Fueling Future Cars, Science X from Ravensburger – review

Fueling Future Cars is a part of a great range of different Science X kits available from Ravensburger for children aged 8+ RRP £29.99. This Science X Fueling Future cars kit has everything you need to discover how electric cars of the future work and how they are powered. (You will need additional materials for some experiments, including one A4 battery)

The boy was excited to find our more about fueling cars of the future and didn’t need any encouragement to start building. The box contains some pretty special materials including solar panels, a super capacitor, motors and the parts to build your own electric car. The 35 page full colour booklet has some great information on the history of fueling future cars, how they first came about and why we might need them in the future.

fueling future cars

The boy wanted to get going and make the car straight away, but it is interesting to note that the instructions add that you need to follow the 9 activates in the order they appear in the instructions. We didn’t at first and this did cause us to miss important instructions, including how to properly understand the wiring diagrams. The 9 different fueling future cars activities start with wiring a motor and completing a basic circuit. I loved the clear diagrams detailing how to wire each activity. The boy however wanted to look at the coloured pictures and we found these did not always follow the actual diagram which caused some confusion.

fueling future cars building

Each activity has a great mix of information and detail including background knowledge of how electricity works. There are lots of questions to ask, and work out how and why things happen. (answers in the back) We discovered how to make the solar panel light up an led light. but by far my favourite experiment has to be making our own simple electric motor. The boy didn’t have the patience to make the copper coil, so made the card housing for our motor. With the addition of a couple of paper clips, and we had followed the wiring diagram it took a little bit of alteration to work out how to get our motor to spin. Once we had it refined, then this is a pretty impressive experiment as you can move the magnet to find out how this alters the spin of your copper coil.

fueling future cars science x

Fueling future cars, and onto the building of the car itself and the exploded diagram is just about detailed enough. The boy had trouble using the mini screwdriver included in the kit, so we used a household one instead. We also found some of the wires were super fine and were tricky to connect into the terminals. The boy successfully made the battery powered car, but adding the super capacitor proved a bit tricky. Understanding the wiring diagrams for me was a little difficult (mainly as we hadn’t started from the beginning) and I am not electrically trained! We did however complete the first car and I think with a little patience could work out how to alter our wiring to include the solar panel. There are 4 different experiments with the car so this could keep the boy occupied for another day when he has more patience.

Overall we were very impressed with this kit, and I think if you have a car mad kid who loves learning about electrics and circuits then this would be perfect for them. Fueling future cars is a great way to get kids to read and understand instructions and wiring, so I think would be better suited to children aged 12 and over. My only disappointment with this kit is that you can’t build each experiment, as you only have one of each component part. Each experiment has to be dismantled before you make the next one. I think it wouldn’t have cost much to add in the extra wires and terminals needed to finish each of the models.

We have enjoyed fueling future cars and would give it a 4 out of 5 and I can see this kit coming in handy for some future science projects at school. Have a look at the Ravensburger page for more Science X kits, which are great quality and full of information and fun.

Disclaimer we were sent Fueling future cars to review and the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

Karcher K2 Compact Pressure Washer from Homebase

It’s at this time of year that I start to think about all the jobs that need doing on the outside of the house, and especially cleaning. I have never been a fan of washing cars, windows and walls so had often wondered if a pressure washer might be the answer.

The Karcher K2 Compact Home Pressure Washer is available from Homebase RRP £99.99 and currently £10 off making it great value at £89.99. We decided to buy the car brush too so that we could use the washer on my soft top car roof. I was surprised at the range of different types of pressure washers at Homebase with everything from value models at less than £30 right up to industrial petrol models at £500. We chose Karcher as I had read some great reviews on their products and knew they would be up to the job. We soon found the model we wanted at our local Homebase, and were pleased that there were plenty in stock. We were even offered an extended warranty at the till which would have meant that Homebase would automatically replace the Karcher Pressure washer if anything went wrong. The boy and Dragon Dad were both far to excited about our purchase so it was straight home to try it out.

karcher K2 compact pressure washer

I was impressed with the Karcher K2 Compact Home Pressure Washer from the minute we opened the box, the instructions were easy, and very minimal assembly was needed. The hose and handle were easy to attach, and with all the bits you need it took less than 5 minutes and we were ready to go. We headed outside to check that I had the right hose attachments, and once the extension cable had been run out from the garage we were set to go.

The boy of course wanted first try, I showed him which order to turn everything on. Water first then the Karcher Pressure Washer, then the trigger. This pressure washer was so easy to use, and the boy soon got the hang practicing on the algae around the side of the house. The Karcher K2 Compact Pressure washer comes with different attachments one for walls, a Lance, and dirt-blaster. We found the standard lance was ideal for a range of jobs, it made an easy job of my front window. This is the one that seems to get the most of the salty sea air, and cobwebs.

using the karcher compact pressure washer

The Karcher K2 Compact Pressure washer was powerful enough for cleaning the soffits, and facia’s across the house, and the boy enjoyed blasting the concrete and weeds. Dad Dragons car was finished in minutes, and looked lovely and clean even the wheels. I love that the washer turns off when not in use so it doesn’t end up deafening you by being on constantly. I didn’t have a problem moving the unit as its so light, and with a cable length of 5m and hose length of 4m, found it didn’t need much moving about. Another great feature of the Karcher Compact Pressure washer is that you can run it off a water-butt, this would be a very useful way to save water and keep costs down.

The compact design means it fits away in the corner of the garage, and my only thought would be that it would have been good to have somewhere to wrap the electric cable round the unit when not in use. Overall I’m very pleased with the Karcher K2 Compact Pressure Washer as it will come in useful for cleaning the conservatory which has got very green over the winter, and hopefully will make our patios sparkle again!

Product details

  • The Karcher K2 Compact Home Pressure Washer is small and lightweight for occasional light tasks and comes complete with patio cleaner and a detergent package.
  • Length of cable: 5m.
  • Length of hose: 4m.
  • Features: Cable and hose hook, water inlet filter, lance and trigger storage facility, and detergent suction tube.
  • Safety details: Automatic safety cut off.
  • Usage: Ideal for cleaning small patios and decking as well as garden furniture, bicycles, cars and motorbikes.
  • Wattage: 1400W.
  • Portability: Portable.
  • Maximum water pressure: 110 bar.
  • Rated flow: 360.
  • Includes: One way lance, dirtblaster, T50 T-racer patio cleaner, patio and deck detergent pouch.
  • Guarantee: 2 years.

Disclaimer, in collaboration with Homebase.

Please note that the Karcher Pressure washer is not a toy, and that the boy who is aged 9 was supervised at all times while using the washer. It is advisable to consider wearing safety goggles while using a pressure washer as it can kick up stones and dirt towards your eyes.