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.

Spy Science Intruder Alarm from Great Gizmos – Review

Great Gizmos have a great range of kits in the Spy Science range, and we were sent the Intruder Alarm to test out. The Spy Science intruder alarm is recommended for kids 8+ with a RRP £11.95.

spy science intruder alarm

The boy was excited about this spy science kit and couldn’t wait to install it on his bedroom door! The Spy Science kit has everything contained in the box apart from 2 AA battery’s and even comes with a cute beware style door hanger.

spy science intruder alarm kit

The boy had very little problem making the Intruder Alarm as the instructions are super easy, with a numbered sequence of pictures and easy to understand instructions. All the electrical connections are made with a clever metal ring and pin system trapping each wire to join them. The boy understands simple electrical circuits and loved working out how the alarm was going to work.

spy science

The Spy Science Intruder Alarm took about 15 minutes to complete including batteries and testing, and the boy ran off to Dad proof his room! The alarm has self adhesive pads to attach to your chosen door so easy to fit. The alarm comes with an on off switch, and a cord long enough to adjust for most gaps. He was thrilled with the alarm, and was pleased to show me how he had installed it on his own. Including how he had worked out how to escape the room through a very small crack in the door, without setting it off!

intruder alarm

He was pleased the cats can get in and out without triggering the alarm but Dad sets it off each time. The boy says this kit is “Awesome”, but wanted me to point out that the pads are not very sticky and after one day of use the unit fell off. There is the option to fit your alarm more permanently with screw holes, but I think some better sticky pads in this set would be a better option. The boy still thinks his intruder alarm would be a great addition to a den and has even been thinking of how he could make it work in his tent in the summer. I think that Spy Science kits make a fab birthday gift and something I know the boys friends would simply love!

For a full range of their fun kids science kits visit Great Gizmos website, of find them on twitter and Facebook.