Press Room

Press Release: May 14, 2008

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments --New from MAKE: All Lab. No Lecture.

Sebastopol, CA—The appeal of do-it-yourself chemistry has always been one of the most potent recruiting tools science has to offer. From the 1930s through the 1960s, chemistry sets were among the most popular Christmas gifts, selling in the millions. But in 2008, they are a dying breed. DIY hobbyists, students, and science buffs can now turn to Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (O'Reilly, $29.99) for hands-on instruction to build their own chemistry sets at home—safely and responsibly.

"The decline of chemistry sets has had nothing to do with lack of interest," explains author Robert Bruce Thompson. "Kids are as enthusiastic as ever, but manufacturers and retailers have become more concerned about liability and lawsuits—and schools are now devoting little time and few resources to science. This guide is meant to celebrate the magic of chemistry—while taking responsible precautions to minimize or eliminate potential risks."

No chemistry set on the market today provides more than a bare start on essential equipment and chemicals. All of the elements needed to create your own are readily available and surprisingly inexpensive—and the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments shows you how to get started. This unique, easy-to-use handbook provides step-by-step instructions, outlining how to:

  • Select and buy the proper equipment for your home chemistry lab
  • Practice laboratory safety
  • Master your laboratory skills
  • Conduct 17 hands-on laboratory experiments

Arriving in bookstores soon and available online at, the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments offers introductory level laboratory sessions suitable for middle school students to more advanced sessions geared for students preparing for the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry exam. Science enthusiasts can equally benefit from this one-of-a-kind guide to master all of the essential practical skills and fundamental knowledge needed to pursue chemistry as a lifelong hobby.

Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients.

Additional Resources:

For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see the catalog page for: Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments
Robert Bruce Thompson
ISBN: 9780596514921, 432 pages, $29.99 USD, £18.50 GBP

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