August 1, 2019

Experiment Like Nikola Tesla

Welcome August's blogger, author Amy O'Quinn!

I am excited to guest post on the Hands-On Books blog today. It’s a privilege to be here! My second book, NikolaTesla for Kids: His Life, Ideas, and Inventions, with 21 Activities (published by Chicago Review Press), was released in early July—and it was so cool to hold all that hard work in my hands at last. Better yet, I am thrilled to finally be able to share Nikola Tesla’s amazing life story with my readers!

Nikola Tesla was a man WAY ahead of his time, and many considered him to be somewhat of a mad scientist. And while it’s certainly true that he was extremely quirky and eccentric, he was a visionary in so many ways. Using the rotating magnetic field, he created the alternating current supply system we still use today. He also helped design the world’s first hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls, and he came up with innovative plans and ideas for other inventions, such as a remote-controlled boat, fluorescent tubes, neon lights, and the bladeless turbine. He is now acknowledged to have invented the radio ahead of Marconi, and he also experimented with wireless energy. In fact, many of the technological gadgets we take for granted today can be traced back to Nikola Tesla’s ideas and inventions! He truly wanted to make a difference in the world and help humankind.
After Tesla’s death, his belongings and papers were suspiciously confiscated by the U.S. government and sent back to his homeland in the Balkans. Because of the Cold War, western journalists had no access to any of his work—and the knowledge of his contributions to the fields of science and technology slowly faded away. While the names of Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, and other inventors of Tesla’s time have been remembered and honored, Nikola Tesla’s name was largely forgotten. Until recent years, he has been denied all the recognition he deserved. However, this is finally changing, and Nikola Tesla and his work are finally being applauded and celebrated. I sincerely hope that my book will help others discover, or at least learn a bit more, about one of the greatest inventors of all time.

Nikola was fascinated with magnetism from a very young age, and two of my favorite activities in the book center around this amazing force! Try one of the activities below for yourself.

Thanks for reading and please come visit me at!

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