The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters Review by Nancy Mayes

33 Thrilling Experiments Based on History's Greatest Blunders
Sean Connolly
Workman Publishing
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014-4381

The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters by Sean Connolly is one of the best books to have around, especially if you have a child that enjoys building things. This 241-page hardback book explores twenty different engineering disasters. It is like a science history book, covering historical engineering failures in a kid-friendly format that is easy and fun to read.

From the time Isaiah was toddling around, we have witnessed engineering qualities in him. He would take his toys and actually build things with them that would solve problems. When his sister couldn't get her doll to stand on her own, he took some of his blocks and built a structure that basically supported her and kept her upright, he was barely two. When he was six, he decided that holding the video viewer, that he checked out from the library, was just too much effort. He built a customized frame for it to fit in, keeping it upright, then enjoyed it hands free.

He is now seven and I can tell when he is going into engineering mode. He gets a look of deep thought in his eyes as he is looking something over for a few minutes, then he goes to work. Recently, he and his buddy decided to try and ride down the slide on one of his large Tonka dump trucks that their little bums barely seem to still fit into. It was a failure and they basically face planted at the bottom of the slide. Isaiah went to work. Grabbing wood from our scrap pile, he began building a runway at the bottom of the slide, extending the slide another twenty feet across the yard. Problem solved; they played on that truck and slide for days.

I share these stories to give an idea as to why this book was such a great addition to our family. Twenty different engineering fails, epic fails, are explored with great detail about what went wrong. There are also thirty-three experiments to give the readers an idea of how exactly the failure took place. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the many failures and completing the experiments. His favorites so far were the Boston Molassess Flood, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Knowing that even great architects and engineers fail has helped him to look at his own failures differently and seeing them as an opportunity to locate the points of failure and try again.

This book will be a mainstay for years to come!

-Product review by Nancy Mayes, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2017