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Super Structures Review by Ta’Neisha Kemp

Ian Graham
The Quarto Group
401 North Second Avenue, Suite 310
Minneapolis, MN 55401

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Our oldest son was so excited to receive the Super Structures book to work through for the past two months. This book provides your child with the opportunity to read about and build some of the world's most amazingly engineered buildings. Even though I'm calling it a book, this is much more than that and actually renders a complete kit. Instructions, building materials, and a base are provided so you do not need to buy anything to complete the 10 models. This book can be purchased directly from The Quarto Group website for $24.95.

Upon receipt, this kit includes a book that houses details on the history of various buildings along with the teams of people it takes to create these architectural masterpieces. History about early structures and each model are included accompanied by details about their fabrication.  Illustrations of popular structures are also given with notes about their origins and special details. A glossary of terms is located in the back of the book next to a topical index. This book is 48 pages and attached to the structures kit so you will not misplace it.

The structures kit, as I call it, comes in a box located in the back of the book. This box is also attached to the book so it will not be misplaced. Inside of the box is a cardboard base with various indentations so your creations will be secure.  Eight cardboard sheets with variously sized cutouts are also provided. The cutouts are used to build the models and are they are sturdy and reusable.  A small Ziploc bag with plastic nuts, plastic bolts, and small pieces of rope are also provided. As with the cutouts, these items are also reusable.  It should also be noted that you can only build one structure at a time. In order to make all 10 models, you will have to take apart each one once it is finished.

During our time using this book, our 10-year-old was actually able to complete all of the structures. He built a Pyramid, Colonnade, an Arch, Dome, Suspension Bridge, an Arch Bridge, Tower, Skyscraper, Big Wheel, and a Wind Turbine.  He found each of the items to have some level of difficulty while building but he appreciated the challenge. Testing the completed projects was our son's favorite part of this book. He also enjoyed reading about the Eiffel Tower, Gateway Arch, the Pantheon, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and other man-made structures.

Overall, Super Structures, by Ian Graham was an awesome addition to our homeschool science time. Our son enjoyed exploring the science, architecture, and engineering components of various structures from ancient times to the modern age.  We found the book and attached kit to be informative with age-appropriate interaction for children ages 8 to 13.

-Product review by Ta'Neisha Kemp, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018