We've been working through the Eyewitness Science Guide: How the Body Works by Steve Parker (Ours is this edition from 1994). Like many of the Eyewitness guides it's heavy on the pictures and text-boxes, but we like that.
Some of the suggested experiments in the book are ridiculously involved. I don't mind a trip to Wilkinsons to buy balloons, but I don't want to have to have to learn carpentry. At least not now. It's stuff like this that makes me balk at the more interesting books on my shelves. Was there ever a time when I might have attempted an experiment that required lengths of dowel and marine plyboard sawn to precise measurements?
Right now anything that takes a lot of prep, requires hard-to-obtain materials or requires a huge amount of parental input or time, is unlikely to get done. Sad, but we have slipped into the open-and-go-just-get-'er-done stage.
We haven't done deliberate, intentional science for ages...For a science-focused household this is a bad state to be in. It needs to be rectified.
To make the book more manageable I have scanned through, chosen one or more 'do-able' activities from each chapter for the first half of the book. I did draw out a rough schedule, but most importantly I put all the materials necessary for each session/activity in a zip-lock bag, labelled with the session number. Eight sessions' worth of labelled bags and a ready-to-go book with small text-boxes with lots of pictures has meant that for the first time in ages we actually get around to science.
When the inners (straws) of the bone are splayed, they are weak:
When they are tightly packed and linear, they are much stronger: