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The Racecar Book    by Bobby Mercer order for
Racecar Book
by Bobby Mercer
Order:  USA  Can
Chicago Review Press, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Children aged nine and older, who enjoy building things, will have fun constructing various types of toy cars using the instructions presented in this book. Age- appropriate physics lessons about minimizing friction, potential energy, Newton's laws of motion and air pressure make teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts an interactive activity.

The twenty-five projects in this book include step-by-step instructions with accompanying photos. These hands on activities are not only inexpensive but also require minimal adult supervision or assistance. The use of recycled materials such as cardboard boxes, old CDs, chip cans, toothpicks and balloons is another plus.

You'll find chapters here devoted to constructing mousetrap cars, rubber band racers, rocket racers, gravity racers, edible racers and racecar launchers.

The book is ideal for either home or classroom use. Once you have created a racecar or two, try setting up a track or ramp to see which one is the fastest. Not only is this a good indoor winter or rainy day activity but it would be fun to use with a number of children as a school/club activity or birthday party contest.

Have the youngsters make Snickers bar racers. All you'll need are candy bars, toothpicks and Reese's cups or York Peppermint Patties for the wheels. Once they are finished race the candy cars down a cardboard or wooden ramp and then the contestants can eat their handiwork!

You'll be surprised how many clever cars you can fashion from some pretty simple and inexpensive materials. Teachers and parents home schooling their child will like the scientific principles at play here as well. Also, once a car is finished try tweaking the design to improve it to make it go faster or farther.

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