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Doable Renewables: 16 Alternative Energy Projects for Young Scientists    by Mike Rigsby order for
Doable Renewables
by Mike Rigsby
Order:  USA  Can
Chicago Review Press, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

With the obvious need for finding more renewable forms of energy becoming more pronounced, this handy guide will enable teachers to pique their students' curiosity with some simple activities that hopefully will heighten their interest in the field of energy sustainability.

The author describes fun, easy to make models that generate energy using natural resources, such as sunlight and wind, with well illustrated step-by-step instructions. He also indicates where to purchase the more specialized materials that are sometimes required.

'The plans in this book should be thought of as seeds – they will get you out of the ground, but they require innovation and work to grow into trees,' writes Rigsby. 'Most of these projects are, in a sense, solar powered. They convert heat into motion or heat into electricity ... If you can find heat that is being 'thrown away' and use it for a good purpose, you will be making the world a better place.'

Youngsters (nine and older) can use this guide to craft a simple heat engine powered by cardboard and rubber bands, make a model of Lord Kelvin’s 1867 water drop generator, or fashion a solar powered seasaw from a large dial thermometer and a magnifying glass.

Other intriguing projects include a solar chimney, heat-powered fan, a human-powered light and a wave generator. Whether overseen by a classroom teacher or parents homeschooling their youngsters, the young scientists who are exposed to these projects will have a much better idea of the technological possibilities that may one day provide us with more sustainable and renewable energy.

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