Stan Taylor has written a delightful little book that ought to be a standard classroom reference for every middle school Design & Tech. teacher. Taylor outlines eight pneumatics projects of escalating degrees of difficulty that can be built out of wood, plastic syringes, and everyday materials such as string, foam cups, shoeboxes, and even McDonald’s fries containers. The only power tools that appear to be required are a drill and a jigsaw. Each project comes complete with a full parts list, stepby-step instructions, large labelled schematic diagrams, and black-and-white photos showing relevant details and the finished product. The binder-sized format of the book allows the diagrams and photos to be large enough that the details are visible. Each project is prefaced by a brief story that tells how the project idea arose and in some cases how sub-problems within that project were creatively solved. These stories invariably have a personal bent that makes the book endearing.
Taylor has given many workshops on the building of pneumatic toys. In February of this year he delivered a workshop on the construction of his Canadarm replica at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. He says, “Children and adults alike have learned through my workshops how to make many of the toys in this book. The sparkle in the eye of a child and the broad smile of an educator when they have made the toy and when they see it working is most gratifying.
Review by Tim Langford, newsletter editor
©2005 Matt Chan. Creative Commons license.
OAPT Newsletter: Spring 2013
Reprinted with permission.