Substantive Education

June 9, 2009

Teaching Physical Science? A new resource.

Thought I would pass on this book review for those of you with high school kids.  We have been doing the Apologia science books and they are FABULOUS!  They are rigorous without being difficult – clear explanations of difficult topics, an engaging writing style and clear illustrations put those Science books above most I’ve seen.

However, several of our students are 1) not ready to go on to Chemistry next year…or 2) Have finished the science that is offered by Apologia and don’t want to take an AP class.  If you have students in Grace Prep who just finished General Science I would still recommend going on to the Physical Science book as it is a good foundation for concepts that will follow in High School courses.  However this series does cover some of the same material from a different perspective and would make a great book to read along side the other, maybe as a family read aloud.

For those students who are not sure what to do next year for science, this looks like a fun, engaging, science course.  Maybe a few students would want to gather every few weeks as a ‘reading group’  for discussion..

If you have read the US history series then you are familiar with Joy Hakim.  She has begun, what will eventually be a 6 book series on the history of science.  The books fall somewhere between a Science textbook, History narrative, and just plain fun.  It is written for grades 9 and up, so I would follow your own discretion with younger kids.  I’ve included a review below by the National Science Teachers Association….who probably know what they are talking about.

The book is around $18 on Amazon, and there is a companion book with students review, exercises etc.

This is the third book in the series and the one that has received the best reviews.  There is also The Story of Science: Aristotle, and The Story of Science: Newton.

Let me know what you think
.  I think I will be ordering this one so I will put up a review when I get it on the website.

In The Story of Science: Einstien Adds a New Dimension, Joy Hakim weaves together the science, history, and personalities behind the major advances in physics over the past 100 years. The result is a fascinating tale that’s much more accessible (and fun) than the typical science text. And, it’s written with middle and high school students in mind. This is Hakim’s third book in her Story of Science series. The first two, Aristotle Leads the Way and Newton at the Center, are equally well researched and written.-American Educator, Winter 2007-2008 — American Educator

Textbook? Novel? Joy Hakim’s books are always a little of both, and this one is even more fascinating than the previous two editions of The Story of Science. This volume begins with Einstein toiling in the patent office, about to produce the amazing insights of his “miracle year.” Then, interwoven throughout the story, are the contributions of the other physicists and chemists upon whose shoulders Einstein stood. Like all of Hakim’s books, this one is filled with anecdotes, historical context, and deeper insights into the real methods of science than any other textbook has ever offered to students at this level. And most importantly, it is a joy to read! In a strict sense, this book should be seen as a foundational text for an integrated program of physical science—ideally at grade 9 or 10. There will be no mathematical barrier at this level, but there are many opportunities to link math, language arts, social studies, and the arts to the book. It would be the ideal choice as a book for a teamed middle school. But don’t relegate it to the textbook selection process. Wrap it up for your vacation reading. I guarantee you’ll learn more about physical science, about Einstein and his peers, and about the grand endeavor we call science, than you ever imagined—in the most pleasant way possible. -Juliana Texley, NSTA Web Field Editor — National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Recommends


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