Dec 16, 2006

A little off topic, but...

I know this blog is supposed to be about NXT, but I hope you'll forgive me for just a moment to share something a bit different.

I absolutely LOVE The Discovery Store... it comes in close 2nd behind any good bookstore :) Yesterday, while visiting The Discovery Store, I saw some amazing things that parents and kids might want to take a look at - there were Chemistry lab sets, something called the "Try-This-At-Home Science Kit" which I'll probably buy as an investment for my future children (yeah, that sounds good), and the DNA Explorer Lab which had the coolest looking device I've seen that included a centrifuge, mixer, and plenty of tubes and bottles. They had this one things called a Forensic Lab that came with mysteries that you solved by doing the chemistry...

I'm writing this because obviously I love the LEGO Mindstorms NXT and its potential for encouraging students... but I tend to focus so much on robots that I forget about the other stuff out there. It's a great time to be a kid! (And it's a great time to be an adult with a debit card!)

If you find some interesting science/math/technical kits or products that you think parents and kids might find interesting, I invite you to post a comment and share the info here. Not just for Christmas or Hannakuh or Birthdays...

Jim

Jim

5 comments:

peter hoh said...

One piece of advice I've got is to buy your kids stuff they can take apart. Get a cheap pair of binoculars with lenses that can be screwed off, and let the kids see how it takes a convex and a concave lens to make a telescope work. And let them discover that a concave lens by itself makes things look smaller. Only one will help you burn a hole in a leaf. Let them figure out which it is. And if they ask for an explanation, let 'em figure it out on their own. It's the only way they'll really learn.

And head to the dollar store for some toys with LEDs inside. Take 'em apart, see how they work, try to put them back together -- or not. I got some plastic dinosaurs with a nice battery pack/light set inside. Perfect for hacking.

Jim Kelly said...

When I was a kid, my mom and dad got me a small LED hand-held game (way before Nintendo Gameboy) that only had red LEDs and was a bit lame, but at the time it was great... after about a month of playing it, I ended up taking it apart (Dad was happy, Mom wasn't) and examining it... some of it made sense... some didn't, but it got me interested in how things work.

Jim

Tomas Gunnarsson said...

Hi. Do anyone have some good links
for "Disvovery Store"?

Jim Kelly said...

http://shopping.discovery.com/

Anonymous said...

I would highly recommend the science kits from Thames & Kosmos (at specialty toy stores and dicoverthis.com, among other places). I have bought my kids the chemistry sets and the fuel cell car. These kits are high quality, but the best thing about them is the manuals. You can just jump into the sets or you can use the extensive manuals for a many weeks science course.

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