516lAktxcoL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgAs a youngster I was always picking up items off counters and tables, curious as to how they worked. My mom even gave me a nickname—The Fiddler.

This new title from National Geographic Kids and Ella Schwartz would have kept be occupied for hours. Filled with fun and engaging projects to build and problem solving scenarios to test your smarts, this unique endeavor will enthrall both the visual and hands-on learner.

Organized under the umbrella of eight topics, each one has you involved in many hands-on build-it-yourself activities. You can start at the beginning or dive into any of the topics that pique your interest. SIMPLE MACHINES, MATERIALS, SYSTEMS, OPTICS, ENERGY, ACOUSTICS, FORCES, OR MOTION.

No matter which chapter you begin with, a two-page QUICK FACTS piece sets the stage for what you are about to explore. In total more than 40 Make This! projects are laid out with easy to follow directions. All use materials usually found in the home. I loved the Rolling Pin Challenge, Walking Water, and Roman Arch to name just a few.  Every chapter ends with a set of Solve This! activities where you come up with your own creative solutions to problems common in the world.

Yes, the world and our future depends on the makers who create. Make This! is bound to entice our next generation of engineers and scientists.


Make This! Building, Thinking and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You by Ella Schwartz (ages 8-12).  This book is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and supports all kinds of kid creators: those who prefer guided instruction, those who prefer to dream up and design objects on their own, and everyone in between. Within the nearly 160 pages of this book kids get the tools and the know-how to tackle all kinds of exciting projects: building a kaleidoscope, designing a fidget spinner, planting a rain forest, creating a musical instrument, and more. Unconventional scenarios inspired by real National Geographic Explorers give kids a chance to think outside the box and apply their maker skills to real life. Chapters are divided up by scientific principle, such as simple machines, energy, and forces. In each chapter, kids can start by following step-by-step activities, or get creative by tackling an open-ended challenge. Helpful sidebars explain the science behind what’s happening every step of the way.  


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to MAKE THIS!

  1. I would have loved this book as a middle-grader! I have enjoyed many of the National Geographic Kids books in the past couple of years, and this one looks good, too. Thanks for sharing, Greg.

  2. Sweet. I love books like this. I will have to pick this one up. Thanks for telling me about it.

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