Future Reflections        Winter 2012

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Out-of-Sight Science Experiments

The egg floats! Nick stares in amazement as Alex laughs.

by Dr. Lillian A. Rankel and Marilyn Winograd
National Braille Press
Grades 2-5
Available in large print or Braille, $20
Reviewed by Alex Gamino

From the Editor: For many years, Dr. Lillian Rankel and Marilyn Winograd have worked to make the sciences more accessible to blind students. Their new book, Out-of-Sight Science Experiments, contains thirty-two step-by-step experiments for blind children to conduct at home with family or friends. The book shows kids how to make balloon rockets, acid rain, a solar finger heater, Ziploc ice cream, Diet Coke geysers, and more.

Alex Gamino, a blind fourth-grader from Berwyn, Illinois, agreed to try out the experiments and review the book for Future Reflections. As it turned out, his whole family got involved in the project.

I think the experiments were fun and interesting. They all worked, and using this book is a great activity for parents and kids to do together.

This book is a perfect example of how people can have fun while they learn new things. Blind children can use it easily because it has very detailed descriptions of every step. It explains the science behind each experiment, and that helps us visualize what is going on. The most important thing is that we can do most of the activity steps ourselves.

Alex reaches into two glasses to discover how high each egg floats.

My brother (who is not blind) and I had a lot of fun. My brother had tried some of these experiments at school, but I had not had the chance to do them.

The most surprising experiment for us used a bottle and a nail. It is amazing how air pressure can hold the water in. We all thought (even my mother) that it would not work. The volcano experiment was fun, too, and I plan to do it often. Many of the others are on my list of tricks to play on my friends now.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try these experiments firsthand.

Alex's mother, Nelly Gamino, adds:

The boys had an absolutely awesome time. One of the pictures shows Nick making the funniest face ever. His eyes are about to pop out, and his mouth is open in shock. Alex is sitting next to him with a gigantic laugh because of his brother's expression. They are working on the experiment where an egg sinks in fresh water but floats in salt water. I think this picture totally shows the fun time we had with these projects.

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