Rectangular photo of a closeup of books on a shelf, spanning titles on science, California, and microbiology. Photo by Liz Lee Heinecke

Liz Lee Heinecke—Sheet Pan Science: 25 Fun, Simple Science Experiments for the Kitchen Table

Sheet Pan Science

Sheet Pan Science

Liz Lee Heinecke
Quarry Books (Quarto Group), September 13, 2022, $19.99
ISBN: 978-0760375679
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-7603-7568-6
Aimed at readers aged 7 to 10

Heinecke reports:

I’m fortunate to have been working with Jonathan Simcosky at Quarry Books since 2013. Quarry has published nine of my science books for children. These include Physics for Kids, and Biology for Kids.

When Jonathan asked about ideas for a new book, the sheet pan cooking trend immediately came to mind. Although I’ve never hesitated to let my own kids make a mess, many parents cringe at the thought. Here in Minnesota, heading outdoors to experiment is a great option for only about seven months of the year. Indoors, sheet pans keep the mess contained.

Once the Sheet Pan Science idea was approved, I brainstormed a colorful collection of experiments that range from simple to complex, appeal to a wide range of interests, and can be performed on a rimmed baking sheet. To create new experiments, I studied several approaches to projects I found interesting and wrote my own instructions, based on what worked best.

Liz Lee Heinecke, photo by Amber Procaccini

Liz Lee Heinecke, photo by Amber Procaccini

I experimented with fabric dyes made from black beans and yellow onions and made leaf prints using rusty water and vinegar, for example. I invented the cover experiment “Ice Globe Volcanoes” by freezing water in balloons to make hollow spheres for a classic baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction. Other original projects include an Epsom salt “Crystal Garden” and “Dancing Sprinkles.”

Rounding things out, I re-engineered a few popular experiments from my previous books to fit sheet pans. “Magic Potion” made from red cabbage teaches kids about acid-base indicators and chemical reactions. “Shrinking Window Gels” allows readers to experiment with colloids, diffusion, and evaporation. “Ice Fishing” illustrates how salt lowers the melting temperature of ice.

Once I’d come up with 25 projects, I arranged them into five chapters, tested each experiment, and wrote them all up, along with science explanations. We had photo shoots with photographer Amber Procaccini where kids worked through the projects while Amber took pictures of each step. We sent the best images to the art team at Quarto Books, which assembled the text and photographs. After several rounds of editing and revising, Sheet Pan Science went to the printer and a new book was born.

Contact info:

Liz Lee Heinecke, 952-484-9957,,, @kitchpantrysci, @lizheinecke, Liz Heinecke on Facebook, Liz Heinecke on LinkedIn
- Book: Sheet Pan Science
- Publicist: Angela Corpus,
- Agent: Victoria Wells Arms,

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December 12, 2022

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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