Kids these days: they can figure out how to take 3-D pictures on your iPhone, but all they know about electricity is that you’re always going on about something called vampire power and nagging them to turn off the lights. It’s time to put that tech smarts to work in getting a handle on renewable energy, is it not? And we have just the toy to get them started.
The Hydropower Renewable Energy Science Kit aims to help your budding genius explore the power of water, literally, by building models and conducting experiments with them. It all starts with some good old-fashioned technology — namely, the waterwheel, the sawmill, and the hammer mill, all of which offer a simple, intuitive, and easy-to-understand example of moving water’s potential to accomplish physical work.
But here’s the clever bit: this kit will also help your kids assemble a hydroelectric power station and actually generate their electricity, lighting an LED. We’re imagining that when the light bulb in this kit goes on, some bulbs will light up for your kid too. (Playing with electricity hasn’t been this fun since (or safe) since that infamous Xbox sleepover.)
Water towers, communicating vessels and a water fountain further illustrate the scientific concepts of water pressure, while accompanying experiments demonstrate surface tension, adhesion and cohesion. Your child can even unlock the mysteries of energy in ocean waves, tides, and rivers, and how we can harness and generate electricity from these diverse water sources. The kit includes an experiment manual with illustrated instructions and background information, is available through Science Kit and Boreal Laboratories, and will set you back $51.95.