An early Things of Science unit on heat.
Here is the booklet:
This Things of Science unit covers center of gravity. While a simple and small topic in physics, as a young boy center of gravity and center of pressure were big and new concepts when I was learning about model rocketry and how to design a rocket that will be stable. I think this is the perfect unit for a young person just into middle school. Follow this unit with some model rocketry and I think you have the basis for an excellent curriculum.
A photo of the things:
Here is the booklet:
This Things of Science is well suited to the topic — measurement. Some lead fishing sinkers, paperclips, paper cones and ruled paper gets you most of what you need to measure weight, length. As usual, history is slipped in where appropriate as topics like the steelyard and the Metric system are discussed.
A teacher could easily reproduce this unit on the cheap. Building a slightly more substantial balance beam or steelyard for the classroom would make this more robust.
By the way, it’s almost sad that we live in a day and age that I would make note that real authorities were consulted to give these Things of Science units their scientific integrity. It seems unfortunate to live in such a connected world but have so little we come across from day to day that we are certain we can trust.
I mention the above because the last page of the booklet thanks the Technical Coordinator of the Bureau of Standards for reviewing the text.
Here is the booklet (from 1966) scanned:
Another “small” Things of Science unit that takes a single subject and goes into amazing depth. To recreate this unit you more or less just need a variety of nails and wire (see list of materials beginning on page 2 of the booklet below). Magnesium ribbon will be the hardest to source, I imagine, but any online site that supplies chemicals should sell it.
Here is the booklet:
I am scanning a lot of Things of Science lately. As a way to keep a handy, sorted reference to the scanned booklets, I created this post. I will update it as I add new units.
The box was a little longer than usual for this Things of Science unit. This because of the small balsa airplane included. This unit did come complete when I purchased it.
Someone wanting to recreate this unit can easily buy a small balsa glider or two from a hobby store or perhaps a party supply store. Add a lump of clay, straw and paper and you have the things.
Here is the (as usual, well researched) booklet:
This Things of Science unit came with a few small inexpensive noise-makers (small bell, whistle, etc.) and a few things for making simple instruments (rubber band, plastic tube). This is a unit where perhaps the booklet is a good deal better than the things.
Another eBay purchase that came only with the booklet. I think though someone interested in recreating this unit could improve upon the “things” that originally came with it anyway (no doubt size constraints — having to ship the things in the mail — limited what the Things of Science could provide).
Enjoy the booklet:
Another reliable Things of Science unit — this time on sundials.Of course there’s history, of course they cover the topic thoroughly, and of course there are many do-it-yourself sundials.
Again, my eBay purchase was missing the “things”, but page 3 lists them off. I think a clever person could work through the booklet the means to (re)creating the sundials presented.
Another data-full booklet:
So, no salt came in my Salt Things of Science unit. But that’s okay — I think most people can track that down if they wanted to share this unit with a classroom.
Apparently though, salt was presented in this unit in a number of forms (you can read about the different types included in the booklet below).
This unit exemplifies an aspect I like about many of the Things of Science units — it takes a simple and narrow subject, salt in this case, but then gives you history, details about the process of creating it, mining it, and even manages to surprise you with things you did not know. So while salt isn’t particularly “sexy”, you’ll learn a great deal about this common but important chemical.
Let’s hear it for their wonderfully researched booklets: