The best way to learn scientific principles at a young age is to experiment. The Thomas Edison Book of Easy and Incredible Experiments was published in 1988 by the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation. Several parts of the book have been made available for free download. Here are 4 top-quality science project downloads from the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation:
A look at five different Edison inventions with directions for making them (or a variation of them) yourself. Includes the following five projects:
- Writing with Sparks
- Coded Messages with a Buzzer
- Light from a “Frankenstein” Battery
- A Radio That Plays for Free
- A Supersensitive Cigar-Box Microphone
Ten projects including:
- Reproducing Sound the Edison Way
- The Telegraph Relay
- The Relay Coil (Secret Drawer Lock)
- Edison’s Ore Separator
- The Movies — Persistence of Vision Effect
- The Movies — Pinhole Camera
- Edison’s Electric Light
- A Light-Bulb Indicator
- Replacing the Bulb with a Bell
- Edison’s Power Generating System
Subtitled A Biography and Related Experiments You Can Do, this 35-page download covers the life of one of Edison’s associates.
A successful struggle against great odds is the most stirring of human dramas. Such was the life and career of Lewis H. Latimer, a black man important in the development of this nation’s electrical industry. Mr. Latimer was an inventor, patent authority, poet, draftsman, author and musician whose thirst for knowledge and determination to succeed carried him from humble beginnings as the son of a runaway slave to become one of the original Edison Pioneers — a group of Thomas Edison associates and fellow inventors who brought light to the world through electricity.
This booklet briefly tells of Latimer’s struggle and achievements. And, through trying the simple experiments included, based on Latimer’s inventions, any American youngster can learn more about the value of this great man’s contributions.
Seven experiments include building the following:
- Series circuit.
- Parallel circuit.
- Burglar alarm.
- “Teaching Machine” (a quizzing device).
- Simple book support.
- Air cooler.
This one is a bit different — not part of the book mentioned at the beginning and more of an activity/project book rather than strictly experiments. It is also aimed at a younger audience. Experiments include:
- Learning how neutral hair gets charged.
- Building an electroscope.
- Detecting with an electroscope.
- Learning the difference between insulators and conductors.
- Experimenting with opposite charges attracting.
- Creating a simplified version of a photocopy machine.
These downloads include excellent background history, carefully presented concepts, a materials list, and instructions with diagrams. By working through one experiment each week (not including the static electricity download), you will have 22 weeks’ worth of science lessons. Great freebie!
But for a person to develop a technical mind, the interest in science must come early. And it must spring from within the heart. Perhaps in building the devices in this booklet, you will experience a sense of adventure and accomplishment that will enkindle this interest.
Useful Science Projects … From Edison
The Thomas Edison Book of Easy and Incredible Experiments by James G. Cook
Original book published by the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation. Easy is a relative term here, but the experiments are very informative.
10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #7 Science
Ways to beef up the projects by documenting what is learned.