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Young Scientist Club The Magic School Bus Engineering Lab
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- Get ready to Explore Engineering
- Create, discover, learn and experiment
- Comprehensive kit includes everything you need
- STEM; science;mathe; engineering;technology;hands-on; building; science;experiments;bus;electricity;solar energy; solar power; educational
- This bus-shaped kit comes packed with engineering experiments and components
- The fun bus-shaped kit can be used for storing all science components and projects
- Colorful experiment cards make science fun for Young Scientists; narrated by Ms Frizzle and her students
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Children under 8 yrs. can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep uninflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Ms Frizzle and her students take Young Scientists on a wild ride with The Magic School Bus as they explore the fascinating world of engineering. Young scientists are asked by Ms. Frizzle to solve all kinds of fun and unique problems that lead to discoveries in the fields of chemical, electrical, mechanical and even civil engineering. Young Scientists become engineers when they build a solar oven, design a car, construct a bridge, create solar energy, design an electric game, make a simple machine, construct a submarine and much, much more! This bus-shaped kit comes with 33 colorful experiment cards, a data notebook to record experiment designs and is packed with science components such as a solar panel, motor, buzzer, electric wires and more. Seatbelts, everyone! Get ready to design, create and experiment with Engineering Lab!
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My first impression was that for the most part, the instruction cards seemed fabulous (with the exception that I could tell that maybe 1-2 things weren't going to function exactly right), FYI, there are about 12 themes-- each theme may have 3 activities with it, however, I would definitely do all 3 of the activities in one sitting-- so if you're looking for a summer enrichment program or something, I'd say it will maybe last you 1 hour each of 12 days.
The first projects we did were: making a car out of dowel rods (axels), straws, cardboard, cardboard wheels, and stickers. This project was a flop. The kit came with pre cut cardboard wheels but they were useless because the cardboard was so thin. I had to find thicker cardboard to cut while my son lost interest and waited for my to use my "engineering skills" to fix what they gave us. Pretty sad for a first project. Ms. Fizzle and mommy lost their credibility during this time. Also, the sticks/dowel rods really should at least have been pointed (skewers) because the instructions said to push the dowel through (puncture) the cardboard wheels, but the fact that they weren't pointed further compromised the integrity of already flimsy cardboard (even the new wheels I made from cardboard shipping box). The second project (balloon taped to straw strung on string) worked OK, but again, I'm sure that the kits materials had been tested before hitting the shelves. The string included was nice and thin, but fluffy in nature and very hard and time consuming for even an adult to thread through a straw. This portion also came with a small clothes pin that was not carved correctly and I guarantee was never in a state of function. Lastly, the 3rd activity to this theme was taping a balloon with straw to the cardboard car to allow the car to move by means of the air blowing backwards. This was the worst! This really made me realize that these activities have not been tested. The force of the air against the friction of the wheels and light weight of the cardboard car-- smallest size for sticker to fit over it-- all properly installed according to instructions--were not enough to move the car AT.ALL. I don't know what kind of engineering this kit teaches other than the trouble-shooting involved with how badly these activities work compared to how they are designed to work.
We have moved onto a 2nd theme-- solar energy. I did decide to opt out of the 2 mini-experiments leading up to the making of our own solar oven. (These experiments were just shining a flashlight on foil to talk about reflection of light and putting white or black paper over a water balloon to learn about heat absorption and I would assume expansion of air. I just didn't think it would hold my son's attention while they are both things you learn while just wearing a light or dark shirt on a hot day or watching a floaty pop because you left it in a hot car.) The solar oven, however was a success! Other than the fact that the cardboard wasn't exactly where the card said it was, we were able to create the project with some glue I already had (didn't use the cheap bottle provided because it was taking too long to get going). We put the graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows out on the front porch on a warm afternoon and it wasn't long before the chocolate was melting and not long after that the marshmallows were puffy. We didn't have to worry about the bugs or birds finding them because it functioned quickly. During this time we could also talk about the reflection of light from the tin foil sides (again, didn't need the flashlight or mini-lesson). Anyway, on a positive note, we have not trashed our solar oven and may use it again with the remaining chocolate or try making nachos.