Lenses, lasers, microscopes, telescopes--light engineers design all these products to help make our lives easier. In this enlightening title, readers explore the many uses of optics and the design process of turning a bright idea into a reality. With an overview of the engineering design process, readers are encouraged to apply the same steps into their own optical challenge.
Grades 5-8. Books in the Engineering in Action series provide broad introductions to their respective fields in a colorfully illustrated, large-format package. A typical, rather crowded double-page spread presents a specified topic and illustrates it with two or three small photos. (Example: one ongoing theme running through many of the books is an engineer’s approach to problem solving and collaborating on projects.) The main text is augmented with related information in boxes designed to look like yellow sticky notes. While job possibilities in the field are discussed, educational requirements for various careers are not. Each book includes a design challenge that leads readers through the steps of a project such as creating a sound track, fire extinguisher, desalination device, or periscope. Besides discussing light and vision, Optical looks at significant optical advances of the past (the Fresnel lens, the laser) as well as technologies in development now. Solid information for engineering-minded students.