Investigating the common contraptions that make so much possible—from zippers and rolling pins to catapults and the pyramids—this book encourages kids to look differently at the numerous objects in everyday life. Each chapter is dedicated to one of the six straightforward implements that are at the core of daily activity: levers, inclined planes, pulleys, screws, wedges, and wheels and axles. Using only discarded items from the recycling bin, this guide harnesses kid-power by inviting young readers to build gadgets of their own design, including a working crane, a drawbridge, a car made of fruit peels, and an actual whirligig. Short biographies are also featured throughout, illustrating the influential personalities behind the breakthroughs.
School Library Connection "Simple machines are a part of the science curriculum at multiple grade levels. This book opens with a general explanation chapter and then includes an overview of forces, levers, inclined planes, wheels and axles, screws, wedges, and pulleys. The book ends with a glossary, metric conversion chart, resources, essential questions, and an index. The illustrations make it easy to understand the concepts and the text gives additional details. Each chapter shows some historic use of the simple machine in addition to its current uses. QR codes are dispersed throughout and send readers to videos with additional info. The projects will help youngsters get excited about the concepts and keep their hands busy. Budding inventors, makers, and scientists will find this a volume they can use on their own to hone their skills. Teachers will use it to help meet science standards. Reading the book makes for a fun experience because it encourages so much action. Recommended."