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Jack and the Geniuses in the Deep Blue Sea

Author: Bill Nye and Gregory Mone, Nicholas Iluzada (illustrator)
Lower Age: 8
Upper Age: 12
Website: http://www.abramsbooks.com/product/in-the-deep-blue-sea_9781419725524/
Price: $13.99
Year Added: 2017

Jack and the Geniuses in the Deep Blue Sea is the sequel to Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World. In this book for children ages eight through twelve, Jack and his genius siblings are tasked with solving the mystery of a sabotaged clean-energy project, the Thermal Ocean Energy System (TOES). The kids’ main problem is to find out why the project’s sponsor, eccentric “bazillionaire” scientist Ashley Hawking, and the project’s lead engineer, Rosa Morris wanted TOES to fail. Their investigation takes them to the bottom of the ocean, gets them lost at sea, and casts suspicion on everyone involved with the TOES project. During their adventure, Jack and the geniuses encounter several situations which help explain and highlight aspects of engineering thinking and design. On several occasions, the kids find themselves in difficult situations with very limited resources, and must think quickly to generate innovative solutions to their problems. At different stages the characters go through the iterative design process which is central to engineering. Children can see how they create an initial solution to a problem, test that solution, and then improve their solution based on conclusions from the test. This book showcases real science and mathematics knowledge and provides an expanded appendix that details the real-life applications of the science and mathematics concepts that characters use to solve their problems. Jack, the story’s narrator, also explains each new and complex concept in an accessible way. Ultimately, this story shares the same reassuring message as the series’ first book: that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are for everyone, not just “geniuses.”

 

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about:

Define a problem, ask questions about the problem, make observations, learn about the problem, idea generation, plan a solution, try the solution, apply mathematics, apply science, work in a team


Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: A problem to be solved by developing a new or improved object, tool, or process, a user, constraints


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Critical thinking, creative thinking, working collaboratively, design, problem solving, perseverance, logical thinking

 

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
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  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “Though I would primarily consider Jack and the Geniuses in the Deep Blue Sea a science book, several situations presented in the story require characters to practice engineering thinking and design. They are forced to solve problems with limited resources, they work together to create the optimal solution, and they even sometimes go through a light iterative design process.”