Solar Power Kit Lets Kids Tinker With Energy

It has been said that the greatest scientific minds of the last generation grew up either tinkering with chemistry kits or crystal radio sets. Now there’s a new science kit for today’s budding geniuses, aimed at meeting tomorrow’s ecological challenges: the Physics Solar Workshop from Thames and Kosmos.

This unique physics kit for kids was developed in conjunction with Greenpeace in Germany and features 12 models to build and 30 experiments kids ages 8 and up can tinker with, gaining a greater understanding of solar power and how it works.

image via Amazon

This kit bills itself as revealing “solar power technology in action,” illustrating that, in one way or another, almost every form of energy we use originates as energy from the sun–whether it’s power and heat harvested via  photovoltaic cells and thermal collectors, or the energy our cells gain from eating plants grown by the sun. (Even fossil fuels are a form of solar power, since they originated as energy from the sun, captured by plants and animals millions of years ago).

Physics Solar Workshop gives kids an opportunity to explore solar energy, focusing on photovoltaic cells. Your genius-in-training will learn how solar cells transform light into electrical energy, and how motors and mechanical devices can optimize the work done by this energy. By building different types of vehicles and machines, young learners will also gain some of the basics of engineering, demonstrating how gears can convert and transform power for different needs.

The kit contains 320 parts, which are also compatible with the other kits in the Thames and Kosmos Physics line, and a 64-page book offers illustrated instructions for the projects. It’s available for as low as $25 through Amazon.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.