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Scientific Toys for the Holidays 2

Updated on November 17, 2009

Encourage Learning in a Lagging Field

Science & Engineering
We desperately need more scientists in the United States. The best way to end this "short-fall" in science is to encourage our children, even at a very early age, to become interested in and involved in the various fields.

A coalition of business' and institutes, including groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Defense Industrial Association, say there is strong bipartisan support in Washington toward boosting science learning. But the group points out that the 400,000 new graduates required in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) is falling behind projected requirements for these fields by 2015.

Education Should be Fun
Often the best way to encourage learning is to make if fun. To that end, games with a scientific basis are a great way to encourage your Jr. Einstein or Young Ms. Madam Currie to make their own discoveries and possibly enter a career that both pays well and is rewarding.

This hub will include "toys" that enable the young researcher to explore electronics, genetics, and physics in the natural world.


Electronics: The study, design and use of electronic devices.

Genetics: The study of living things dealing with variation and transmission of inherited characteristics.

Physics: The study of the study of the properties of space, time, matter and energy.

Junior Electronics

Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100: This is a basic electronics set with one hundred one (101) projects. Because the circuitry snaps together, much like lego blocks, it is much easier to use and far less intimidating than other designs.

This set allows the young engineer to build an AM radio, burglar alarm, doorbell, and even some games. Includes thirty (30) snap together pieces and a base for configuring the circuits.

Clear concise instructions via an included manual plus additional circuit designs on-line. The manual not only explains how to build the various projects by why they work.

Requires two (2) AA batteries which are not included.

Recommended age 8 to 13 years of age.

Electronics Lab

Electronics Lab 130-in-1 project: This is the older spring loaded terminal model. Despite the older design it's still quite a good one. Made by Elenco.

Sure to teach electronics from A to Z. Teaches electronic parts, how to read a schematic, and how to read a wiring diagram. This lab includes an instruction book for one hundred thirty (130) projects.

The kit uses a spring and breadboard wiring methods. The spring method is for simpler projects while the breadboard method is used by circuit designers to this day. There's no need for a soldering iron or solder. Battery powered only for safety. No tools are required and the well written and illustrated lab manuals take you through each project step-by-step.

Ages 10 and up. Six (6) AA batteries not included.

Advance Electronics

Snap Circuit SC-3000: Three hundred five (305) projects in one kit. The manual includes step-by-step instructions for everything from a simple light switch to a noise-activated burglar alarm. Instructions are color coded with clear and easy to understand steps. Not only does the manual explain how to do each project, but how and why it works. Projects are ordered by level of difficulty, with experience from advanced projects building upon knowledge gained from earlier projects. Each project has an objective.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Requires 4 AA batteries which are not included.


The study of living things dealing with variation and transmission of inherited characteristics.

Basic Genetics

Thames & Kosmos Genetics and DNA: Use this lab for an in-depth study of genetics. Learn about heredity and DNA, the acid that holds the blueprints for life.

With this kit you'll be able to see, without the aid of microscope or magnifying glass, the genetic material from a tomato. Learn about inheritance and how traits are passed from parents to child. Includes an explanation of dominant and recessive genes. Comes with games that show how inheritance can determine how traits will be expressed.

Comes with a simple model of the double-stranded helical structure of DNA.Use DNA evidence to solve a crime. And breed your own bacteria colony to experiment with genetic engineering.

Includes a detailed manual that explains the contribution of Mendel, Watson, and Crick, who made breakthroughs in the field. 

Includes a forty-eight (48) page manual with step-by-step instructions on how to conduct the experiments.

Recommended for ages 8 to 14 years of age.

DNA Science Kit

DNA ScienceWiz Science Kit: Teaches kids about the uniqueness of DNA and molecular biology in a fun way. Your child will learn about the basic building blocks of life, extract DNA from fruits, play the gene construction game, probe and spool real DNA, and build a double helix model.

Kit comes with basic supplies and a forty (40) page, fully illustrated manual.

Recommended for children ages 8 and up.


The branch of science concerned with the study of properties and interactions of space, time, matter and energy.

Physics Workshop

Thames & Kosmos Physics Workshop: The Kit comes with more than 300 pieces. Build a windmill, two-speed crane, scale, car, robot, hammering machine, centrifuge, pin-ball games, dentrifugal switch, lantern and many more.

Comes with simple parts to build machines including: gears, levers, screws, inclined planes, pulleys, wheels and axles. Includes sixty-four (64) page illustrated manual with many basic physics equations. Covers thirty-six real machines, all of which can be built with this kit, and thirty-seven experiments.

Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.

Physics Pro

Thames & Kosmos Physics Pro: Study fluid dynamics, hydraulics, and pneumatics. Over two hundred twelve parts which are compatible with the kid immediately above.  Ninety-six page full color illustrated manual. This kit is primarily concerned with the fluid and gas and how objects interact with them. With this kit you can discover why boats float, planes fly, and how streamlining affects objects moving through liquid (water) or gas (air).

Manual covers seventeen (17) experiments.

Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Solar Physics

Physics Solar Power Workshop Science Kit: This kit is primarily focused on solar power.  Build working models that use solar power. Focus is on photovoltaic cells.

Kit allows the building of twelve (12) models and thirty (30) experiments. Your child can learn how solar cells transform light into electricity, how motors and mechanical devices use this energy. Your child can build different types of vehicles and machines to demonstrate how gears can convert and transform power for different needs. Three hundred twenty (320) parts. This physics kit is compatible with other physics kits by Thames and Kosmos.

Includes a sixty-four (64) page fully illustrated manual.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.


The author owns no stock nor has been compensated monetarily, via discounts or freebies for these product reviews.


Submit a Comment

  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    C.S. Alexis: Thanks for reading. I can't think of a single toy featured that little girls wouldn't enjoy too.

  • C.S.Alexis profile image


    9 years ago from NW Indiana

    My brother always got cool science stuff for Christmas, I wanted some too. Please remember little girls like to learn these things too. Great hub and most encouraging to get kids things they can learn from that are interactive. Thumbs up!


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