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Smart moves for young researchers

SCIENCE SMART. Gwen Diehn, Terry Krautwurst and Bobbe Needham. Sterling Publishing pound;12.99

Science Smart provides a wealth of activities for children. The many projects have clearly outlined procedures and are presented with colourful illustrations. Science Smart should inspire children, motivate them to try out the activities and encourage them to develop their own ideas.

A wide range of topics is covered and many link with national curriculum areas from science, ICT, music and geography. The main themes followed are: earth, air, water and fire. Within each of these are numerous activities catering for different interests and a variety of ages, particularly the seven-to-12 age range.

For example, the activities in the water section include:

* how waves work through looking at water and oil in a bottle

* identifying acids and alkalis

* studying a pond

* making a water mill.

Children will be able to find most of the required equipment around the home and they will be able to complete many of the projects alone or with a friend. A few will require adult supervision and relevant safety advice.

Bold text in the instructions indicates where this is required.

Interspersed among the activities children will find short sections of related text. These provide information to the many questions children will be prompted to ask as a result of the project undertaken and work covered in class. This knowledge will hopefully lead to further investigative work.

Science Smart takes science out of the classroom into the world. All the topics raised aim to develop children's thinking, scientific knowledge and manual skills. There is a useful page in the introduction indicating some tips about undertaking the projects in the book. This is a book that children can pick up on a number of occasions and learn something new each time.

Anne Robertson is an experienced primary teacher, science co-ordinator and consultant who lectures at the Institute of Education

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