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Children's Nonfiction Experiments & Projects

Science on the Loose

Amazing Activities and Science Facts You'll Never Believe

by (author) Helaine Becker

illustrated by Claudia Dávila

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Mar 2008
Experiments & Projects, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2008
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2008
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 6


Infused with Helaine Becker’s trademark wit and irrepressible energy, Science on the Loose encourages young readers to release their inner scientist, and think, do, and learn in the most entertaining way possible. Each easy-to-follow experiment — whether it’s to test density in fruit, determine dominant genes, or make slimy goo — follows accepted scientific procedure. Kids will delight in this highly original collection of scientific discovery. Activities can be safely performed without special equipment or unusual ingredients, and make for satisfyingly simple adventures in the surprises of science. From fooling our senses, to discovering whether JELL-O can have brain waves, to creating ice cream by kicking around a can, Science on the Loose breaks free of run-of-the-mill science activity books, and feeds into kids’ natural curiosity and interest in the world around them. Each experiment features a “What’s Going On?” component that explains the science behind the results in a clear and concise way. So even when an experiment just feels like silly fun, readers will learn about chemistry, climate change, genes, the senses, photosynthesis, scientific method — even Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Along the way they’ll also be discovering intriguing “Scientists on the Loose” and their wacky — but real — experiments.

About the authors


Helaine Becker
est l'auteure de nombreux livres jeunesse primés. Elle a écrit plus de 80
livres, dont Raconte-moi les graphiques : L'histoire de William Playfair et
l'album illustré à succès Un porc-épic dans un sapin. Helaine
habite à Toronto, en Ontario.


HELAINE BECKER is the author of numerous of books of fiction and non-fiction for children, among them the best-selling A Porcupine in a Pine Tree and its sequel, Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells, The Haunted House That Jack Built and Little Jack Horner, Live from the Corner. Her books have won the Silver Birch Award and the CBA Libris Award and have been shortlisted for the Red Cedar, the Hackmatack and the Rocky Mountain awards. Helaine lives in Toronto with her family. Visit her at

Helaine Becker's profile page


CLAUDIA DÁVILA a été directrice artistique des magazines Chirp et ChickaDEE, en plus d’être l’auteure-illustratrice de la série de bandes dessinées primées The Future According to Luz et de l’album Super Red Riding Hood. Elle a également illustré l’ouvrage percutant et multi récompensé Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War de Michel Chikwanine et Jessica Dee Humphreys, ainsi que Viminy Crowe’s Comic Book de Marthe Jocelyn et Richard Scrimger. Claudia est née à Santiago, au Chili, et vit maintenant à Toronto avec sa famille.


Claudia Dávila is the former art director of Chirp and chickaDEE magazines, and is the author-illustrator of the award-winning graphic novel series The Future According to Luz and the picture book Super Red Riding Hood. Claudia illustrated the powerful and multi-award-winning book Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys, Viminy Crowe's Comic Book by Marthe Jocelyn and Richard Scrimger and The Canadian Kids Guide to Outdoor Fun by Helaine Becker. Claudia was born in Santiago, Chile, and lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.

Claudia Dávila's profile page


  • Short-listed, British Columbia Library Association, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Commended, Ontario Library Association, Top 10 Canadian Children's Books, Non-fiction Category, Best Bets List
  • Winner, National Parenting Publications Awards, Children's Products Competition, Gold
  • Commended, Canadian Toy Testing Council, Top 10 Great Books

Editorial Reviews

The great thing about [Helaine] Becker's work is its high level of kid appeal. The text is zippy, the language is cool and the easy-to-do experiments are fun, fun, fun...Claudia Davila's illustrations are all about strong colors, humor and free-wheeling design. A perfect extension of the text.

The Muskokan

This cleverly written book makes science fun, interesting, and accessible...sure to catch students' interest and keep them reading to find out more.

Professionally Speaking

…a great source of ‘sponge’ experiences to fill odd moments or ‘appetizers’ to start a science class in the spirit of inquiry.

National Science Teachers Association

If you like hands-on science, this book is for you...this book is as educational as a textbook, but much more interesting.

YES Magazine

[Science on the Loose] is filled with unusual information and includes activities that require only simple materials and a curious mind!

Saskatchewan Learning

With a warm sense of humor and excellent analogies, Becker effectively explains the captivating oddities of the natural world and our own bodies. In the morass of tedious non-fiction for children, this is something of a gem.

Quill & Quire

Fun fuel for your next science project…The book reflects [Becker’s] knack for creating enthusiasm about subjects…When it’s explained in catchy wording…doing a science project seems less daunting, and dare we say, fun?

The Florida Times-Union /

This fun and brightly illustrated book will help explain some of life's curiosity's with amazing activities you can do at home…Curious minds will have a blast with Science on the Loose.

This is one of the very best books of science activities for students in upper elementary school...Many of the suggested explorations are new or set in a context that is original, very well-suited to the age of reader for whom the book was written, and, where possible, connected to the results or current or historical research.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

If you want to keep your 7- to 14-year-old reading between school years, get a copy of Science on the Loose. It’ll keep your kid focused on learning fun all summer long.

The Bookworm Sez (syndicated column)

[Helaine Becker] is destined to become an all time favorite, if for no other reason than her sense of humor is spicy and delicious…It wouldn’t be surprising to find teachers extending read aloud time and parents down on the floor poring over these pages with their kids. It’s fun. Period.

After devouring Science on the Loose, kids, and even adults, will have many of their burning questions answered and not realize that they have just started exploring the scientific world.

Canadian Children’s Book News

Feed your young reader’ budding curiosity with this book chock full of fascinating and wacky facts about everyday science…Becker will turn your youngster into an inquisitive scientists…This fascinating book will keep your bookworm entertained for hours. Tuck it away for a rainy vacation day and you’ll score big.

Chronicle Herald

[Science on the Loose is] perfect for kids 8 to 12. It lets them learn something useful without making them feel like they're learning.


I've always had the sneaking suspicion that science could be fun and funny — and now I know it's true…[A] fantastic blend of knowledge and fun.

Librarian Reviews

Science on the Loose

Do you know a student who is constantly questioning the world around them? Helaine Becker, the award-winning author of more than a dozen children’s books, will grab the attention of those curious kids with her scientific adventure Science on the Loose.

Like Becker’s previous non-fiction books, Science on the Loose is colourfully illustrated and organized with experiments, along with intriguing facts – on everything from burps to black holes – which are thoughtfully sprinkled throughout the pages.

Becker’s scientific queries focus on the unknowns of the human body, animals, matter and space that seem to preoccupy today’s budding scientist. Brief, wellorganized experiments can be executed simply by using everyday items found in the cupboards at home. With the Scientific Method detailed at the start of the book and with topics, scientific concepts and experimenting located in the indexes, this book will also appeal to educators.

After devouring Science on the Loose, kids, and even adults, will have many of their burning questions answered and not realize that they have just started exploring the scientific world.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2008. Vol.31 No.4.

Science on the Loose

This collection of original experiments and activities encourages kids in an entertaining way to think, do and learn. Kids will have fun while exploring serious science concepts such as chemistry, optics, animal behaviour, human senses, gravity, and even Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by Helaine Becker

Other titles by Claudia Dávila