Children love to build. Almost as soon as they can manipulate objects, they begin placing them side by side or on top of one another. Children are also fascinated by things that are big and things that are small doll houses, miniature cars, giants they see in cartoons and movies.
The Exploratorium Guide to Scale and Structure capitalizes on these natural fascinations to involve students in scientific explorations. Developed at one of the nation's premier science museums and distinguished by the depth and quality of original research on which it is based, this book reflects Barry Kluger-Bell's years of work with teachers, both in their classrooms and at San Francisco's School in the Exploratorium.
These classroom activities are excellent prototypes of ways to introduce and explore the physics and mathematics of structure as well as the effects of scale on structure. While many books tackle one or the other of these topics, only this book looks at the relationship between the two. The book is accessibly written and the suggested materials are all inexpensive and easy to obtain.
The activities in the book are really starting points, supported by numerous suggestions for using the materials to create a personalized sequence of learning experiences. The book features a sample unit, questioning strategies, and a thorough explanation of the underlying pedagogy of inquiry based science. The activities are connected to conceptual contexts and they provide a strong ground on which students can construct understanding.