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.
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.
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, 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.