Recently Grasshopper Toys were kind enough to send me this Pressure Power Double Helix Science Kit for me to review. It is a kit that is aimed at children aged ten and up which allows them to explore the concepts of pressure, density and motion by carrying out simple experiments that demonstrate these principles. The kit contains 18 activities to try yourself.
Opening up the Pressure Power Science Kit I found a selection of items to help carry out the experiments.
There was an instruction manual, straws, beakers, balloons, thread, straws, plasticine and also a pair of safety gloves and glasses. The instruction manual is easy to read. It is divided into three main sections, Kinetic Energy and Density, Pressure and Motion. Each section explains the science and then gives a number of different experiments you can try to demonstrate it in action. For each experiment it describes what you need, what to do and then what is happening. For some of the experiments you will need things that are not supplied like a ruler for taking measurements. A large number of experiments required a PET bottle, which I finally worked out was a plastic bottle with a pop up type cap. It is worth reading the instructions before giving this to your child. This will make sure you have what you need for each experiment and they will not be frustrated as they are unable to do the one they want.
My son, who is eleven, was incredibly taken with the gloves and safety goggles and put these on straight away. When we started to do the experiments we found that some were a little bit fiddly and took time to set up. For example we wanted to do some of the rocket experiments but one of these involved threading the thread though a straw. This is fiddly and took a bit of time so my son lost a little bit of interest at this point. Once everything was set up and working he was happy to learn how it works and try it out a few times. This is my son demonstrating the controlled rocket experiment.
The Pressure Power Science Kit does do exactly what it says it will do, it demonstrates the science behind pressure, density and motion using simple experiments. Younger children will need supervision and it would be best to have everything ready to go before getting them involved. Left to their own devices they would miss some of the science behind the experiments, but done with an adult you can get them questioning why it works the way it does. A slightly older child would get more value working with this unsupervised. It is definitely an educational toy and to get the best value from it you should set a reasonable amount of time aside to supervise and help.
The Pressure Power Science Kit was robust but it would have been helpful to have a list of things that you need to get started on the outside of the box. This would have meant I could have got them at the same time and not realised when I read the instructions saving some time. The balloons and straws were a good mix of colours and the addition of the googles and gloves were a nice touch, making my son feel more like a scientist.
The product is good value if you are looking to do some serious science teaching with your child. For unsupervised fun it is not so good. It is on a par with other toys in the market in this sort of area.
The Pressure Power Science Kit is RRP £19.99 and aimed at ages 10+. It is available from Grasshopper Toys
Disclosure: I received a Pressure Power Science Kit to review with my son but my opinions are my own, I was not told what to write.
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