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Amazing Math Projects You Can Build Yourself Review by Marisa Corless

Laszlo C. Bardos
Nomad Press
2456 Christian St.
White River Junction, VT 05001

Sometimes in math you need a hands-on representation of a difficult concept--like why the area of a circle is πr2 or why a triangle has 180°. Amazing Math Projects You Can Build Yourself is a how-to book full of that type of project. Most of the projects don't take much time but can be very powerful in explaining how a concept works. There are 32 projects in all divided over four sections: Numbers and Counting; Angles, Curves and Paths; Shapes; and Patterns. The publisher lists this book as suitable for ages 9 and up. For the most part, I think this book will be a little more relevant at the middle school and up level, although at 9 it could certainly be used. There are a few topics that will be relevant to younger students (such as the patterns), but the majority of the projects involve complex or unique numbers, trigonometry, geometry, and equations. 

Each topic presented has a materials list. For the most part, the projects are quick to put together and could perhaps be used as an opening for a math lesson. Many of the projects require paper, pencil, scissors, and tape. Some require a compass or yarn or ruler. There are a few templates in the book that need to be copied for a few of the topics. Any schooling method could use this book, as it is a great reference book for math topics. 

At this point, my children are not quite at the math levels required for most of the activities in this book. For now, I will use some of the pattern activities for fun and exposure. As I impatiently wait for my children to get a little older, I will keep this book as a reference book available for my children to explore and will use it to illustrate concepts as they move through their mathematical learning. If you are looking for a book to help you demonstrate whys of math, then this book will be a great resource. 

Product review by Marisa Corless, MH, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2010