'Howtoons': MIT's do-it-yourself for kids

The just-released MIT-spawned book called "Howtoons" (HarperCollins, 2007) is designed to inspire youngsters all over the world with a sense of can-do adventure, and to teach them a few principles of science and engineering--and a sense of the creative possibilities all around them--along the way of just having fun.

Howtoons, which also offers a variety of pictorial home-build projects at howtoons.com. The projects range from rockets and goggles to simple electric motors, a marshmallow-shooting blowgun, and a simple way of making homemade ice cream. The materials are mostly everyday items like plastic bags and bottles, rubber bands and paper clips.

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