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Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities and Thought Experiments

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2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List Selection Best known for his general theory of relativity and the famous equation linking mass and energy, E = mc², Albert Einstein had a lasting impact on the world of science, the extent of which is illuminated—along with his fascinating life and unique personality—in this lively history. In addition to learning all about Einstein’s importa 2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List Selection Best known for his general theory of relativity and the famous equation linking mass and energy, E = mc², Albert Einstein had a lasting impact on the world of science, the extent of which is illuminated—along with his fascinating life and unique personality—in this lively history. In addition to learning all about Einstein’s important contributions to science, from proving the existence and size of atoms and launching the field of quantum mechanics to creating models of the universe that led to the discovery of black holes and the big bang theory, young physicists will participate in activities and thought experiments to bring his theories and ideas to life. Such activities include using dominoes to model a nuclear chain reaction, replicating the expanding universe in a microwave oven, creating blue skies and red sunsets in a soda bottle, and calculating the speed of light using a melted chocolate bar. Suggestions for further study, a time line, and sidebars on the work of other physicists of the day make this an incredibly accessible resource for inquisitive children.


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2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List Selection Best known for his general theory of relativity and the famous equation linking mass and energy, E = mc², Albert Einstein had a lasting impact on the world of science, the extent of which is illuminated—along with his fascinating life and unique personality—in this lively history. In addition to learning all about Einstein’s importa 2012 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List Selection Best known for his general theory of relativity and the famous equation linking mass and energy, E = mc², Albert Einstein had a lasting impact on the world of science, the extent of which is illuminated—along with his fascinating life and unique personality—in this lively history. In addition to learning all about Einstein’s important contributions to science, from proving the existence and size of atoms and launching the field of quantum mechanics to creating models of the universe that led to the discovery of black holes and the big bang theory, young physicists will participate in activities and thought experiments to bring his theories and ideas to life. Such activities include using dominoes to model a nuclear chain reaction, replicating the expanding universe in a microwave oven, creating blue skies and red sunsets in a soda bottle, and calculating the speed of light using a melted chocolate bar. Suggestions for further study, a time line, and sidebars on the work of other physicists of the day make this an incredibly accessible resource for inquisitive children.

30 review for Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities and Thought Experiments

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I did not, in fact, miss my calling when I decided not to become a theoretical physicist, but thanks to a school report, I picked up this book. It's a hands-on biography. As it talks about Einstein's life (in typical biography form, with plenty of photographs and timelines and the like), which is plenty interesting, it also includes various at-home experiments to illustrate his work (and the work of the earlier scientists his theories built from). It doesn't weigh down the (young) reader with lo I did not, in fact, miss my calling when I decided not to become a theoretical physicist, but thanks to a school report, I picked up this book. It's a hands-on biography. As it talks about Einstein's life (in typical biography form, with plenty of photographs and timelines and the like), which is plenty interesting, it also includes various at-home experiments to illustrate his work (and the work of the earlier scientists his theories built from). It doesn't weigh down the (young) reader with lots of complex math (although it does, of course, acknowledge the maths), but instead offers thought experiments, as well as more traditional experiments (melt chocolate to measure microwave wave length? blow up a Peep to show the universe expanding? yes, please!) to test the theories in a hands-on way. There are also links and suggestions to where a reader could go for more in-depth information. It's all still extremely chewy, this discussion of space and time and energy and matter, but even young scholars can appreciate and contemplate the basic principles the way they are presented here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Glaser

    I like the idea of a hands-on biography. You are learning about Einstein’s life and more importantly, learning by doing. The author uses timelines and countless pictures to illustrate Einstein’s legacy. There are also helpful links to websites so that readers can continue their educational journey. Both students and teachers could use this to enhance projects and activities in the classroom. You also get a glimpse of his personal life along with his professional one. I learned quite a bit! Book I like the idea of a hands-on biography. You are learning about Einstein’s life and more importantly, learning by doing. The author uses timelines and countless pictures to illustrate Einstein’s legacy. There are also helpful links to websites so that readers can continue their educational journey. Both students and teachers could use this to enhance projects and activities in the classroom. You also get a glimpse of his personal life along with his professional one. I learned quite a bit! Book Citation: Pohlen, Jerome. Albert Einstein And Relativity For Kids : His Life And Ideas With 21 Activities And Thought Experiments. . Chicago Review Press, 2012. Hollywood and imagination aside, I was always impressed with the idea that Tony Stark is a great mechanic and business tycoon. Once I understood the idea of book pairings, I knew I wanted to focus on the idea that Tony is a person and ingenious at that. So I decided to find a nonfiction text that emphasizes that young people could channel his originality and create something amazing. What better way to illustrate this than with ideas from Albert Einstein? Audience: Don’t let the title be misleading. This book could be put in the hands of curious teens looking for a Physics project idea to a middle or high science teacher who is looking for a good Friday activity. Complex theories about relativity, quantum mechanics, and the big bang theory are brought to light in ways that young minds can understand. I could also see this book being used by gifted teachers who are looking for ways to inspire young STEM students. Selection Criteria: This book is part biography and part “how to” book. The information on Albert Einstein is factual, detailed, and objective. His writing is easy to understand, even given the subject matter. The experiments are given in step by step instruction with graphics and pictures. In fact, it uses quite a bit of documented pictures and illustrations from Einstein’s life. In addition to this book, Pohlen has written countless other books about things to do and see across America. PS.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations PS.2 The student will investigate and understand the nature of matter. Key concepts include a) the particle theory of matter; This book could not only enlighten young readers about Einstein’s life, but it could also be used to entice STEM learners into a particular field of interest. It is current. The experiments help the learners do for themselves what Einstein did years ago. The timeline at the beginning of the book is helpful and so is the laundry list of his accomplishments. The author uses “Thought Lessons” to help learners make the connection between Einstein’s life and his work. A review is also included after every chapter and main concept to ensure that the readers are getting the big picture. The author is an editor for the Chicago Review Press, and his books are targeted for teachers, clubs, and other educators. Books about natural science that are written in clear and easy language would be a great addition to any collection. Reviews Carol Surges , School Library Journal; Oct2012, Vol. 58 Issue 10, p159-159, 1/5p Midwest Book Review (Children's Bookwatch, December 2012) Deb McNabney (National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)) Ordering Information Call Number: QC16.E5P64 2012 Dewey Decimal: B ISBN(s): 9781613740286 (pbk.) 161374028X Chicago Review Press $16.95

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Robin

    Albert Einstein is an interesting fellow. He had a decent childhood being raised by both his mother and father. Einstein's thought experiments were influenced by a book that a friend of the family, Talmud, had given him. Talmud would bring books to Albert on a weekly basis. Albert would devour these books and discuss them with Talmud. Eventually his mathematical genius was to high for the medical student, Talmud, to keep up with. This was the oush that got Einstein started on his adventure so to Albert Einstein is an interesting fellow. He had a decent childhood being raised by both his mother and father. Einstein's thought experiments were influenced by a book that a friend of the family, Talmud, had given him. Talmud would bring books to Albert on a weekly basis. Albert would devour these books and discuss them with Talmud. Eventually his mathematical genius was to high for the medical student, Talmud, to keep up with. This was the oush that got Einstein started on his adventure so to speak. The book goes onto tell more about Einstein's life and influences with some of his quotes printed off to the side. A quote of Einstein's that I just love is: That institution left an unforgettable impression on me; the comparison with the six years I spent in a German high school run with an iron fist made me truly understand just how superior is an education based on freedom of choice and self-accountability over an education that relies on regimentation, external authority, and ambition. An interesting thing about Einstein is that he wrote rhymes to his girl who would later become his wife. These two also had a daughter out of wedlock. In comparison to Newton, Einstein is pretty normal. Thought experiments and other activities are woven throughout the book. You'll be encouraged to build a house of cards, experiment with compasses and magnets, and examine the galaxies just to name a few. The layout of the book is set up nicely with an excllent flow of history from beginning to end. It's fairly lengthy with 119 pages. In the back is included a list of websites and places to visit for kids to study and learn more. It's a great add to a library. Though as always it's recommended that parents either read ahead or alongside their child. A parents job is to know what their child is learning. I recieved a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hiba

    This book talks about Albert Einstein's childhood and how he became a famous scientist. Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Six weeks later his family moved to Munich, where he went to Luitpold Gymnasium. They moved to Italy and Albert continued his education at Aarau, Switzerland and in 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he had his diploma, he started loo This book talks about Albert Einstein's childhood and how he became a famous scientist. Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Six weeks later his family moved to Munich, where he went to Luitpold Gymnasium. They moved to Italy and Albert continued his education at Aarau, Switzerland and in 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he had his diploma, he started looking for jobs as a teacher but he was unable to find a teaching post, he accepted to be a technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree. Einstein's did many types of research like Special Theory of Relativity, Relativity, General Theory of Relativity, Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement, and The Evolution of Physics. He also did some non-scientific researches, About Zionism, Why War? , My Philosophy, and Out of My Later Years. All of these were theories that are really important and that helped many scientists in their research. On April 17, 1955, Albert Einstein went to Princeton Hospital because of chest pains. He died early the next morning on April 18 of a burst aortic aneurysm He was cremated but before that his brain was removed by Dr. Thomas Harvey, a doctor at the hospital. He wanted to know what it was that made Albert Einstein smart. He thought that Einstein's brain was special. This book talks about some important facts about Albert Einstein's life and how he became a legend. I recommend this book to middle schoolers who like biographies and who are fans of Albert Einstein. It's not a long book to read and everyone can enjoy reading it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    "Little did she [Einstein's mom] know what brilliant ideas would one day come out of her son's strange-looking head" (Pohlen,2012). When my son read that line he cackled and was hooked. This book looks at Einstein through the eyes of a kid and leads children on a journey through the mind of one of the greatest thinkers of our time. Children are asked to truly imagine what happens when they walk into a brick wall, or go floating through space in a closed, windowless sphere. It is fun filled with "Little did she [Einstein's mom] know what brilliant ideas would one day come out of her son's strange-looking head" (Pohlen,2012). When my son read that line he cackled and was hooked. This book looks at Einstein through the eyes of a kid and leads children on a journey through the mind of one of the greatest thinkers of our time. Children are asked to truly imagine what happens when they walk into a brick wall, or go floating through space in a closed, windowless sphere. It is fun filled with several activities to try and aims at kids truly looking at the world rather than just assuming why things are the way they are (like the relativity of time and motion). It is a biography, as it covers Einstein's life from childhood to death. I highly recommend this book for high-flying students who need more challenge and love science and math. It is a great book to assign as a self-study book, as the activities look into concepts they will not get to in school for a long time so you are not compromising future lessons. If you had a bin with the necessary materials, a self motivated learner could work through this book eagerly over a few weeks.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Edwin Hubble, the famous astronomer, was showing a German couple the Mount Wilson Observatory when he told them that this most advanced telescope in the world was used to determine the shape and nature of the universe. The women replied, “Oh, my husband does that on the back of an old envelope.” The woman was Elsa Einstein, and her husband was Albert. Albert Einstein was born with a funny-shaped head, out of which would come all the secrets of the universe, the basis of the atomic bomb, a lifelo Edwin Hubble, the famous astronomer, was showing a German couple the Mount Wilson Observatory when he told them that this most advanced telescope in the world was used to determine the shape and nature of the universe. The women replied, “Oh, my husband does that on the back of an old envelope.” The woman was Elsa Einstein, and her husband was Albert. Albert Einstein was born with a funny-shaped head, out of which would come all the secrets of the universe, the basis of the atomic bomb, a lifelong dedication to passivism, and a brain that would eventually end up in a cookie jar in Kansas. What a ride.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tnb

    This is quite a good book which provides both the laid-back person's but correct version of relativity without the hassle of math and the historical background of its development. More or less what I walked out of college with, minus the historical component which I only gained years later. Some of the activities are so-so in regards to level of relevance, but otherwise definitely worth noting. There are so many things we take for granted and flat out ignore so do the activities even for that re This is quite a good book which provides both the laid-back person's but correct version of relativity without the hassle of math and the historical background of its development. More or less what I walked out of college with, minus the historical component which I only gained years later. Some of the activities are so-so in regards to level of relevance, but otherwise definitely worth noting. There are so many things we take for granted and flat out ignore so do the activities even for that reminder alone.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tristan Ng

    I think this book was very handy because then it shows how Albert Einstein grew up and his time line what he did first and what happened to him at the end. When Albert Einstein died he was 75 and that scientist took out his brain to try to figure out how he got so smart and that he died in the hospital the next morning before he was taken to the hospital. I think this book had a lot of facts about him and how his experiment worked and how he created them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ishwar

    Great tribute! This book has many activities in it which makes it interactive. Time dilation and length contraction were well explained and were interesting. Overall this is a fantastic book for kids of ages 9-15. Well done Jerome!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    Interesting and informative for kids of all ages. Our whole family enjoyed learning more about Einstein and his ideas through this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  12. 4 out of 5

    Veronika Spilkova

  13. 5 out of 5

    JC Chiu

  14. 4 out of 5

    James E. Gharib

  15. 5 out of 5

    yemisi taiwo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Connie Law

  17. 5 out of 5

    Darcy Sowers

  18. 4 out of 5

    BENJAMIN DELASELVA

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie Englefield

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karina Palmer

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  22. 4 out of 5

    Thereasa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Giuseppe Pace Ravines

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sbwisni

  26. 4 out of 5

    August D.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jaesung Ju

  28. 4 out of 5

    Saartjie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Krasko

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kadri

    Nice experiments and activities and seems very appropriate for children.

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