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The Nomad Scientists

Markham (Ont.), Pembroke Press, 1990. 95pp, paper, $12.95
ISBN 0-921117-57-9. CIP

Reviewed by Edith Strocen.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

Link Science, a book designed and written by the Nomad Scientists, is intended to support environmental studies. As the subtitle indicates, it includes a variety of approaches to its subject material.

The book begins with an introduction to the material covered in the book and its organization. There are three main topics: 1) the natural environment, which is further subdivided into a study of various ecosystems; 2) environmental pollution, subdivided into oil spills, toxic waste, acid rain and chemical spraying; and 3) what we can do?

The format is similar for each chapter. It begins with "Storytime Science," a reading of some sort de­signed to promote story-telling and vocabulary. The second part is called "The Watch Dog," and concentrates on related social issues. "Investigative Science," the third section, is concerned mainly with science experiments and problem solving. The last section, again, is concerned with social issues but with the suggestion of positive action.

The organization of this book is good, the suggestions for activities are interesting, and the selections of songs and poetry are also good. But the story-time segment is lacklustre. Dialogue between two space travellers called "Zub" and "Renroc" is dated. I believe that initial activities should always be as attractive as possible in order to catch a child's immediate attention. Hands-on activities range from sprouting avocado seeds to creating and testing artificial acid rain. There seems to be a good variety of activities described. Many of the ideas and suggestions could be modified with respect to grade level.

This slim, brown-covered paperback was printed on recycled paper using vegetable dye inks. Although it is a very timely topic and the travelling presentations are said to be successful, the enthusiasm and concern that the collaborating authors undoubtedly have do not come through in a lively manner. It needs illustrations, colour and better writing to make it come alive. It does have a detailed index, several good glossaries, a fairly comprehensive bibliography, and a list of governmental agencies concerned with the environ­ment.

Recommended with reservations.

Edith Strocen, Greenway School, Winnipeg, Man.
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