Customer Reviews: Thames & Kosmos CHEM C1000 (V 2.0)
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on April 20, 2014
I got this set in April 2014. I am a retired industrial chemist who fell in love with chemistry when I got my first set at age ~12 or 13. This is NOT a set that you can give to a 10 yr old and walk away. If your recipient is a cautious and studious 13 , then he/she may be able to handle it but they have to be patient and read with comprehension. It is best used with help from an adult that has some technical ability (i.e. if you are the type that never got a handle on math or science in HS then you won't be much help.) That said, I bought this for my granddaughter's 6th birthday. :) She has loved playing with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda ("fizzy stuff") and always wants more things to experiment with. I have NO idea of leaving her alone with this stuff for 2 seconds. She is responsible for a 6 yr old, but that ain't saying much. I have the time and inclination to work closely with her. We are having fun with it.

Now for the contents:
First it has a very good book that describes the experiments but also gives you a bunch of info that you need before you jump in. Please read it in advance of giving it to your child. The kid will want to start right in experimenting. They can't do that without some preplanning. There is a lot of information you will want to have before you start.

Provided are safety goggles
2 pipettes
clip for 9V battery
EMPTY bottle for litmus solution that you will make
copper wire
2 beakers w/ lids (thin, cheap plastic but with graduations)
4 test tubes
test tube brush
2 rubber stoppers, 1 w/ hole
Chemicals, very small amounts of them:
sodium carbonate
potassium hexacyanoferrate (II)
Calcium hydroxide
Ammonium iron (iii) sulfate
Copper (II) sulfate
Citric acid
litmus powder
Lid opener (chem bottles have a good, safe lid that needs this to open them.)
Measuring spoon (read how to use this. the terms in the expos are not clear.)
angled glass tube (Most DANGEROUS item in the kit! Read below.)
"Experiment station" THIS IS THE STYRENE PACKING. It is a good thing. Don't throw it away.

That's it. You will need a LOT of other stuff. Much of it you have in the house. most of the rest you can buy at the grocery store or drug store. I'll write another review to cover this, but I'm not a good key boarder, so enough for now except:

The chemicals in the set need careful handling but aren't especially dangerous AS CHEMICALS GO. Keep them out of eyes. If they get on your skin, wash them off. When you have finished experimenting, wash hands with soap and water. The big danger is that glass tube. I am very serious about this as I have seen a number of nasty cuts from people trying to push a glass tube into a rubber stopper. The tube breaks and jabs into the palm of the hand. Follow the instructions given AND use a heavy glove. Proceed with caution. Lubricate the stopper with water or soapy water. (Not oil, as that swells the rubber.) Use reasonable caution and you should be fine with this set.
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on January 9, 2012
This kit has really clear directions, and many experiments. It does require quite a bit of reading, and I would definitely have an adult present during the experiments. The only complaint I would add is that the experiments do require quite a few outside materials, which isn't mentioned in the sales literature. It asks for things like sand, coffee filters, clean glass jars with lids(old jam jars work), rubbing alcohol, this does add to the overall cost of the kit, and means that the kit fills a good size box, not the modest box shown.
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on October 30, 2012
This was a good starter set for my 11 yr old. It just lacks a few chemistry staples like a burner. You may want to purchase a better eye cover. The one included seems more like a toy and is too small. Otherwise, it is a good product.
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on March 17, 2013
Nice, reasonably priced starter set. I have to say, as another reviewer before me, it's rather inconvenient to have to get so many extra supplies ready. You definitely want to make sure the extras, e.g., mineral water, white vinegar, #1 white coffee filter cones, etc. are on hand before you give this as a gift.
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on December 7, 2011
This is the NEW version of the CHEM C1000. Don't confuse it with the older version. This new version has a vastly improved 80 page experiment book with tons of pictures and background info etc.... it's half the value of the kit right there in the book alone.
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on January 13, 2013
I bought this for my 11 year old. He got frustrated because there were so many extra things that were needed in order to do the experiments. A parent is definitely needed to walk through the different experiments. I would probably not purchase this again.
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on January 19, 2012
This kit is good for beginners, but you do need to keep the kit somewhere away from little ones. There are some chemicals that could stain clothing, carpet, etc. Good kit so far.
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on May 8, 2015
This is a great beginning chemistry set for older kids--probably age 13 and up. I had been looking for a set that actually contained some chemicals for simple experiments. This was the only set I found. The accompanying lab book is excellent--easy-to-follow instructions, great illustrations, over 125 experiments (some simple and some fairly complex, requiring adult supervision) and always an emphasis on safety. I would recommend purchasing a higher quality pair of safety goggles than what are included.
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on June 8, 2013
I bought this for by 11 yo, who is very bright. The first thing I noticed is that the manual insists on measuring liquids in millimeters. I don't know about you, but I always thought liquid was measured only in volume, or milliliters (unless you are calculating density). Dry measure is always: big scoop, little scoop. This all struck me as rather Neanderthal.

Thus the manufacturer states on its website "This kit provides clear instructions for preparing and performing the experiments," is not an accurate statement.

The second thing we noticed is that the instruction pages are next to impossible to follow. There is so much content splattered over every page that you can't tell which directions go with what description and illustration. If your child suffers from ADD, this product will be utterly uninspiring to your child, and worthless to you. I should have heeded the brevity of the product description as an ill portent: excepting the manual, there is about $2 worth of 'goods' in test tubes, and a few pennies worth of powders. I.e., not a lot of value in here for your $40. Had I known its shortcomings beforehand, I would have paid no more than $9.99
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on March 19, 2016
Book instruction is horrible. Not only does it neglect to give step by step instructions on exactly what to do, but it doesn't really explain what is happening chemically--it usually moves right on to the next experiment, and you're hoping after that it will explain all the effects in all experiments. But these "What's Happening Here?" explanations are terrible, often giving vague real- world information, instead of explaining the actual experiments you worked so hard on! And you have to measure liquid in cm(?! ) and powder using an arbitrary and confusing " spoon tip/half spoon/ spoonful" system based on the utensil they provide, so you're not even practicing real chemistry measurement protocol. And the "cm scale" is not even printed on the test tubes you must use but a scale in the book! The book is also too glitzy with color photos, historical information, word roots at the cost of explaining the experiments properly or how to clean up your equipment during handling more than one chemical during an experiment( no step by step remember). I don't have any complaint,as others do, about the kit not having every possible ingredient under the sun and asking me to get common household items like coffee filters or vinegar. I have a big problem with the lack of instruction and experiment description. Some of the writing makes no sense at all and uses terminology not covered. For example, after Experiment13, it says" If the ammonium iron sulfate has melted(??) and solidified again(??) you can loosen the crystal plug(huh??) from the storage vial, dry it with absorbent paper, and grind it between two layers of clean paper using a heavy object (for example a hammer, but don't pound just press. )Then place the substance back into the dried storage jar."

I can only assume the ammonium iron sulphate it asked us to store in a jar will some time later change its composition for some reason. But it does not say "later", or why that would happen. Also it's a liquid, so what does it mean melt? And do they really expect us to know how to do all that without a diagram, while they waste photos of all these other glitzy subjects? This set is pretty awful, and I don't feel like I'm learning anything. It is better to just study a textbook and perhaps do some kitchen chemistry using the excellent book "730 Easy Science Experiments".
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