Cover Image: The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters

The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters

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Member Reviews

Each section of this book follows a pretty simple formula: introduce the events of the disaster, give history of the structure/area, explore what caused the failure and how it could have been prevented, one or two experiments that illustrate the principles at work. In this case, repetition is a strength. Its pleasantly predictable. And while many of the disasters in this book were of passing familiarity, a few were brand new to me.
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Thank you very much to NetGalley and the Publisher for the advance copy of Massively Epic Engineering in Disasters in exchange for an honest review. This book was so informative and written with children in mind in that it was very engaging and keeps their interest. It would make a great addition to any classroom as it includes 33 Thrilling Experiments Based on History's Greatest Blunders and children would have great fun trying these out with their classmates.
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My mom received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley and gave it to me to read.  Thank you to Net galley to the Author and the publisher.  I liked a lot of the experiments, they were cool. I was really busy in the summer, so I only had time to look through the book, and didn't have time to do any of the experiments. I want to try some of the stuff now that I have more time.
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This is a really well researched and beautifully illustrated book aimed at middle readers.  Important engineering concepts such as stability, center of mass, movement, potential energy, load bearing and materials use, among others, are defined and illustrated through experiments.  Each of the experiments is used to explain engineering disasters from the ancient world up to the modern day.

The chapters are broken up into digestible sidebars and short texts which are full of interesting trivia.  The book could have been very dry and, dare I say, boring.  It's emphatically not boring.  I really enjoyed reading the history and the whys-and-wherefores of the science behind the scenes.

STEM (science technology engineering and math) education is so vitally important to problem solving and progress as well as safeguarding our limited resources.  Getting young people interested with accessible and fun learning materials is a huge positive part of the equation.

This book would a welcome addition to a classroom unit on engineering or natural science as well as a good starting point for a multitude of science fair projects or a homeschooling unit.

It's a solid book, 256 pages, and very useful and interesting for budding engineers.
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We loved Perfectly Perilous Math, Totally Irresponsible Science, and Potentially Catastrophic Science, so when I saw this was available I knew I needed to check it out!

And, it did not disappoint!

This book describes 20 famous disasters - think the sinking of the Titanic or the failure of theTacoma Narrows Bridge - and then gives an experiment to help learners understand the scientific principles that led to the disaster.  The experiments used common household materials - no trips to the chemical supply house needed!

I'd say the experiments are targeted to elementary age, and the information on the disasters could be fun for anyone.

Highly recommend!
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The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters: 33 Thrilling Experiments Based on History's Greatest Blunders by Sean Connolly is a children's non fiction book that explores and explains some of the more interesting engineering blunders of the world. Ever wonder why Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa has been slowly toppling over for centuries? Stack books on a foundation of paper balls to learn about rickety building foundations and center of mass. How about the 15-foot-high tidal wave of molasses that tore through the streets of Boston in the Great Molasses Flood of 1919? Karate chop a full tube of toothpaste (outside!) to demonstrate the messy behavior of non-Newtonian fluids.

The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters offers young (and adult) readers information and activities that bring that information home. It is an illustrated look at the physics and technology that makes up crumbling buildings, sinking ships, wobbly bridges, mud-stuck tanks, and so on. I like that the book covers well known engineering issues, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Titanic, but it also deals with lesser known mistakes like the  Fidnae Stadium collapse in ancient Rome. There are also  33 hands-on experiments to help readers see their new understanding and information in action.

The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters will help Children and adults understand the science and concepts behind these mishaps and disasters while offering pathways to further information and research. This is a good book for use in schools, independent study, homeschooling, or simply reading by those that are interested in the information included.
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WOW! 5 stars for this amazing nonfiction read! This will be a "go to" for reluctant readers who find comfort in non-fiction! It would also be a great one to expose fiction lovers to nonfiction! Thanks
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As an engineer, I always like reading about disasters. I guess it helps to know you're not alone when you mess up and also as a way to realize what has happened in the past and try not to repeat those mistakes.

Each chapter in this book has one or two experiments to help drive home the scientific principles that had the starring role in the disaster which I think is really awesome and a great way to teach future engineers!

Each chapter talks a bit about the disaster, then tries to get to the root of what it was that went wrong in the disaster. There's also a Turn Back The Clock section as well.  Illustrations throughout the book and experiments help add an extra element of fun as well.

Some of the disasters mentioned in the book are the leaning tower of pisa and the "unsinkable" titanic. There are many, many others featured as well.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to watch this review, I was not otherwise compensated.
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Fantastic information that makes engineering, fun! Readers will be challenged, as they are treated to domestic and international disasters, spanning the globe a few times over. This book is an easy read, presenting historical information of engineering marvels, experiments that simulate the what and why of engineering disasters and educational tidbits that give clarity to a certain time and event. My kid enjoyed running the experiments, many of which required regular household items. Many times afterwards, we engaged in conversations about what we just learned. "The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters" turned out to be a wonderful activity, with lasting aftereffects.
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This was one of the most super cool books I've read this year. My kids loved it, I loved it. I think it's a must for all families, especially when we're all trying to encourage STEM to our youngsters!
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My kiddos LOVED this book.  But as a mom, and a teacher, I really loved the book, too.  It includes history, science & engineering projects, funny anecdotes, and a kid-appropriate level for the entire book.  It was engaging, and they learned quite a bit from it at the same time.  We will be getting the hard copy.
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I wish there were books like this when I was young. The title is catchy and continues the same format as his previous books on science and math. With uncomplicated steps for experiments and quirky cartoons, learning has never been so easy and fun. Each chapter also features a historical element and quick definitions of key terms. This will appeal to elementary and middle school students with its casual approach that examines structural engineering and physics. Children will breeze through the concepts with plenty of tidbits to spur further reading. It is a good supplement for school and also a good resource to homeschooling.
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