Budding Engineers will Love *Canals and Dams!* – Giveaway

Did you know that hydropower supplies 16% of all electricity worldwide? And that there are more than 57,000 big dams around the world? With about 70% of Earth’s surface covered in water, it makes sense. If you have a budding engineer at home or a child interested in the science and construction behind canals and dams, a new book from Nomad Press is here for you. CANALS AND DAMS! is aimed at ages 7-10, and it covers the history, design, engineering, and effects of both topics.

Kids will enjoy the corny jokes (What did the beaver say to the tree? It’s been nice gnawing you!) and various trivia peppered throughout the book. The illustrations are simple and cartoonish, making the material feel more like fun than work. A timeline starting at 3000 BCE introduces readers to the myriad ways humans have tried to control and literally shape water routes over the centuries. With basic definitions provided and detailed descriptions of various types of canals, dams, and water sources, any young person with interest in the subject will have lots to explore.

As with all the Build It Yourself books from Nomad Press, the 25 hands-on projects are a highlight, and they range from the simple to the challenging. Activities range from making a shaduf out of paper towel rolls and sticks to investigating water pressure to building an Archimedes screw or a lock. Each project has simple instructions, and there are plenty at different levels for all abilities and interests.

The history of canals and dams around the world is addressed in detail. Canals and Dams! travels from Egypt to Brazil to China to Panama to Italy to the USA and more. There is also great focus on the different types of dams and their engineering. Several projects accompany the information so kids can try out different styles for effectiveness and strength. Teacher resources are available on the Nomad Press website as well. In all, the book is a fun and highly informative resource about a subject sometimes taken for granted.

Thanks to the generosity of Nomad Press, Baristanet has a copy of Canals and Dams! available to give away to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment about why you want a copy by August 17th at 3 PM. One comment allowed per person. Residents of the USA only, please.


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  1. This book is exactly what I am looking for. I am a third-grade teacher, working with Montclair State University on a program called the Rainforest Connection Live. I have been visiting Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal for the past four years. We conduct interactive lessons, so the students can meet and interview the scientists working for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution on the island. This year, I have proposed to compare and contrast the history of the Morris Canal here in New Jersey with the Panama Canal. As part of our exploration, I want to have the students build a model of a canal lock. I have no idea how to do that, so this book should help me solve that problem. I need this book (please!).

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