My 7 year old loves construction toys. He was sent some of the brand new kits from K’NEX that help children develop their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) skills through play. A few months ago we reviewed the K’NEX Mighty Makers Director’s Cut so we knew the children were going to have lots of fun with these new sets.
Every item in the new K’NEX STEM Explorations line includes a number of model build suggestions, each with a really fun experiment to bring to life scientific principles, allowing kids to test and learn to improve their models each time. The first set they opened was the Vehicles Building Set.
K’NEX Education: STEM Explorations: Vehicles
This set can create seven different builds, one at a time, each exploring a different type of vehicle. Using the included spring motor, students can experiment with energy transfer, velocity and acceleration, and the impact of design on performance. Five corresponding experiment worksheets are included for students to expand their knowledge through building, evaluating and improving.
Since my son built the Mighty Makers Director’s Cut he was happy to open this set and have a go himself. He chose to build the Short Rubber Band Racer. He followed the instructions to build the car and only needed a little help putting the rubber band on. As well as the build instructions there were guidelines for experiments to take the build further.
K’NEX Education: STEM Explorations: Gears
With this great value introductory set, children can explore multiple concepts associated with Gears. The set builds three different models one at a time: Crank Shift, Egg Beater, and Car Window. Each model has its own experiment worksheet explaining how different types of gears are used by exploring their configuration, ratios and calculations.
This was the second set my 7 year old built. He loved examining the different pieces and building the Crank Fan. His Dad enjoyed this set too and helped him change the gear sizes to see how that changed how hard it was to turn the fan, or how quickly it turned.