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The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters
Cover of The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters
The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters
33 Thrilling Experiments Based on History's Greatest Blunders
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It's hands-on science with a capital "E"—for engineering.
Beginning with the toppling of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, to the destructive, laserlike sunbeams bouncing off London's infamous "Fryscraper" in 2013, here is an illustrated tour of the greatest engineering disasters in history, from the bestselling author of The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science.
Each engineering disaster includes a simple, exciting experiment or two using everyday household items to explain the underlying science and put learning into action. Understand the Titanic's demise by sinking an ice-cube-tray ocean liner in the bathtub. Stomp on a tube of toothpaste to demonstrate what happens to non-Newtonian fluids under pressure—and how a ruptured tank sent a tsunami of molasses through the streets of Boston in 1919.
From why the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans to the fatal design flaw in the Sherman tank, here's a book of science at its most riveting.

It's hands-on science with a capital "E"—for engineering.
Beginning with the toppling of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, to the destructive, laserlike sunbeams bouncing off London's infamous "Fryscraper" in 2013, here is an illustrated tour of the greatest engineering disasters in history, from the bestselling author of The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science.
Each engineering disaster includes a simple, exciting experiment or two using everyday household items to explain the underlying science and put learning into action. Understand the Titanic's demise by sinking an ice-cube-tray ocean liner in the bathtub. Stomp on a tube of toothpaste to demonstrate what happens to non-Newtonian fluids under pressure—and how a ruptured tank sent a tsunami of molasses through the streets of Boston in 1919.
From why the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans to the fatal design flaw in the Sherman tank, here's a book of science at its most riveting.

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About the Author-
  • Sean Connolly is the author of the Totally Irresponsible Science series and dozens of other books for both children and adults. A father of three, he is in an ideal position to explain the nuts and bolts of these experiments.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 3, 2017
    In this amusing addition to the Irresponsible Science series, Connolly plucks 20 engineering debacles from history, pairing them with experiments that use scientific principles to explain why the disasters occurred. An experiment with a soda can and balloon demonstrates the power of static electricity (a likely cause of the Hindenburg explosion), while the engineering flaws that led to the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge are revealed using a swing, jump rope, and plastic bottles. There’s some fun had at the expense of a few of these engineering fails, illustrated throughout in exaggerated b&w cartoons, but Connolly doesn’t dwell on the loss of life and limb, instead emphasizing how past mistakes can serve as a blueprint for avoiding future ones. Ages 9–14.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2017

    Gr 5 Up-Connolly, author of over 30 other books for children and young adults (most on similar topics), provides the details on a number of historically epic disasters in engineering. From the Titanic and Leaning Tower of Pisa to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Connolly explains the possible errors that led to disastrous results. Thirty-three experiments allow readers to examine for themselves what may cause a tower to collapse, a ship to spill enormous amounts of oil into the water, and more. Two-color cartoon images accompany the historical accounts and activities; however, these images tend to skew on the younger side. Each project includes simple steps and explains its relation to the disaster it means to mimic. With ever-advancing technology present in the lives of readers, this text provides the chance for aspiring architects, engineers, and other problem solvers to understand past mistakes before building future wonders. Parents, children, and educators can turn to this book for quick problems to solve. After understanding the flaws that led to disaster, students could then attempt to create their own structures or vehicles with a better understanding of the engineering behind them. VERDICT Public and school libraries should consider this light, STEAM-based collection of projects for purchase.-Sarah Knutson, American Canyon Middle School, CA

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2017
    Memorable disasters inspire modern experiments.The author of The Book of Wildly Spectacular Sports Science (2016) offers this lively presentation of descriptions, explanations, and simple experiments that demonstrate the problems that caused 20 engineering disasters. Organized chronologically from the collapse of the Colossus of Rhodes in 226 BCE to London's "Fryscraper" built in 2013, this is an irreverent history of human hubris. Besides a wide range of spectacular collapses, his examples include a molasses flood, an oil spill, a lake accidentally drained, a plane too heavy to fly, a car too underpowered to scale hills, and, of course, the leaning tower in Pisa, the "unsinkable" Titanic, and the dancing Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Each failure is presented with a quick, single-page account, an exploration of "what went wrong," and a feature called "turn back the clock" describing what people knew at the time and relevant engineering principles. Each is accompanied by an experiment or two illustrating the problem or principles. These are clearly laid out with materials, step-by-step methods, and a follow-up explanation. They use commonly available materials and for the most part could be done without adult supervision, though they often require a friend or a small group. Photos and cartoonlike illustrations complete the appealing package. A new collection from an old hand at designing intriguing STEM activities that will entertain as well as enlighten. (Nonfiction. 9-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters
The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters
33 Thrilling Experiments Based on History's Greatest Blunders
Sean Connolly
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