> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: Junk Draw Chemistry by Bobby Mercer
Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book Review: Junk Draw Chemistry by Bobby Mercer

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Chicgao Review Press, via edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

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Even though school is back in session, it's always great to have a book that can help bring ALIVE a 'boring subject' for kids, and make it fun!

Junk Draw Chemistry cover


There’s no need for expensive, high-tech lab equipment to conduct chemistry experiments—you probably have all you need in your home junk drawer. Turn three pennies and two galvanized washers into a simple battery. Crush a soda can using atmospheric pressure. Convert an LED flashlight into a simple electrolyte tester. Split liquid water into two unique gasses, or use cornstarch to create a gooey, mysterious, non-Newtonian fluid. And model radioactive decay using M&M’s, or a chain reaction with a set of dominoes. Who needs a laboratory when you have a kitchen counter?
Science teacher Bobby Mercer provides readers with more than 50 great hands-on experiments that can be performed for just pennies . . . or less. Each project has a materials list, detailed step-by-step instructions with illustrations, and a brief explanation of the scientific principle being demonstrated. Junk Drawer Chemistry also includes sidebars of fascinating chemistry facts: did you know that dynamite can be made from peanuts? Educators and parents will find this title a handy resource to teach children about chemistry topics that include atoms, compounds, solutions, mixtures, reactions, thermodynamics, acids and bases, and more, and have fun at the same time.


This is a really FUN book that will be great for foundational ideas for science fair projects (ackkk-you know they're coming, start thinking about them NOW!), as well as for those days off from school when the kids are bored senseless, but you want to keep their educational wave going! I accidentally erased the pictures I took on my phone when we made a couple of the experiments! The non-Newtonian fluid! It was a quick and fun experiment, and as Miss Grace is always helping in the kitchen, was a good foundation to start about the chemical changes that occur when you bake items, using baking powder and baking soda. It also segued into a discussion on fractions and wet versus dry weight. You have to love experiments that have that capability! Miss Grace also loved the Sweet Crystals experiment, as she got to sample the results (well, her and the cat-ye old sweet tooth got into one sample set before we could check our results!). 

The experiment sections give you everything you need, what you need to do and (for parents especially), a simple break down of what science the experiment is showing. The instructions are easy to follow along with and older kids will be fine by themselves using the book. 9-12 yr olds may need some supervision/help on a couple of the experiments. This would be a great gift idea, packaged with some of the items needed for the experiments, along with a science journal and pen, for Christmas, or any other time of the year, for any child that loves science! We highly recommend it!

About the Author:

Science should be fun! Science should be hands-on! We learn best by doing! Bobby Mercer is a high school Physics teacher with over 20 years experience in Florida and North Carolina. He has always strived to have fun, make people laugh, and help them learn new things. He has written books on daddyhood, inventions for men, and science for young and old.

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