Guest Hollow's High School Chemistry
Books & Resources

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Homeschool Chemistry Curriculum

Take a look below at all the terrific resources I've scheduled in for Guest Hollow's Homeschool Chemistry Curriculum! Students get to learn chemistry through a variety of interesting books instead of a boring and intimidating textbook!

WARNING Preview all materials!!

I recommend you preview all items to see if they are appropriate for your students. Most of the books for this course were written with an adult audience in mind. They may contain minor incidences of cursing or a few references of adult themes / content. Some of the books contain references to evolution. I personally feel that high schoolers should be mature enough to handle any of the minor adult references contained in these books, but every family is different in what they find offensive! Additional notes about some of the books are in the descriptions below.

How to keep the cost of this curriculum down:

  • Borrow books and videos from the library. I always purchased books that were used over a long period of time and tried to get many of the rest from the library. Sometimes I'd purchase a few books my library didn't have, that I really wanted to use.

    When I could afford it, and when I was working on building a home library for the kids, I would go ahead and buy a big box of books. It was like Christmas in August as the kids delved into those boxes. It got them excited about what they were getting ready to learn. I certainly understand being constrained to a budget, though! Don't be afraid to substitute books you already have on hand or inexpensive titles you might pick up at a yard sale, or similar venue.

A few additional notes:

Christian This crown icon denotes a Christian resource.

Please note that the resources below do not contain most of the free videos that are linked in the schedule. I also don't list ingredients for recipes and other experiments, except for some harder to obtain items you can purchase online. Please see the supplies list that comes with the curriculum for more info.

Quotes below are from the official book descriptions.

NOTE: Make sure all items / chemicals / ingredients are food grade, and approved by the USDA, before using in a recipe!

SCHEDULED RESOURCES
Homeschool chemistry curriculum workbook

Guest Hollow's Chemistry Workbook / Study Guide - FREE download with your purchase
Used multiple weeks

Some of the books below have this statement in their description:

This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

Those books are referenced in the FREE PDF workbook that is included with your chemistry curriculum purchase.

The workbook / study guide pages were created for those of you who wish to assess your student’s reading assignments and to help train students to look through a text for information. They are also designed to help students retain what they’ve read. There is an answer key provided at the back of the workbook.

Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking

Topics: chemistry, food science / cooking

Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking
Weeks 1-6
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

Note: There is a brief mention of evolution and a couple pages discuss wine & beer making.

"When you’re cooking, you’re a chemist! Every time you follow or modify a recipe, you are experimenting with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. In your kitchen you denature proteins, crystallize compounds, react enzymes with substrates, and nurture desired microbial life while suppressing harmful bacteria and fungi. And unlike in a laboratory, you can eat your experiments to verify your hypotheses.

            In Culinary Reactions, author Simon Quellen Field turns measuring cups, stovetop burners, and mixing bowls into graduated cylinders, Bunsen burners, and beakers. How does altering the ratio of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and water affect how high bread rises? Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide rather than the more common carbon dioxide? And why does Hollandaise sauce call for “clarified” butter? This easy-to-follow primer even includes recipes to demonstrate the concepts being discussed, including:

  1.       Whipped Creamsicle Topping—a foam
  2.       Cherry Dream Cheese—a protein gel
  3.       Lemonade with Chameleon Eggs—an acid indicator"

Hindenburg Mystery

Topics: chemistry, history, biology

Hindenburg Mystery (streaming video from Amazon)
Week 1

The Mythbusters team takes on the Hindenburg explosion!

Elements book

Topics: chemistry

Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
Used multiple weeks

This is such a beautiful book!

"Gray, an element collector and Popular Science columnist, has created a visual homage to the periodic table of the elements. The book begins with an introduction to the arrangement of the periodic table. The first 100 of the elements are each profiled on a two-page spread. The left-hand side of the spread features a large color image of the element in its true form, when possible. The right-hand side includes various images of ways the element appears in the world and explanations of some of the compounds in which it can be found. For example, the Selenium entry includes images of selenium sulfide medicated shampoo, Brazil nuts (which are high in selenium), and a red vase that gets its color from a selenium glaze. Most of the images are items from the author's personal collection."

Dr. Joe & What You Didn't Know: 177 Fascinating Questions About the Chemistry of Everyday Life

Topics: chemistry, history, etc.

Dr. Joe & What You Didn't Know: 177 Fascinating Questions About the Chemistry of Everyday Life
Used multiple weeks
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

NOTE: This book has some minor adult references, like how chasteberry was taken in historical times by monks to decrease s*x drive, and a mention of glow-in-the dark condoms, etc. I do not schedule those sections. Evolution is mentioned in question 66.

"From Beethoven's connection to plumbing to why rotten eggs smell like sulfur, the technical explanations included in this scientific primer tackle 99 chemistry-related questions and provide answers designed to inform and entertain."

The Mystery of the Periodic Table

Topics: history, chemistry

The Mystery of the Periodic Table
Weeks 1-2

"Leads the reader on a delightful and absorbing journey through the ages, on the trail of the elements of the Periodic Table as we know them today. He introduces the young reader to people like Von Helmont, Boyle, Stahl, Priestly, Cavendish, Lavoisier, and many others, all incredibly diverse in personality and approach, who have laid the groundwork for a search that is still unfolding to this day."

Artisan Whipped Cream Dispenser (1-Pint), Cream Whipper with Decorating Nozzels

Supply for an optional recipe

Artisan Whipped Cream Dispenser (1-Pint), Cream Whipper with Decorating Nozzles
Week 2

You will also need these:

N20 cartridges and food-grade Xanthum gum

These items may seem expensive (about $40 or so to whip up some cream!), but considering you aren't buying a costly chemistry set, it might be something worth considering, especially as you can use the dispenser year-after-year, a perfect reminder of a fun year with chemistry and culinary creations! This whipper is for an optional recipe scheduled in from the Culinary Reactions book. Students will love getting to play with it in the name of schoolwork. ;-)

Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit

Topics: food science / cooking

Choose a cheese kit
Week 3

Any cheese kit will do. Some are less expensive than others, and you can make different types of cheeses. We used this one with great results: Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit.

Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History

Topics: chemistry, history

Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History
Used various weeks from week 3-24
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

Note: There is an optional chapter about "the pill" (chapter 11). I've marked it in the schedule as being optional. Christian parents may wish to talk to their student(s) about this chapter, as it's a good opportunity to discuss your personal beliefs concerning the pill and it's possible effects. I've also skipped chapter 12 as it has some s*xual content (p. 235-236) and discusses some of the chemicals associated with accusations of witchcraft.

"Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts.

With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world."

Salt: A World History

Salt: A World History

In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions.  Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt by Mark Kurlansky is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.

What Einstein Told His Cook

Topics: chemistry, food science / cooking

What Einstein Told His Cook
Weeks 7-12
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

Note: Alcohol consumption is mentioned. Recipes using alcohol are NOT scheduled in as activities. There are a few incidences of minor cursing.

Wolke, longtime professor of chemistry and author of the Washington Post column Food 101, turns his hand to a Cecil Adams style compendium of questions and answers on food chemistry. Is there really a difference between supermarket and sea salt How is sugar made? Should cooks avoid aluminum pans? Interspersed throughout Wolke's accessible and humorous answers to these and other mysteries are recipes demonstrating scientific principles.

Louis Pasteur: Founder of Modern Medicine (Sowers.)

Topics: history, chemistry, biology, etc.

ChristianLouis Pasteur: Founder of Modern Medicine (Sowers.)
Weeks 8-9

"Learn about his early life as the son of a tanner. Experience his years of struggle as an unknown scientist and enjoy his triumph as one of the world's most celebrated heroes."

What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel: Further Adventures in Kitchen Science

Topics: chemistry, food science / cooking

What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel: Further Adventures in Kitchen Science
Weeks 12-22
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

Note: Alcohol consumption mentioned. Recipes using alcohol are NOT scheduled in as activities. I also don't schedule in some of the pages that are solely centered around alcohol (beer/wine). There are a few incidences of minor cursing. There are a couple, brief mentions of evolution.

This sequel to the best-selling What Einstein Told His Cook continues Bob Wolke's investigations into the science behind our foods―from the farm or factory to the market, and through the kitchen to the table. In response to ongoing questions from the readers of his nationally syndicated Washington Post column, "Food 101," Wolke continues to debunk misconceptions with reliable, commonsense answers. He has also added a new feature for curious cooks and budding scientists, "Sidebar Science," which details the chemical processes that underlie food and cooking. In the same plain language that made the first book a hit with both techies and foodies, Wolke combines the authority, clarity, and wit of a renowned research scientist, writer, and teacher.

Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

Topics: history, chemistry

"Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
Weeks 14-16

"In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks’ extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his “Uncle Tungsten,” whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes–in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery."

Nova: Hunting The Elements

Topics: chemistry

Nova: Hunting The Elements
Week 15

You can also stream this program via Amazon. Click here. I've also linked to a YouTube video of this program in the schedule (which may or may not be available).

"Where do nature's building blocks, called the elements, come from? They're the hidden ingredients of everything in our world, from the carbon in our bodies to the metals in our smartphones. Watch as David Pogue unlocks their secrets."

Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks

Topics: chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, etc.

Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks
Weeks 10-12

NOTE: There is some minor cursing and chapter 8 is about a sham treatment for A.I.D.S. promoted in Africa. It doesn't talk about how A.I.D.S. is contracted.

"Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren't medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what's, well, just more baloney?

Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window. But he's not here just to tell you what's wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You're about to feel a whole lot better."

Archimedes and the Door of Science (Living History Library)

Topics: history, various science topics, math

Archimedes and the Door of Science (Living History Library)
Week 18

I have this book scheduled in the Knowledge of Nature curriculum, which is for much younger students. If your teen hasn't read it yet, it's still a worthwhile book that goes with some of the density concepts discussed in another text.

"Jeanne Bendick, through text and pictures, admirably succeeds in bringing to life the ancient Greek mathematician who enriched mathematics and all branches of science. Against the backdrop of Archimedes' life and culture, the author discusses the man's work, his discoveries and the knowledge later based upon it. The simple, often humorous, illustrations and diagrams greatly enhance the text."

Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail

Topics: chemistry, history, physics

Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail (streaming video from Amazon)
Week 19

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout

Topics: history, chemistry

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout
Week 19

This book is almost like a graphic novel. It's very artistically presented and a novel (har har) way to learn about this important scientist. A plus: this book glows in the dark!

"In 1891, 24-year-old Marie Sklodowska moved from Warsaw to Paris, where she found work in the laboratory of Pierre Curie, a scientist engaged in research on heat and magnetism. They fell in love. They took their honeymoon on bicycles. They expanded the periodic table, discovering two new elements with startling properties, radium and polonium. They recognized radioactivity as an atomic property, heralding the dawn of a new scientific era. They won the Nobel Prize. Newspapers mythologized the couple's romance, beginning articles on the Curies with "Once upon a time . . . " Then, in 1906, Pierre was killed in a freak accident. Marie continued their work alone. She won a second Nobel Prize in 1911, and fell in love again, this time with the married physicist Paul Langevin. Scandal ensued. Duels were fought.

In the century since the Curies began their work, we've struggled with nuclear weapons proliferation, debated the role of radiation in medical treatment, and pondered nuclear energy as a solution to climate change. In Radioactive, Lauren Redniss links these contentious questions to a love story in 19th Century Paris.

Radioactive draws on Redniss's original reporting in Asia, Europe and the United States, her interviews with scientists, engineers, weapons specialists, atomic bomb survivors, and Marie and Pierre Curie's own granddaughter.

Whether young or old, scientific novice or expert, no one will fail to be moved by Lauren Redniss's eerie and wondrous evocation of one of history's most intriguing figures."

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb

Topics: history, chemistry

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
Week 19

"Trinity, the debut graphic book by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, depicts the dramatic history of the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bomb in World War Two. This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan Project, and even transports the reader into a nuclear reaction--into the splitting atoms themselves."

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things

Topics: chemistry, environmental science, biochemistry, health

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
Weeks 20-21

"Pollution is not only an abstract, distant problem seen in belching smokestacks and contaminated waterways; it’s also personal. Some of the most dangerous pollutants come from commonplace items in our homes and workplaces—shampoos and toothpastes, carpets and children’s toys.

To prove this point, leading environmentalists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie conducted their own research by ingesting and inhaling a host of things that are part of our everyday lives. Using their own bodies as the reference point to tell the story of pollution in our modern world, they expose the miscreant corporate giants who manufacture the toxins, the weak-kneed government officials who let it happen, and the effects on people and families across the globe. This book—the testimony of their experience—exposes the extent to which we are poisoned every day of our lives."

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World

Topics: chemistry

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
Weeks 22-24
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

Note: Chapter 4 briefly mentions an advertisement that implied chocolate was better than s*x. Evolution is also mentioned in this book, briefly.

"Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Miodownik studies objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik explores the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way."

NOVA: Secrets of the Samurai Sword

Topics: history, chemistry

NOVA: Secrets of the Samurai Sword
Week 22

Learn how chemistry helped make samurai swords. Interesting!

Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal

Topics: food science, health, chemistry

Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal
Weeks 23-24
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

This book has a mild reference to s*x in chapter 3.

"If a piece of individually wrapped cheese can retain its shape, color, and texture for years, what does it say about the food we eat and feed to our children?

Former New York Times business reporter and mother Melanie Warner decided to explore that question when she observed the phenomenon of the indestructible cheese. She began an investigative journey that took her to research labs, university food science departments, and factories around the country. What she discovered provides a rare, eye-opening—and sometimes disturbing—account of what we’re really eating. Warner looks at how decades of food science have resulted in the cheapest, most abundant, most addictive, and most nutritionally inferior food in the world, and she uncovers startling evidence about the profound health implications of the packaged and fast foods that we eat on a daily basis.

Combining meticulous research, vivid writing, and cultural analysis, Warner blows the lid off the largely undocumented—and lightly regulated—world of chemically treated and processed foods and lays bare the potential price we may pay for consuming even so-called healthy foods."

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

Topics: chemistry, history

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
Weeks 25-28
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

Contains references to evolution.

"Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?*

The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them."

taste

Topics: food science, chemistry, biology

Taste: Surprising Stories and Science about Why Food Tastes Good
Weeks 25-30
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

This books has some great hands-on activities!

Note: In Chapter 16, there is a mention of how the author smoked weed at one point for an experiment. You can skip this chapter, if desired.

"Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup or a salted caramel coated in dark chocolate, you know when food tastes good. Now here’s the amazing story behind why you love some foods and can’t tolerate others.

Whether it’s a salted caramel or pizza topped with tomatoes and cheese, you know when food tastes good. Now, Barb Stuckey, a seasoned food developer to whom food companies turn for help in creating delicious new products, reveals the amazing story behind why you love some foods and not others.

Through fascinating stories, you’ll learn how our five senses work together to form flavor perception and how the experience of food changes for people who have lost their sense of smell or taste. You’ll learn why kids (and some adults) turn up their noses at Brussels sprouts, how salt makes grapefruit sweet, and why you drink your coffee black while your spouse loads it with cream and sugar. Eye-opening experiments allow you to discover your unique “taster type” and to learn why you react instinctively to certain foods. You’ll improve your ability to discern flavors and devise taste combinations in your own kitchen for delectable results. What Harold McGee did for the science of cooking Barb Stuckey does for the science of eating in Taste—a calorie-free way to get more pleasure from every bite."

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything

Topics: chemistry

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything
Weeks 25-29

Another beautiful book by Theodore Gray!

"In his highly anticipated sequel to The Elements, Theodore Gray demonstrates how the elements of the periodic table combine to form the molecules that make up our world."

Vegemite for sale

Vegemite
Week 29

Vegemite is required for one of the activities in the book Taste: Surprising Stories and Science about Why Food Tastes Good.

 

Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements

Topics: history, chemistry, elements

Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements (streaming video from Amazon)
Week 29

Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues

Topics: chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, biology, health

Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
Weeks 29-31
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

Note: Evolution is mentioned in this book. Chapter 4 features cursing, from a child hallucinating under the influence of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
This is a really fascinating book full of important topics. Your kids will want to know this information, especially if they have children in the future.

A critical call to arms about the harmful effects of some of our most revered modern medical practices.

Welcome to the wilds of the microbiome, where for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have co-existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the equilibrium and health of our bodies. But now this invisible Eden is under assault. Our overreliance on medical advances such as antibiotics and Cesarean sections is threatening the extinction of these irreplaceable microbes and leading to severe health problems.

In Missing Microbes, Dr. Martin Blaser goes back to the discovery of antibiotics, which ushered in a golden age of medicine, and traces how our subsequent overuse of these supposed wonder drugs has left its mark on our systems and contributed to the rise of what Blaser calls our modern plagues: obesity, asthma, allergies, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. Blaser's studies suggest that antibiotic use during early childhood poses the greatest risk to long-term health; alarmingly, American children receive on average seventeen courses of antibiotics before they are twenty years old. His studies also suggest that C-sections deprive babies of important contact with their mothers' microbiomes.

Taking us into the lab to explain his groundbreaking studies, Blaser not only provides elegant support for his theories but guides us toward avoiding even more catastrophic health problems in the future.

 

Swindled

Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud

Bad food has a history. Swindled tells it. Through a fascinating mixture of cultural and scientific history, food politics, and culinary detective work, Bee Wilson uncovers the many ways swindlers have cheapened, falsified, and even poisoned our food throughout history. In the hands of people and corporations who have prized profits above the health of consumers, food and drink have been tampered with in often horrifying ways--padded, diluted, contaminated, substituted, mislabeled, misnamed, or otherwise faked. Swindled gives a panoramic view of this history, from the leaded wine of the ancient Romans to today's food frauds--such as fake organics and the scandal of Chinese babies being fed bogus milk powder.

Insta-Snow

Insta-Snow
Week 30

This is an optional material that goes with one of the sections students read in the Dr. Joe book.

 

Carbon Chemistry

Topics: chemistry

Carbon Chemistry (by Ellen McHenry) - An Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
Weeks 31-36

Carbon Chemistry says it's designed for the target ages of 9-14, but honestly, there is a lot of great material in it for any age (even adults), and I think it's perfect for this course. Many highschoolers never even cover the material in this book! I think Ellen put that age range on it because she made it so easy to understand! ;-)

With her book you get the reading material and printables (like end of the chapter questions and activities in the teacher's section like building a model of carbon's allotropes out of candies, and so on). I've always preferred using the printable PDF versions of her curricula!

NOVA: Percy Julian - Forgotten Genius

Topics: history, chemistry

NOVA: Percy Julian - Forgotten Genius (DVD)
Week 33

"His house was firebombed. He lost his job on the eve of the Depression. He took on powerful, entrenched interests in the scientific establishment and overcame countless obstacles to become a world-class chemist, a self-made millionaire, and a humanitarian. Yet despite his achievements, Percy Julian’s story is largely unknown.

The grandson of Alabama slaves, Julian broke the color barrier in American science more than a decade before Jackie Robinson did in baseball. A brilliant innovator, he discovered a way to turn soybeans into synthetic steroids on an industrial scale, helping to make drugs like cortisone available to millions.

In Forgotten Genius, a special two-hour presentation starring Tony-award winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, NOVA brings Julian’s scientific breakthroughs and gripping biography to life, with vivid period reenactments based on newly opened family archives and interviews with dozens of colleagues and relatives. "

Soap Kit

Soap Kit
Week 33

Choose a soap kit. There are lots of different kits available (some less girly than others, if you have a boy). See which one appeals to your teen. ;-)

First Bite

Topics: food psychology, social science, neuroscience

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat
Week 33-24
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook /study guide.

"We are not born knowing what to eat; as omnivores it is something we each have to figure out for ourselves. From childhood onward, we learn how big a “portion” is and how sweet is too sweet. We learn to enjoy green vegetables—or not. But how does this education happen? What are the origins of taste?

In First Bite, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson draws on the latest research from food psychologists, neuroscientists, and nutritionists to reveal that our food habits are shaped by a whole host of factors: family and culture, memory and gender, hunger and love. Taking the reader on a journey across the globe, Wilson introduces us to people who can only eat foods of a certain color; prisoners of war whose deepest yearning is for Mom’s apple pie; a nine year old anosmia sufferer who has no memory of the flavor of her mother’s cooking; toddlers who will eat nothing but hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches; and researchers and doctors who have pioneered new and effective ways to persuade children to try new vegetables. Wilson examines why the Japanese eat so healthily, whereas the vast majority of teenage boys in Kuwait have a weight problem—and what these facts can tell Americans about how to eat better."

Rennet tablets

You need rennet tablets to create a recipe in week 35.

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

Topics: chemistry, recycling, etc.

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade
Weeks 35-36

"When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday's newspaper in the recycling bin, where does it go? Probably halfway around the world, to people and places that clean up what you don't want and turn it into something you can't wait to buy. In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter-veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner-travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, 500-billion-dollar industry that's transforming our economy and environment.:

Extra Credit

You can assign any (or none) of these books as extra credit reading. They are NOT in the schedule. Books that are "harder" are marked with a frog icon (as in: jump up to the next level).

That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles: 62 All-New Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life

Topics: chemistry

That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles: 62 All-New Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life

"Interesting anecdotes and engaging tales make science fun, meaningful, and accessible. Separating sense from nonsense and fact from myth, these essays cover everything from the ups of helium to the downs of drain cleaners and provide answers to numerous mysteries, such as why bug juice is used to colour ice cream and how spies used secret inks. Mercury in teeth, arsenic in water, lead in the environment, and aspartame in food are discussed. Mythbusters include the fact that Edison did not invent the light bulb and that walking on hot coals does not require paranormal powers. The secret life of bagels is revealed, and airbags, beer, and soap yield their mysteries. These and many more surprising, educational, and entertaining commentaries show the relevance of science to everyday life."

Elements of Faith: Vol 1: Hydrogen to Tin

Topics: chemistry, Bible

Elements of Faith: Vol 1: Hydrogen to Tin

Note: I really like this book, but it's not always available, and currently isn't sold via Amazon. I was hesitant to schedule in a book that may not be purchasable, but you may enjoy the Christian presentation, if you can get it!

"It's easy to see the wonder of God's creation all around us - but to truly appreciate the incredible design, organization, and creativeness of the Creator, you have to delve into the elements that make up our world.

The study of the periodic table of elements, reveals that these atomic microscopic building blocks are more than just scientific odds and ends. Each and every one is an opportunity to celebrate the power, wisdom, order, and ingenuity of our Creator!"

The Elements: An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table (100 Ponderables)

Topics: chemistry, history, elements

The Elements: An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table (100 Ponderables)

This book is full of history and chemistry! :-)

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth

Topics: chemistry (metals)

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth

"How will your life change when the supply of tantalum dries up? You may have never heard of this unusual metal, but without it smartphones would be instantly less omniscient, video game systems would falter, and laptops fail.  Tantalum is not alone.  Rhodium. Osmium. Niobium. Such refugees from the bottom of the periodic table are key components of many consumer products like cell phones, hybrid car batteries, and flat screen televisions, as well as sophisticated medical devices and even weapon systems. Their versatile properties have led manufacturers to seek these elements out to maximize longevity, value, and efficiency, but not without a human price."

Chilled: How Refrigeration Changed the World and Might Do So Again

Topics: history, chemistry, technology, physics

Chilled: How Refrigeration Changed the World and Might Do So Again

"The refrigerator. This white box that sits in the kitchen may seem mundane nowadays, but it is one of the wonders of 20th century science – life-saver, food-preserver and social liberator, while the science of refrigeration is crucial, not just in transporting food around the globe but in a host of branches on the scientific tree. Refrigerators, refrigeration and its discovery and applications provides the remarkable and eye-opening backdrop to Chilled, the story of how science managed to rewrite the rules of food, and how the technology whirring behind every refrigerator is at play, unseen, in a surprisingly broad sweep of modern life."

Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America

Topics: history, food

Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America

Note: This book mentions how Benjamin Franklin was considered vulgar because he kissed the ladies in France in greeting (p. 29).

"This culinary biography recounts the 1784 deal that Thomas Jefferson struck with his slaves, James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose”— to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.

Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so the might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure—and even includes a few of their favorite recipes!"

The Invention of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America

Topics: history, chemistry

frogThe Invention of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America
Weeks 29-31

Note: Evolution is mentioned in this book.

"In The Invention of Air, national bestselling author Steven Johnson tells the fascinating story of Joseph Priestley—scientist and theologian, protégé of Benjamin Franklin, friend of Thomas Jefferson—an eighteenth-century radical thinker who played pivotal roles in the invention of ecosystem science, the discovery of oxygen, the uses of oxygen, scientific experimentation, the founding of the Unitarian Church, and the intellectual development of the United States. As he did so masterfully in The Ghost Map, Steven Johnson uses a dramatic historical story to explore themes that have long engaged him: innovative strategies, intellectual models, and the way new ideas emerge and spread, and the environments that foster these breakthroughs."

Creations Of Fire: Chemistry's Lively History From Alchemy To The Atomic Age

Topics: history, chemistry

frogCreations Of Fire: Chemistry's Lively History From Alchemy To The Atomic Age

Note: This is a thick book packed with info. It's arranged by time period (practically from the beginning of time) and discusses chemists and their discoveries in the context of history. I haven't included it in the schedule because it's a bit much for the intended audience of this curriculum. However, it's a good book for students who want to learn more about the people who shaped our understanding of chemistry. Evolution is mentioned.

"In this fascinating history, Cathy Cobb and Harold Goldwhite celebrate not only chemistry's theories and breakthroughs but also the provocative times and personalities that shaped this amazing science and brought it to life. Throughout the book, the reader will meet the hedonists and swindlers, monks and heretics, and men and women laboring in garages and over kitchen sinks who expanded our understanding of the elements and discovered such new substances as plastic, rubber, and aspirin. Creations of Fire expands our vision of the meaning of chemistry and reveals the oddballs and academics who have helped shape our world."

Fifty Foods That Changed the Course of History

Topics: history, food

Fifty Foods That Changed the Course of History

"A beautifully presented guide to the foods that have had the greatest impact on human civilization.

Though many of the foods in this book are taken for granted and one (the mammoth) is no longer consumed, these foods have kept humans alive for millennia and theirs is a fascinating story.

Like the other titles in this highly-regarded series, this book organizes the fifty foods into short illustrated chapters of fascinating narratives: the "who, where, when, why and how" of each food's introduction and its impact on civilization in one or more cultural, social, commercial, political or military spheres. "

 

 

 

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