. For example, in The Science of Water, students will learn that in 1805, H₂O, widely recognized now as the chemical compound of water, was first proven by Joseph Gay-Lussac.
Just past the timeline is a glossary that defines all of the specific scientific terms used throughout the book.
Learning about sound waves.
A few of the other topics covered in The Science of Sound include stereophonic hearing, the speed of sound, and soundproofing.
Two Things I Loved about Tabletop Scientist
Of course, there were many things I appreciated about this series of books, but these are two of my favorites.
The Price is Right
Not only are the books themselves cost effective, so are the experiments. They all use typical household items or products you can easily find at your local store, so it’s easy to gather what you need.
I love this because there have been many times that I wanted to do an experiment with my kids, but had to order special parts to get it to work. Because I’m a busy homeschooling mom, I frequently forgot and we moved on, without completing the activity.
When I can grab things from my pantry, I’m more likely to add hands-on activities into our lesson plans.
Multiple Relevant Experiments
I’ve been teaching our science co-op for a few years now, and it’s often a struggle finding enough interactive activities to drive home a lesson. As I mentioned above, with the Tabletop Scientist books, each topic has 12 experiments supporting it.
This is wonderful!
Sure, the experiments cover different concepts, but they still relate to the overall subject.
Science for Elementary Students
These four books focus on science principles commonly talked about during the earlier school years. If a parent works alongside them, there is no reason why elementary children couldn’t enjoy the science projects included in these books.
Middle School Science
So if the books work for elementary students, are they appropriate for older kids?
Although the subjects may seem simple – air, light, sound, and water, the science behind it isn’t. And that’s part of what makes this series special. The pages not only include the experiments, they also teach students the scientific principles.
I gave the books to my middle schoolers and told them to have fun. And they did!
After reading through the experiments, they gathered the materials and completed the activities together. Then they told me what they did and we talked about the process and the principles behind it all.
Because we have gone over these subjects before, it gave my girls a lot of confidence going through the books without me. They were proud when they worked through an experiment and really understood why it worked (or didn’t).
Go Further with these Extension Ideas
- Use the glossary at the back of each book as the basis of a vocabulary and spelling lesson.
- Have your older children choose a famous person or important scientific moment from the history page to research and study further. You could also have them write a paper or prepare a presentation based on what they learned.
The four books that are a part of the Tabletop Scientist series are only $6.99 each. A great value!
You know what is even better? Dover Publications is offering all of our readers a special discount code, that can be used on anything!
PLUS they’re letting us give away these awesome books I’ve been telling you about!
Save Some Money and Enter to WIN
We love our friends at Dover and we’re so excited that they’re letting us thank you, our incredible readers, with a discount code and giveaway.
So, make sure you:
- Head over to the Dover Publications website and use discount code WHBI to receive 25% off your order (offer ends 11/1/15)! Don’t forget – this code works on your entire order, not just the Tabletop Scientist books.
- Enter our giveaway below to win your own copy of:
~ The Science of Air ~ The Science of Light ~ The Science of Sound ~ The Science of Water
That’s right. One winner is going to receive a copy of all 4 books in the Tabletop Scientist series!
Enter using the Giveaway Tools widget below. This Giveaway is open to residents of the USA. A winner will be selected at random using the Giveaways Tools widget. Dover Publications will mail the books directly to the winner.