A look at some of the most amazing elevators in the world. Addresses the obstacles of construction, the impact on society, and the science of engineering such superstructures.
From the depths of the Hoover Dam to space stations 240 miles above Earth, the latest entries in the Engineering Wonders series examine human-made marvels. Fusing vibrant full-page photos and educational diagrams with info-packed text, each installment explores an invention's origin, evolution, modern-day applications, and future. Elevators documents the pulleys and stone cylinders of ancient civilizations, Elisha Otis' 1854 steam-powered breakthrough, and the computer controlled creations of today. Maurer also stresses the role of the elevator in legendary landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. In International Space Station, readers learn of the research facility's roots—a 1975 U.S.-Soviet spacecraft union—and its 13-year-long assembly process. Likening the football-field-length station to readers' own homes, Larson additionally spotlights space food, toilets, and "thermostats," also known as multigas monitors. Telescopes chronicles the transformation of the lens, from Galileo's refracting telescope and Sir Isaac Newtons reflecting telescope to Karl Jansky's groundbreaking radio telescope. Today, instruments like Chandra, a space-based x-ray telescope, offer astronomers a glimpse at otherwise invisible objects, including brown dwarfs and interstellar gas. Complete with glossaries, reading-comprehension questions, online resources, and—in Elevators and International Space Station—timeline, these comprehensive titles are a stellar resource for space-crazy or engineering-inclined middle-grade readers.
Booklist, November 2017
Although bridges, the Great Wall, pyramids, and skyscrapers are marvelous feats, the titles in the Engineering Wonders series show how these structures began more as problems to solve than the visions of beauty they became. Filled with accessible text and a plethora of colorful examples from around the world, the individual books address the topic at hand rather than conform to a cookie-cutter series template. Bridges offers the similarities and differences among six types of bridges, including suspension, truss, and cantilever, in addition to important factors to consider—primarily weight—when building a bridge. Great Wall of China describes its symbolism and changing construction under numerous emperors as well as the difficulties, most notably death, during different phases of construction. Pyramids of Egypt explains the purpose of these structures and the meticulous engineering achieved with ancient tools. Skyscrapers and Towers presents materials and design techniques used to counter such forces as wind speed, gravity, and weight to make these buildings structurally sound, along with sustainable designs that allow them to be built higher and higher. Sidebars throughout relate interesting facts and ideas to consider, while a concluding time line, glossary, list of websites, and comprehension questions reinforce the content. An inspiring blend of history and STEM.