The Way Toys Work

The Science Behind the Magic 8 Ball, Etch a Sketch, Boomerang, and More

The Way Toys Work

A Selection of the Scientific American Book Club Profiling 50 of the world's most popular playthings--including their history, trivia, and the technology involved--this guide uncovers the hidden science of toys. Discover how an Etch A Sketch writes on its gray screen, why a boomerang returns after it is thrown, and how an RC car responds to a remote control device. Leaving no detail unrevealed, the guide includes original patent-application blueprints and photos of the "guts" of several devices. Inventors and museum curators also offer their observations of favorite gizmos while dispelling (or confirming) several toy legends. Complete with explanations of do-it-yourself experiments and tips on reverse engineering old toys to observe their interior mechanics, this entertaining and informative reference even provides pointers on how budding toy makers can build their own toys using only recycled materials and a little ingenuity.

The Way Toys Work

The Science Behind the Magic 8 Ball, Etch a Sketch, Boomerang, and More

The Way Toys Work

Discusses the history of almost fifty toys, how they work, their parts, and how to make one.

The Way Kitchens Work

The Science Behind the Microwave, Teflon Pan, Garbage Disposal, and More

The Way Kitchens Work

"How does a microwave heat food?" "Why is only one side of aluminum foil shiny""?" and" Is it better to use cold or hot water in a garbage" "disposal?" are among the questions answered in this guide that reveals the hidden science of the kitchen and its trappings. Profiling more than 50 common appliances and utensils, this handbook describes each item's history, reveals interesting trivia about the piece, and discusses the technology involved. In addition to featuring the original patent blueprints and photographs of the "guts" of the culinary tools, this guide recounts quirky side stories such as the role a waffle iron played in Nike's inception and the real reason why socialite Josephine Cochran invented the dishwasher in 1886. Those whose stovetop skills are still in development will appreciate the information on the invention and use of the smoke detector and hand-held fire extinguishers.

Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia

An Encyclopedia

Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia

Tracing developments in toy making and marketing across the evolving landscape of the 20th century, this encyclopedia is a comprehensive reference guide to America's most popular playthings and the culture to which they belong. • Nearly 200 alphabetically arranged entries document the historical and cultural significance of toys • Cross-references and a listing of additional resources accompany each entry and encourage further investigation • Photographs and illustrations gathered from public and private collections across the country depict the entire century of America at play • A guide to related topics identifies the entries according to broader categories such as toys, designers, companies, museums, events, and organizations • A resource guide provides information for contacting American toy companies, accessing national toy museums, and attending annual toy festivals, and offers many avenues for pursuing further information about toys and American culture including books, scholarly journals, audio recordings, films, and websites

Unscrewed

Salvage and Reuse Motors, Gears, Switches, and More from Your Old Electronics

Unscrewed

Perfect for the do-it-yourselfer, this handy guide to household electronics gives the weekend workbench enthusiast a multitude of ideas on how to salvage valuable parts from old electronics and turn them into useful gadgets once more. This handbook is loaded with information and helpful tips for disassembling old and broken electronics. Each of the more than 50 deconstruction projects includes a "treasures cache" of the components to be found, a required tools list, and step-by-step instructions with photos on how to safely extract the working components. Projects include building a desk lamp from an old flatbed scanner, a barbeque supercharger from a Dustbuster impeller, and a robot from the gears, rollers, and stepper motor found in an ink-jet printer. Now, old VHS players and fax machines will find new life with these fun ideas.

More Everyday Engineering

Putting the E in STEM Teaching and Learning

More Everyday Engineering

What makes a windup toy get up and go? How does an earbud operate? And why does the line you’re waiting in always seem the slowest? Get middle-schoolers engaged in the fascinating science behind familiar items with More Everyday Engineering. Like Everyday Engineering, this compilation brings together activities based on the “Everyday Engineering” columns from NSTA’s award-winning journal Science Scope. Thirteen hands-on investigations focus on three aspects of engineering: designing and building, reverse engineering to learn how something works, and constructing and testing models. Like the original collection, this book is easy to use. Each investigation is a complete lesson that includes in-depth teacher background information, expected sample data, a materials list, and a student activity sheet for recording results. The activities use simple, inexpensive materials you can find in your science classroom or at a dollar store. Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or enrichment-program leader, go beyond the usual bridge-building and egg-drop activities. Spark curiosity with appealing activities that will help middle schoolers understand that engineering truly is a part of their everyday lives.

How Toys Work

How Toys Work

Text and photographs examine the inner-workings of toys, discussing the scientific principles that relate to toys, and providing instructions for a related project.

Creative Art Crafts

Paper Craft, Toy Craft, Relief Craft

Creative Art Crafts


A Field Guide to Roadside Technology

A Field Guide to Roadside Technology

This fascinating handbook answers the questions of anyone who has ever wondered about the many strange devices found along the roadside, from utility poles to satellite dishes. Devices are grouped according to their habitats--along highways and roads, atop buildings, near airports, and on utility towers. More than 150 different roadside technologies are covered, and each detailed entry describes what the device does, how it works, and also includes a photograph for easy identification. With helpful sidebars describing related technical issues such as why stoplights are constructed with the red light on top, this handbook for curious readers provides carefully detailed descriptions and the history behind many of the devices that roadside travelers take for granted.

Toys and Tales with Everyday Materials

Toys and Tales with Everyday Materials

A multi-level toymaking book that addresses three age groups - children, teenagers and adults - at various levels of complexity.