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“Get out there and make something!”: Sylvia’s super awesome new book

Sometimes I wonder what my girlfriends and I would be like today if more models like the super-awesome Sylvia were around when we were kids.  I kinda want every kid to meet her.

I first heard of Sylvia from my friend Gary Stager who often shares her story and segments from Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show at conferences.  Sylvia is a maker and she is also a natural-born teacher, writer, artist, coach, and an irrepressible force of nature.

Gary just shared a copy of the new book Sylvia authored and illustrated.

In her Super-Awesome Project Book: Super-Simple Arduino Volume 2, Sylvia shares three engineering projects–a simple strobe, a randomly influenced finger flute (RIFF) and a tapper–she developed with her dad that harness the power of the programming prototyping platform, Arduino.

Dedicated to all kids who are still curious, even the tall ones who call themselves adults, the book is not merely a how-to-do it guide, it is rather, a how to be guide and a call to action. Sylvia coaches you into inquiry, exploration and deeper knowledge, making even new vocabulary feel like an exciting exploration.

The book is beautifully designed, clearly and cleverly illustrated.  It will engage all types of learners.  It doesn’t force you to code; it makes you want to code.  It also makes you want to explore additional advanced challenges posed by friendly robots of the SmartBot, ScienceBot, BuilderBot, CoderBot, PaintBot, or DoodleBot varieties.

Okay, I am not sure why her first book is called Volume 2, but Sylvia assures: This book is just the start. We have a whole series of Super-Awesome Project Books for kids of all ages in the works right now, coming from Sylvia and her publisher, Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Filled with humor, whimsy, energy, spirit and you-can-do-it-ness, this book should find a home in all libraries that serve elementary and middle school ages kiddos, in all libraries with makerspaces, and on so many basement and kitchen tables where kids ought to be tinkering and discovering!  (Note: It also makes a pretty fabulous professional development resource.)

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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